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 ?
Si Stefan Zweig, consideraba que "para los judios orientales, Alemania nunca ha dejado de ser la patria de Goethe y Schiller, de los poetas alemanes que cualquier adolescente judio deseoso de aprender conoce mejor que nuestros bachilleres de la cruz gamada".
Stefan Zweig y Manuel Chaves Nogales viajaron por primera vez a la Union Sovietica en la segunda mitad del ano 1928.
Because of its brevity and intensity, the form has attracted political exiles, like Stefan Zweig, who escaped from the Holocaust to Brazil before committing suicide with his wife there.
My mother and father were Jewish only through accident of birth,' declared Stefan Zweig, many of whose evocative novels about the city during this era have recently been republished.
Este cliche se viene repitiendo al menos desde 1941, cuando el novelista austriaco Stefan Zweig publico el libro Brasil: un pais de futuro.
Cuando Gabriela Mistral supo del suicidio de su amigo el novelista vienes Stefan Zweig, en Petropolis, Brasil, convencido de la victoria de la Alemania nazi, dijo: "murio de Guerra".
Es justo citarlas: Retrato de Balzac, de Theophile Gautier; Balzac, de Jaime Torres Bodet, y Honore de Balzac, de Stefan Zweig.
The novelists I love are the ones who were writing after the collapse of the Austro-Hungarian empire, Kafka, Joseph Roth, Stefan Zweig - the latter two were such wonderful storytellers.
Stefan Zweig (1881-1942) was an Austrian novelist, playwright, journalist, and biographer whose essays on three of the most influential French, British, and Russian literary figures of their times are compiled in "Balzac, Dickens, Dostoevsky: Master Builders of the Spirit".
Translator Anthea Bell, who was awarded an OBE in the New Year honours for services to literature and to literary translations, has won the Times Literary Supplement's Schlegel-Tieck prize for German translation, for her work on Burning Secret by Stefan Zweig.
In July 1941, the famous Austrian-Jewish writer Stefan Zweig hastily penned an autobiography.
The pacifist and humanist Stefan Zweig was one of the most read and translated German speaking authors at the beginning of the twentieth century.