Monday, April 26, 2021

the last book I ever read (Chess Story by Stefan Zweig, excerpt one)

from Chess Story by Stefan Zwieg:

On the great passenger steamer, due to depart New York for Buenos Aires at midnight, there was the usual last-minute bustle and commotion. Visitors from shore shoved confusedly to see their friends off, telegraph boys in cocked caps dashed through the lounges shouting names, trunks and flowers were carried past, and inquisitive children ran up and down the companionways, the orchestra playing imperturbably on deck all the while. As I was standing a bit apart from this hubbhub, talking on the promenade deck with an acquaintance of mine, two or three flashbulbs flared near us—apparently the press had been quickly interviewing and photographing some celebrity just before we sailed. My friend glanced over and smiled. “That’s a rare bird you’ve got on board—that’s Czentovic.” I must have received this news with a rather blank look, for he went on to explain, “Mirko Czentovic, the world chess champion. He’s crisscrossed America from coast to coast playing tournaments and is now off to Argentina for fresh triumphs.”

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