Two short novels. Chess was the first bit of writing I had read by Zweig – having found him by mentions on the Pushkin press website and the fact he wrote a biography of Balzac. The novella was excellent and I followed it closely with Journey into the Past. Both were lyrical, melancholy, and filled with the past and reminiscences. The framework was a touch trite for these – but the strength of the evocation meant I was happy to let it go. Something in these reminded me of Nabokov – probably the appreciation of the backward gaze. And, the chess theme.