By Sybille Bedford
A Legacy is the story of 2 very various households. The Merzes are contributors of the Jewish top bourgeoisie of Berlin and direct descendants of Henriette Merz, buddy of Goethe and Mirabeau. yet this implementing legacy has lengthy due to the fact that ceased to intend a lot of something within the Merzes' large city residence, the place the relations devotes itself to little greater than having fun with its convenience and making sure its wealth. The Feldens are landed Catholic aristocracy, well to do yet no longer wealthy, from the Catholic south of Germany. while Julius von Felden marries Melanie Merz the fortunes of the 2 households turn into surprisingly, and infrequently fatally, entwined. advised from the viewpoint of a precociously observant baby and set opposed to the historical past of Germany sooner than the 1st notice struggle, A Legacy is right now desirable, magnificently humorous, and profound, an unforgettable photograph of a doomed lifestyle"
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In quel nucleo della Prussia, in quella misera pianura di paludi e miseri terreni sabbiosi, con la città posta fra piazze d’armi e radi pini, in quella provincia di frontiera fatta di guarnigioni e immense tenute lavorate da braccianti slavi e artigiani ugonotti, e dirette dai discendenti dei cavalieri teutonici, le vittorie belliche di Bismarck e la fondazione dell’Impero portarono un’improvvisa ﬁumana di denaro e, con quello, grandi imprese, grandi costruzioni e grandi idee che confusero le divisioni di casta, gonﬁarono a livelli wagneriani la disciplina militare e domestica e atroﬁzzarono le antiche tradizioni di economia, morigeratezza e probità.
Un’amica, Evelyn – Evelyn Gendel –, che durante i miei ritiri si dedicava alle sue personali scoperte, teneva lontani i seccatori, andava al mercato, giocava all’apprendista con la mia arte culinaria e, come la monarchia britannica, non lesinava gli incoraggiamenti, le raccomandazioni, i consigli. Era di New York e, più tardi, diventò un editor letterario rispettato e di talento. All’epoca era giovane, entusiasta, bramosa di conoscere un’Europa esotica che cercava di vedere con occhi proustiani; ma soprattutto era una persona ammirevole, piena di bontà, benevolenza, gentilezza.
Il pomeriggio qualcuno ne leggeva degli estratti al nonno in presenza della moglie, alla quale di tanto in tanto venivano segnalate le notizie alla sua portata. Spesso il ﬁglio di mezz’età che viveva con loro – un ﬁglio vero, non come mio padre – arrivava con una copia dello «Stock Exchange News». A suo tempo, il nonno aveva frequentato le riunioni del consiglio di amministrazione; e tuttora riceveva regolarmente la visita di un distinto signore che si presentava con una valigetta piena di documenti da ﬁrmare, oro e banconote.