1913: The Year Before the Storm (Hardback)
  • 1913: The Year Before the Storm (Hardback)

1913: The Year Before the Storm (Hardback)

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Hardback Published: 18/07/2013
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A witty yet moving narrative worked up from sketched documentary traces and biographical fragments, 1913 is an intimate cultural portrait of a world that is about to change forever. The stuffy conventions of the nineteenth century are receding into the past, and 1913 heralds a new age of unlimited possibility. Kafka falls in love; Louis Armstrong learns to play the trumpet; a young seamstress called Coco Chanel opens her first boutique; Charlie Chaplin signs his first movie contract; and new drugs like cocaine usher in an age of decadence. Yet everywhere there is the premonition of ruin - the number 13 is omnipresent, and in London, Paris, Vienna, Berlin, Trieste, artists take the omen and act as if there were no tomorrow, their brief coincidences of existence telling of a darker future. In a Munich hotel lobby, Rilke and Freud discuss beauty and transience; Proust sets out in search of lost time; and while Stravinsky celebrates the Rite of Spring with industrial cacophony, in Munich an Austrian postcard painter by the name of Adolf Hitler sells his conventional cityscapes. Told with Illies's characteristic mixture of poignant evocation and laconic irony, 1913 is the story of the year that shaped the last century.

Publisher: Profile Books Ltd
ISBN: 9781846689512

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“Unique read”

This isn't necessarily a page-turning book, but it is fascinating to read. I feel like I learned a lot.

Hardback edition
3rd December 2013
Helpful? Upvote 4

“Unexpectedly interesting and even fun in places”

When I received this book in the post I was expecting a social history of Europe in the year before the outbreak of the first World War. What I got instead was a series of small snapshots of the professional and... More

Hardback edition
12th September 2013
Helpful? Upvote 4

“Not my cup of tea”

I didn't really get on with this book, I just found it too bitty, without flow and I got a bit bored with it. I tried to finish it but it had me nodding off!

Hardback edition
15th January 2014
Helpful? Upvote 2

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