Tuesday, October 4, 2011

ET Almanac

"[O]ne lived an easy and carefree life in this old city of Vienna, and our neighbours to the north, the Germans, looked down with something of spite and envy, and something of disdain, on us Danubians who, instead of showing ourselves to be hardworking and serious, and obedient to a rigid order, peacefully enjoyed our lives, eating well, taking pleasure in festivals and the theatre, and moreover making excellent music. Instead of those German “values” that eventually spoiled and envenomed the life of all other peoples, instead of that avidity to dominate others, instead of always being in the lead, in Vienna we liked to chat amicably, took pleasure in family reunions, and let everyone take part, without envy, in a spirit of friendly complaisance, that was perhaps even a little too loose. “Live and let live,” said the old Viennese proverb, a maxim that even today seems more human to me than any categorical imperative. . . ."

Stefan Zweig

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