Books: Modern Jinni

BEWARE OF PITY—Stefan Zweig—Viking ($2.50).

Once upon a time a strong young man found a crippled old man lying in the road, who asked him for a ride on his back.

Out of pity the young man obliged. Where upon the pickaback hitchhiker turned into an evil jinni, clamped naked, hairy thighs around the young man's neck forever after.

That happened in the Arabian Nights.

It also happens, with elaborate variations, in Beware of Pity, first full-length novel of symbolist-minded, 57-year-old Austrian Biographer Stefan Zweig (Marie Antoinette). Told to Author Zweig as the "confession" of...

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