BREAK OF TIME by Hertha Pauli


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Juvenile author and biographer, Hertha Pauli has reconstructed the flight of a shifting coterie of beleaguered intellectuals from Vienna in 1939 before the Anschluss to America a year later. The story in overview is tragically familiar -- the desperate chances taken on trains, in grieving towns, on packed and dusty roads; the temporary havens where survivors' ranks closed and then opened to receive others. Throughout there are portraits of contemporaries at the way stations, catching up or dropping back: the Johnsonian Joseph Roth, reigning over his Parisian table of contentious factions while steadfastly drinking himself to death; the buoyant, irresistible Onon yon Horvath (Child of Our Time, Age of the Fish) the cause of the author's attempted suicide; the Werfels, whose ""debt"" to St. Bernadette was finally paid; and Miss Pauli's constant companions -- the poet Mehling and Carli Frucht, now in a prominent U.N. post in India. The author's most moving tribute is paid to the Quaker Varian Fry, who was ultimately responsible for the rescue of Mann, Chagall, Lipschitz, Werfel, Landowska, and other artists and writers. Miss Pauli writes with less verve than Hildegarde Knef, and there is a wariness and constraint which obtains even when she remembers a provincial love affair in France.

Pub Date: Jan. 1st, 1971
Publisher: Hawthorn