One thing that Stefan Zweig does in this book (The World of Yesterday) is give the reader a profound exposition on what poets and artists meant in the world that existed before the Great War. He describes in devout detail the privilege he had of once watching Rodin at work in his studio. Rodin admitted Zweig to show him around, but while there Rodin noticed something about a piece that he had underway and then started to work on it. In moments the great sculptor was so immersed in the work that he literally forgot that Zweig was there with him in the studio. Zweig was fascinated to watch the artist at work:
In that hour I had seen the Eternal secret of all great art, yes, of every mortal achievement, made manifest: concentration, the collection of all forces, all senses, that ecstasis, that being-out-of-the-world of every artist. I had learned something for my entire lifetime.