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Eaten Alive

Ruth Franklin: Stefan Zweig, 3 April 2003

The Royal Game 
by Stefan Zweig, translated by B.W. Huebsch.
Pushkin, 79 pp., £8, April 2001, 1 901285 11 1
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... On 15 August 1941, Stefan Zweig and his wife set sail for Brazil, where they planned to settle after seven years of exile in England and America. At first he seems to have found the change of scene rejuvenating: he continued work on a biography of Balzac, started a new novel and a critical study of Montaigne, and finished his autobiography, The World of Yesterday, which starts in the late 19th century and romps through the interwar years, with vivid and comic descriptions of Toscanini, Freud and many other artists and intellectuals ...

Vermicular Dither

Michael Hofmann, 28 January 2010

The World of Yesterday 
by Stefan Zweig, translated by Anthea Bell.
Pushkin Press, 474 pp., £20, 1 906548 12 9
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... Romain Rolland, one of Stefan Zweig’s many illustrious friends (he seems not to have had any other kind), expressed surprise that he could be a writer and not like cats: ‘Un poète qui n’aime pas les chats!’ It’s only one of an unending series of things – as if the man did not have a shadow – that strike one as being ‘not quite right’ about this popular-again populariser who, like the Kitschmeister Gustav Klimt, is glitteringly and preposterously back in fashion, and neither of them any better than they were the first time round ...

At the Movies

Michael Wood: ‘The Grand Budapest Hotel’, 17 April 2014

The Grand Budapest Hotel 
directed by Wes Anderson.
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... thing and its parody. But the world that vanished before Monsieur Gustave entered it belongs to Stefan Zweig, whom Anderson at the end of the movie credits as an inspiration. Zweig was born in an actual Europe and left, in the 1930s, to die in an actual Brazil. But he was pretty much the only begetter of the Europe I ...

Poetry Inc.

Christopher Reid, 18 September 1986

A Ringing Glass: The Life of Rainer Maria Rilke 
by Donald Prater.
Oxford, 472 pp., £25, March 1986, 9780198157557
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Letters: Summer 1926 
by Boris Pasternak, Marina Tsvetayeva and Rainer Maria Rilke, edited by Yevgeny Pasternak and Yelena Pasternak.
Cape, 251 pp., £15, May 1986, 0 224 02376 4
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... grows uncanny. ‘Rilke was poet and personality even when simply washing his hands,’ Stefan Zweig opined in his memorial oration. Did Zweig intend a sly Biblical reference? It is true that Rilke washed his hands of a great deal in the course of his European travels, but whether his manner of doing so had ...
The Invasion Handbook 
by Tom Paulin.
Faber, 201 pp., £12.99, April 2002, 0 571 20915 7
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... mostly); there is a special wanted list consisting of two names, Lascelles Abercrombie and Stefan Zweig. From the list of two thousand people to be eliminated Lloyd George and Shaw are expressly exempted. When the invasion has succeeded the Duke of Windsor will resume his throne and Henry Williamson replace the Poet Laureate, John Masefield. If ...

Try the other wrist

Lara Feigel: Germany in the 1940s, 23 October 2014

The Temptation of Despair: Tales of the 1940s 
by Werner Sollors.
Harvard, 390 pp., £25.95, April 2014, 978 0 674 05243 7
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... described in his unfinished novel. She told American audiences that the deaths of Virginia Woolf, Stefan Zweig and her brother were a kind of statement. They had died, she claimed, ‘not because they had failed in their own private or public lives’ but because the world – ‘this particular star’ – had become uninhabitable. ‘“Look ...

The Man Who Wrote Too Much

Nick Richardson: Jakob Wassermann, 7 March 2013

My First Wife 
by Jakob Wassermann, translated by Michael Hofmann.
Penguin, 275 pp., £16.99, August 2012, 978 0 14 138935 6
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... Wassermann’s, was teased for being a hartnäckiger Villenbesitzer, or ‘serial villa buyer’; Stefan Zweig owned Beethoven’s desk and Goethe’s pen; Hofmannsthal summed up his aspirations with a list of trophy comforts: ‘I finally want a house with Empire furniture, a smell of lavender, Old Vienna porcelain and music being played.’ As in the ...

Plots

Stephen Bann, 4 November 1982

The Prince buys the Manor 
by Elspeth Huxley.
Chatto, 216 pp., £6.95, October 1982, 0 7011 2651 5
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Faultline 
by Sheila Ortiz Taylor.
Women’s Press, 120 pp., £2.50, October 1982, 0 7043 3900 5
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Scenes from Metropolitan Life 
by William Cooper.
Macmillan, 214 pp., £6.95, October 1982, 0 333 34203 8
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Constance, or Solitary Practices 
by Lawrence Durrell.
Faber, 394 pp., £7.95, October 1982, 0 571 11757 0
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Mickelsson’s Ghosts 
by John Gardner.
Secker, 566 pp., £8.95, October 1982, 0 436 17251 8
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Beware of pity 
by Stefan Zweig, translated by Phyllis Blewitt and Trevor Blewitt.
Cape, 354 pp., £7.95, October 1982, 0 224 02057 9
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... last, it is because such a source of rare, unmixed pleasure deserves to be hoarded and treasured. Stefan Zweig’s Beware of pity is not, like Cooper’s Scenes from Metropolitan Life, a novel whose appearance had been inordinately delayed. It was published in an English translation in 1939, but had long since gone out of print. Doubtless it is the ...

How to be Viennese

Adam Phillips, 5 March 1987

Karl Kraus: Apocalyptic Satirist 
by Edward Timms.
Yale, 468 pp., £20, October 1986, 0 300 03611 6
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Half-Truths and One-and-a-Half-Truths: Selected Aphorisms of Karl Kraus 
translated by Harry Zohn.
Carcanet, 128 pp., £3.94, May 1986, 0 85635 580 1
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... on the streets that it was more difficult to avoid them than to find them, the novelist Stefan Zweig recalled. Kraus’s newspaper was revolutionary because Austria had no tradition of independent critical journalism. Austrian newspapers represented government policies and the vested interests of their owners, most of whom had links with the ...

They can’t do anything to me

Jeremy Adler: Peter Singer, 20 January 2005

Pushing Time Away: My Grandfather and the Tragedy of Jewish Vienna 
by Peter Singer.
Granta, 254 pp., £15.99, July 2004, 1 86207 696 0
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... to humanistic values. Singer knows how to shape his story, and makes helpful references to Stefan Zweig. He might also have used Musil’s work to evoke the illusory world of the old empire, and Joseph Roth’s depiction of Postwar Man, shaped by his experience at the front. But neither Musil nor Roth lived long enough to define the type ...

Obscene Child

Sheila Fitzpatrick: Mozart, 5 July 2007

Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart: A Biography 
by Piero Melograni, translated by Lydia Cochrane.
Chicago, 300 pp., £19, December 2006, 0 226 51956 2
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Mozart: The First Biography 
by Franz Niemetschek, translated by Helen Mautner.
Berghahn, 77 pp., £17.50, November 2006, 1 84545 231 3
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Mozart’s Women: His Family, His Friends, His Music 
by Jane Glover.
Pan, 406 pp., £7.99, April 2006, 0 330 41858 0
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... well as fucking – and to wonder how the man who had written that music could have written them. (Stefan Zweig, publishing the letters in an expurgated private edition in 1931, sent a copy to Freud with the remark that Mozart’s ‘erotic nature . . . more so than that of any other important man, has elements of infantilism and coprolalia.’) The ...

Prophet in a Tuxedo

Richard J. Evans: Walter Rathenau, 22 November 2012

Walther Rathenau: Weimar’s Fallen Statesman 
by Shulamit Volkov.
Yale, 240 pp., £18.99, April 2012, 978 0 300 14431 4
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... where he frequented literary salons and met men like Hugo von Hofmannsthal, Frank Wedekind and Stefan Zweig. He had become well known by 1914, publishing two volumes of essays on subjects ranging from economics to morality. In his essays on art he rejected what he saw as the modernism of the French Impressionists and advocated the revival of a German ...

Poor Rose

Christian Lorentzen: Against Alice Munro, 6 June 2013

Dear Life 
by Alice Munro.
Chatto, 319 pp., £18.99, November 2012, 978 0 7011 8784 2
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... where they can be tucked between, say, a report on the war in Syria and a reconsideration of Stefan Zweig to provide a rural interlude between current atrocities and past masterpieces, or profiles of celebrities or sophisticated entrepreneurs. A slice of sad life in the sticks, filtered through an enlightened eye and most likely set ‘in the old ...

Mann v. Mann

Colm Tóibín: The Brother Problem, 3 November 2011

House of Exile: War, Love and Literature, from Berlin to Los Angeles 
by Evelyn Juers.
Allen Lane, 400 pp., £25, May 2011, 978 1 84614 461 5
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... about the idea of Israel as a homeland for Jewish people: Rather moving news has come from Arnold Zweig in Palestine. I could only answer him by saying that our mother didn’t come two thousand years ago, but around 1860 from Brazil; yet if I wanted to ‘return home’ there, how much would I still recognise? Besides, so I said, it is one of our primary ...

Where on Earth are you?

Frances Stonor Saunders, 3 March 2016

... a passport officer, it’s as if I’ve entered that same world of anxiety and disassociation. As Stefan Zweig put it, I cease to feel as if I quite belong to myself. I split off from my bureaucratic double, and then the passport officer waves me through and I lurch at the insult – you really believe that’s me? They know it’s me. The digital copy ...

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