Stefan Zweig

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Stefan Zweig
BirthplaceVienna, Austria-Hungary
Novelist, playwright, journalist and biographer

Zweig, Stefan


Born Nov. 28, 1881, in Vienna; died Feb. 22, 1942, in Petrópolis, Brazil. Austrian writer.

Zweig studied Romance and Germanic philology at the universities of Vienna and Berlin. He did a great deal of traveling in Europe, Indochina, North America, and South America. In 1928 he visited the USSR and followed with interest the successes of the building of socialism. During World War I he adopted a pacifist position. He lived abroad from 1934, in Great Britain, the USA, and Brazil. Unable to bear separation from his native country and driven to despair because of the war, Zweig committed suicide.

In his collections of short stories Erstes Erlebnis (1911), Amok (1922), and Conflicts (1927), Zweig sought to penetrate the dark corners of psychology, portraying—sometimes with a touch of melodrama—the complex conflicts in the personal lives of his heroes. His social vision as a writer, however, was limited: his relation to the “little man” did not go beyond compassion and the condemnation of the ugliness of bourgeois mores. The novel Beware of Pity (1939) is similar in tone to his short stories.

An important place in Zweig’s work is occupied by his biographical novels, essays, and sketches. Although not always factually accurate and often arbitrary (sometimes even oversimplified) in describing the life and work of historical persons, such as Stendhal, L. N. Tolstoy, Freud, and Nietzsche, Zweig’s subjective biographies win one over with their inventiveness of critical thought, ability to re-create historical color, and understanding of the psychology of the creative personality. These traits can be seen in his essays about E. Verhaeren (1917) and R. Rolland (1921) and in the cycle of biographies Master Builders (1920–28). Zweig worked for about 30 years on a biography of Balzac, which was published in 1946. The abstractness of Zweig’s humanist views is especially evident in his memoirs, The World of Yesterday (published 1944), and in the collection of speeches, essays, and critical articles entitled Meetings With People, Books, and Cities (1937). His final flashes of faith in courage and the daring of human genius in the novels Conqueror of the Seas: The Story of Magellan (1938) and Americo (published 1942) could not resolve the crisis that for long had dominated Zweig’s work and world outlook.


Ausgewählte Werke, vols. 1–2. Düsseldorf, 1960.
St. Zweig, Fr. Zweig: Briefwechsel. Bern [1951].
R. Strauss, St. Zweig: Briefwechsel. [Frankfurt am Main] 1957.
M. Gorki, St. Zweig: Briefwechsel. Leipzig, 1971.
In Russian translation:
Sobr. soch., vols. 1–12. Foreword by M. Gorky. Leningrad, 1928–32.
Sobr. soch., vols. 1–7. Moscow, 1963. (Introductory article by B. L. Suchkov.)


Lunacharskii, A. V. Foreword to Stefan Zweig, Sobr. soch., vol. 10. Leningrad [1932].
Fedin, K. Pisatel’, Iskusstvo, Vremia. Moscow, 1961.
Suchkov, B. L. Liki vremeni. Moscow, 1976.
Zweig, F. R. Stefan Zweig: Eine Bildbiographie. [Munich, 1961.]
Prater, D. A. European of Yesterday: A Biography of Stefan Zweig. Oxford, 1972.
Klawiter, R. J. Stefan Zweig: A Bibliography. Chapel Hill, N.C. [1965].


References in periodicals archive ?
Stefan Zweig, The World of Yesterday (London: Cassel and Company, 1943), 320.
In contrast to Georges Bernanos, who was constantly beset by financial problems, the Viennese Stefan Zweig had a seemingly easier existence.
Stefan Zweig, Begegnungen mit Menschen Buchern Stadten (Berlin: S.
In his engrossing introduction to this remarkable catalog, Arthur Searle states that the work of the Austrian writer Stefan Zweig (1881-1942) "is not as well known in Britain today as it deserves to be" (p.
There was ambiguity in some of his actions after 1933, although these relate mainly to his choice of Stefan Zweig as collaborator on one opera.
Among the victims were the psychoanalyst Bruno Bettelheim, the writer Stefan Zweig, the psychologist Charlotte BE-hler, the composer Egon Wellesz and the jurist and later prime minister Bruno Kreisky.
Kertesz's work, along with that of Stefan Zweig, Sandor Marai, George Konrad, and others, heirs of Goethe and Tolstoy, represent the last, largely Jewish, flowering of a civil Central European culture, destroyed first by Fascism and then buried by Communism.
Stefan Zweig reconsidered; new perspectives on his literary and biographical writings.
His kindred spirits, for the most part Jews, would be Robert Musil, Joseph Roth, Franz Kafka, Hermann Broch, Stefan Zweig, and others, above all Arthur Schopenhauer.
Beware of Pity,by Stefan Zweig (PushkinPress, pounds 8.
Bujor appears to be a typical teenager who lives at home with her parents in an apartment in Paris -except that she cites Shakespeare,Victor Hugo, Virginia Woolf,and the German Stefan Zweig as her literary influences.
The roll call of emigres who were able to leave Germany, Austria and Hungary after the Nazis came to power reads like a Who's Who of large sections of modem Anglo-American life: Sir Ernst Gombrich, Sir Nikolaus Pevsner, Arthur Koestler, Lord Weidenfeld, Sir Karl Popper, Sir Alexander Korda, Walter Gropius, Ludwig Mies van der Rohe, Stefan Zweig, Schoenberg, Hindemith, Bartok, Milhaud, Max Ernst, Marc Chagall, Salvador Dali, Fritz Lang, Billy Wilder, Albert Einstein, Thomas Mann, Bertolt Brecht and many others.