Monday, June 9, 2014

Chess Story by Stefan Zweig

Title: Chess Story
Author: Stefan Zweig
Original Publication Date: 1941
Pages: 84

I never won a single chess match against my father. He was kind like that, subtly teaching a victory unearned is a success undeserved. No truer words could have been said nor as easily forgotten, for after all those years, whether by natural imprint of innumerable defeats that leaves a sad ennui on the human  soul or by my inherent lackadaisical treatment of this royal game of chess, with its defined sixty-four squares faithfully clinging to white and black, black and white, bored me, until now.

Enlivened by an immaculate narration, this powerful novella brought me to the deepest recesses of the mind, through a ruthless frightful void where terror pure and uncompromising breathe, where black and white means a lot more than a chequered board, a struggle of the human mind in timeless nothingness, to find one self, or, to lose it. Zweig too breathe life to chess, black and white, white and black, the infinite permutations contained in this fixed 64 squares with 32 pieces. To say that Zweig and this novella has challenge my own conceptions of the human psyche is a gross understatement. They have rocked me to my core!
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