2023 Author: Leah Sherlock | [email protected]. Last modified: 2023-11-27 12:28
S. Zweig is known as a master of biographies and short stories. He created and developed his own models of the small genre, different from the generally accepted norms. The works of Zweig Stefan are real literature with elegant language, impeccable plot and images of characters, which impresses with its dynamics and demonstration of the movement of the human soul.
S. Zweig was born in Vienna on November 28, 1881 to Jewish bankers. Stefan's grandfather, the father of Ida Brettauer's mother, was a Vatican banker, his father, Maurice Zweig, a millionaire, was engaged in the sale of textiles. The family was educated, the mother strictly raised her sons Alfred and Stefan. The spiritual basis of the family is theatrical performances, books, music. Despite numerous prohibitions, the boy appreciated personal freedom from childhood and achieved what he wanted.
The beginning of the creative path
He began to write early, the first articles appeared in the journals of Vienna and Berlin in 1900. After the gymnasium, he entered the university at the Faculty of Philology, where he studied Germanic and Romanistic studies. Beingfreshman, published the collection "Silver Strings". Composers M. Reder and R. Strauss wrote music on his poems. At the same time, the first short stories of the young author were published.
In 1904 he graduated from the university with a Ph. D. In the same year he published a collection of short stories "The Love of Erica Ewald" and translations of poems by E. Verharn, a Belgian poet. The next two years, Zweig travels a lot - India, Europe, Indochina, America. During the war, writes anti-war works.
Zweig Stefan is trying to know life in all its diversity. He collects notes, manuscripts, objects of great people, as if he wants to know the course of their thoughts. At the same time, he does not shy away from the "outcasts", the homeless, drug addicts, alcoholics, seeks to know their life. He reads a lot, meets famous people - O. Rodin, R. M. Rilke, E. Verharn. They occupy a special place in Zweig's life, influencing his work.
In 1908, Stefan saw F. Winternitz, they exchanged glances, but remembered this meeting for a long time. Frederica was going through a difficult period, a break with her husband was close. A few years later, they met by chance and, without even talking, recognized each other. After a second chance meeting, Frederika wrote him a letter full of dignity, in which a young woman expresses her admiration for Zweig's translations of The Flowers of Life.
Before linking their lives, they met for a long time, Frederica understood Stefan, treated him warmly and carefully. He is calm and happy with her. Separated, they exchanged letters. Zweig Stefan is sincere in his feelings, he tells his wife about his experiences, emerging depressions. The couple are happy. Having lived a long and happy 18 years, in 1938 they divorced. Stefan will marry his secretary Charlotte a year later, devoted to him to death both literally and figuratively.
State of mind
Doctors periodically send Zweig to rest from "overwork". But he cannot fully relax, he is known, he is recognized. It is difficult to judge what the doctors meant by "overwork", physical fatigue or mental, but the intervention of doctors was necessary. Zweig traveled a lot, Frederica had two children from her first marriage, and she could not always accompany her husband.
The writer's life is filled with meetings, travels. The 50th anniversary is approaching. Zweig Stefan feels discomfort, even fear. He writes to his friend V. Flyasher that he is not afraid of anything, even death, but he is afraid of illness and old age. He recalls the spiritual crisis of L. Tolstoy: "The wife has become a stranger, the children are indifferent." It is not known whether Zweig had real reasons for concern, but in his mind they were.
The political situation in Europe has heated up. Unknown people searched Zweig's house. The writer went to London, his wife stayed in Salzburg. Perhaps because of the children, perhaps, she remained to solve some problems. But, judging by the letters, the relationship between them seemed warm. The writer became a citizen of Great Britain, wrote tirelessly, but was sad: Hitler was gaining strength,everything collapsed, looming genocide. In May 1933, the writer's books were publicly burned at the stake in Vienna.
Against the background of the political situation, a personal drama developed. The writer was frightened by his age, he was full of worries about the future. In addition, emigration also affected. Despite outwardly favorable circumstances, it requires a lot of mental effort from a person. Zweig Stefan and in England, and in America, and in Brazil was enthusiastically received, treated kindly, his books were sold out. But I didn't want to write. In the midst of all these difficulties, a tragedy occurred with a divorce from Frederica.
In the last letters one feels a deep spiritual crisis: “The news from Europe is terrible”, “I won’t see my home anymore”, “I will be a temporary guest everywhere”, “the only thing left is to leave with dignity, quietly”. On February 22, 1942, he passed away after taking a large dose of sleeping pills. Charlotte passed away with him.
Ahead of time
Zweig often created fascinating biographies at the intersection of art and document. He didn't turn them into anything entirely artistic, or documentary, or true novels. Zweig's determining factor in compiling them was not only his own literary taste, but also the general idea that followed from his view of history. The heroes of the writer were people who were ahead of their time, standing above the crowd and opposing it. From 1920 to 1928, the three-volume "Builders of the World" was published.
- The first volume of The Three Masters about Dickens, Balzac and Dostoyevsky was published in 1920. Such different writers in one book? The best explanation would be a quoteStefan Zweig: the book shows them "as types of world icons who created in their novels a second reality along with the existing one."
- The author dedicated the second book "Struggle against Madness" to Kleist, Nietzsche, Hölderlin (1925). Three geniuses, three destinies. Each of them was driven by some supernatural force into a cyclone of passion. Under the influence of their demon, they experienced a split, when chaos pulls forward, and the soul back to humanity. They end up in madness or suicide.
- In 1928, the last volume of "Three Singers of Their Life" saw the light of day, telling about Tolstoy, Stendhal and Casanova. The author did not accidentally combine these disparate names in one book. Each of them, no matter what he wrote, filled the works with his own "I". Therefore, the names of the greatest master of French prose, Stendhal, the seeker and creator of the moral ideal of Tolstoy, and the brilliant adventurer Casanova, are side by side in this book.
In addition to this cycle, separate essays on R. Rolland (1921), Balzac (1946), E. Verhaarne (1917) have been published.
Zweig's dramas "Comedian", "City by the Sea", "Legend of One Life" did not bring stage success. But his historical novels and stories have gained worldwide fame, they have been translated into many languages and reprinted many times. In the stories of Stefan Zweig, the most intimate human experiences are tactfully and yet frankly described. Zweig's novels are captivating in their plots, full of tension and intensity.
The writer relentlessly convinces the reader thatthe human heart is defenseless, how incomprehensible are human destinies and what crimes or accomplishments passion pushes. These include unique, stylized as medieval legends, psychological novels "Street in the Moonlight", "Letter from a Stranger", "Fear", "First Experience". In "Twenty-Four Hours in the Life of a Woman" the author describes a passion for gain that can kill all living things in a person.
In the same years, collections of short stories "Star of Humanity" (1927), "Confusion of Feelings" (1927), "Amok" (1922) were published. In 1934, Zweig was forced to emigrate. He lived in the UK, USA, the choice of the writer fell on Brazil. Here the writer publishes a collection of essays and speeches "Meetings with People" (1937), a piercing novel about unrequited love "Impatience of the Heart" (1939) and "Magellan" (1938), memoirs "Yesterday's World" (1944).
Separately, it must be said about the works of Zweig, in which historical figures became heroes. In this case, the writer was alien to the conjecture of any facts. He masterfully worked with documents, in any testimony, letter, recollection, he sought out, first of all, the psychological background.
- The book "The Triumph and Tragedy of Erasmus of Rotterdam" includes essays and novels dedicated to scientists, travelers, thinkers Z. Freud, E. Rotterdam, A. Vespucci, Magellan.
- "Mary Stuart" by Stefan Zweig is the best biography of the tragically beautiful and eventful life of the Scottish queen. It is still full of unresolved mysteries to this day.
- In Marie Antoinette, the author spoke about the tragic fate of the queen, who was executed by decision of the Revolutionary Tribunal. This is one of the most truthful and thoughtful novels. Marie Antoinette was pampered by the attention and admiration of the courtiers, her life is a series of pleasures. She had no idea that outside the opera house there was a world steeped in hatred and poverty, which threw her under the knife of the guillotine.
As readers write in their reviews of Stefan Zweig, all his works are incomparable. Each has its own shade, taste, life. Even read-reread biographies are like an insight, like a revelation. It's like reading about a completely different person. There is something fantastic in the writing style of this writer - you feel the power of the word over you and drown in its all-consuming power. You understand that his works are fiction, but you clearly see the hero, his feelings and thoughts.
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