The great Austrian writer Stefan Zweig was a master anatomist of the deceitful heart, and Beware of Pity, the only novel he published during his lifetime, uncovers the seed of selfishness within even the finest of feelings.Hofmiller, an Austro-Hungarian cavalry officer stationed at the edge of the empire, is invited to a party at the home of a rich local landowner, a world away from the dreary routine of the barracks. The surroundings are glamorous, wine flows freely, and the exhilarated young Hofmiller asks his host--s lovely daughter for a dance, only to discover that sickness has left her painfully crippled. It is a minor blunder that will destroy his life, as pity and guilt gradually implicate him in a well-meaning but tragically wrongheaded plot to restore the unhappy invalid to health.
Chess Story, also known as The Royal Game, is the Austrian master Stefan Zweig's final achievement, completed in Brazilian exile and sent off to his American publisher only days before his suicide in 1942. It is the only story in which Zweig looks at Nazism, and he does so with characteristic emphasis on the psychological.Travelers by ship from New York to Buenos Aires find that on board with them is the world champion of chess, an arrogant and unfriendly man. They come together to try their skills against him and are soundly defeated. Then a mysterious passenger steps forward to advise them and their fortunes change. How he came to possess his extraordinary grasp of the game of chess and at what cost lie at the heart of Zweig's story.This new translation of Chess Story brings out the work's unusual mixture of high suspense and poignant reflection.
In this magnificent collection of Stefan Zweig's short stories the very best and worst of human nature are captured with sharp observation, understanding and vivid empathy. Ranging from love and death to faith restored and hope regained, these stories present a master at work, at the top of his form.Translated by the award-winning Anthea Bell
A young man who is rapidly going to the dogs in Berlin is packed off by his father to a university in a sleepy provincial town. There a brilliant lecture awakens in him a wild passion for learning--as well as a peculiarly intense fascination with the graying professor who gave the talk. The student grows close to the professor, becoming a regular visitor to the apartment he shares with his much younger wife. He takes it upon himself to urge his teacher to finish the great work of scholarship that he has been laboring at for years and even offers to help him in any way he can. The professor welcomes the young man's attentions, at least on some days. On others, he rages without apparent reason or turns away from his disciple with cold scorn. The young man is baffled, wounded. He cannot understand. But the wife understands. She understands perfectly. And one way or another she will help him to understand too.
'I alone know that I am only just beginning to live.'He is distinguished, rich, a member of fashionable society-utterlybored. But, over the course of one fantastic night, a young Baron becomes a thief, unashamed, and awakes to life for the first time.This collection is full of tales of infinite passions, of intense encounters that transform lives, a knock on a door that forces a whole community to take flight, a doomed attempt to save a soul poisoned by addiction, a love soured into awful cruelty, of longing and liberation. They are the gripping work of a master storyteller, unmatched and completely unforgettable.
This is the story of about the strangest thing that I've ever encountered, old art dealer that I am.'It is perhaps the finest art collection of its kind, acquired through a lifetime of sacrifice - but when a dealer comes to see it, he finds something quite unexpected, and is drawn into a peculiar deception of the collector himself...Stefan Zweig was a wildly popular writer of compelling short fiction: in this collection there are peaks of extraordinary emotion, stories of all that is human crushed by the movements of history, of letters that fill a young heart or drive a person towards death, of obsession and desire. They will stay with the reader for ever.
These four Stefan Zweig stories newly translated by the award-winning Anthea Bell, are among his most celebrated and compelling work. The titular tale is a devastating depiction of unrequited love, which inspired a classic Hollywood film, directed by Max Ophüls and starring Joane Fontaine.Elsewhere in the collection, a young man mistakes the girl he loves for her sister, two erstwhile lovers meet after an age spent apart, and a married woman repays a debt of gratitude to her childhood sweetheart. Expertly paced, laced with the acutely accurate psychological detail and empathy that are Zweig's trademarks, this is a powerful addition to Pushkin's growing collection of his work.
The Portuguese explorer Ferdinand Magellan (1480-1521) is one of the most famous navigators in history - he was the first man to sail from the Atlantic to the Pacific Ocean, and led the first voyage to circumnavigate the globe, although he was killed en route in a battle in the Philippines.In this biography, Zweig brings to life the Age of Discovery by telling the tale of one of the era's most daring adventurers. In typically flowing and elegant prose he takes us on a fascinating journey of discovery ourselves.
Mary Stuart Queen of Scots, Queen of France and a claimant to the throne of England, was condemned for treason and executed at the age of forty-four. A potential threat to the stability of the English Crown, she was held captive for twenty years by her cousin Elizabeth I, Queen of England. From the moment of her birth until her execution, her life was spent embroiled in the power struggles that shook the foundations of Renaissance Europe.It has taken the free spirit and the immense talent of Stefan Zweig to justly reconstruct events in the life of a woman who was so cruelly united with destiny. With all the rigor of a scientist and the passion of an artist, Zweig has skillfully reconstituted the character of Mary Stuart and the turmoil that was her fate.
Stefan Zweig was a leading talisman of a united Europe of unfettered movement, of pro-active cultural exchange, humane decency and tolerance, all polar opposites of the Nationalist regimes he loathed, and which came to power in the 1930s. In these poignant essays and addresses, forged in the last years or even months of his life, he shows his profound concern for and dedication to the survival of Europe's spiritual integrity.These essays form the natural accompaniment to Zweig's renowned memoir The World of Yesterday, registering the same themes and evoking the same nostalgia for a world brutally consigned to history. They can be seen as a vital addendum to that major work or as a prefiguration. But perhaps even more so than the prose of the memoir, these essays, few in number but rich in content, reveal the essence of Zweig's thought.
Written during the Second World War, Zweig's typically passionate and readable biography of Michel de Montaigne, is also a heartfelt argument for the importance of intellectual freedom, tolerance and humanism. Zweig draws strong parallels between Montaigne's age, when Europe was torn in two by conflict between Catholicism and Protestantism, and his own, in which the twin fanaticisms of Fascism and Communism were on the verge of destroying the pan-continental liberal culture he was born into, and loved dearly. Just as Montaigne sought to remain aloof from the factionalism of his day, so Zweig tried to the last to defend his freedom of thought, and argue for peace and compromise. One of the final works Zweig wrote before his suicide, this is both a brilliantly impassioned portrait of a great mind, and a moving plea for tolerance in a world ruled by cruelty.From the Trade Paperback edition.
2009 PEN Translation Prize FinalistThe logic of capitalism, boom and bust, is unremitting and unforgiving. But what happens to human feeling in a completely commodified world? In The Post-Office Girl, Stefan Zweig, a deep analyst of the human passions, lays bare the private life of capitalism.Christine toils in a provincial post office in post-World War I Austria, a country gripped by unemployment. Out of the blue, a telegram arrives from Christine's rich American aunt inviting her to a resort in the Swiss Alps. Christine is immediately swept up into a world of inconceivable wealth and unleashed desire. She feels herself utterly transformed: nothing is impossible. But then, abruptly, her aunt cuts her loose. Christine returns to the post office, where yes, nothing will ever be the same.Christine meets Ferdinand, a bitter war veteran and disappointed architect, who works construction jobs when he can get them. They are drawn to each other, even as they are crushed by a sense of deprivation, of anger and shame. Work, politics, love, sex: everything is impossible for them. Life is meaningless, unless, through one desperate and decisive act, they can secretly remake their world from within.Cinderella meets Bonnie and Clyde in Zweig's haunting and hard-as-nails novel, completed during the 1930s, as he was driven by the Nazis into exile, but left unpublished at the time of his death. The Post-Office Girl, available here for the first time in English, transforms our image of a modern master's achievement.
Ten turning points in history, vividly sketched by the great Stefan Zweig "Such dramatically concentrated, such fateful hours, in which a timeless decision hangs on a single date, a single hour, even just a single minute, rarely occur in everyday life, and only rarely in the course of history. " One of the twentieth century's great humanists and a hugely popular fiction writer, Stefan Zweig's historical works bring the past to life in brilliant Technicolor. This collection contains ten typically breathless and erudite dramatizations of some of the most pivotal episodes in human history. From General Grouchy's failure to intervene at Waterloo, to the miraculous resurrection of George Frideric Handel, this, Stefan Zweig's selection of historical turning points, newly translated by Anthea Bell, is idiosyncratic, fascinating and as always hugely readable.
The Struggle with the Daemon is a brilliant analysis of the European psyche by the great novelist and biographer Stefan Zweig. Zweig studies three giants of German literature and thought: Friedrich Ho¨lderlin, Heinrich von Kleist and Friedrich Nietzsche - powerful minds whose ideas were at odds with the scientific positivism of their age; troubled spirits whose intoxicating passions drove them mad but inspired them to great works. In their struggle with their inner creative force, Zweig reflects the conflict at the heart of the European soul - between science and art, reason and inspiration.Both highly personal and philosophically wide-ranging, this is one of the most fascinating of Zweig's renowned biographical studies.From the Trade Paperback edition.
Following the death of her husband, a middle-aged Englishwoman travels through Europe to escape loneliness and boredom. One evening during her stay at the French Riviera, while enjoying the atmosphere of the Monte Carlo Casino, she becomes mesmerized by the obsessive gambling of a young Polish aristocrat. This fateful encounter leads to passion, despair and death, changing both their lives forever.
Twilight is the story of a fashionable lady who is banished from Versailles by the king. She tries to make the best of living on her country estate, but although she entertains lovers and friends from Paris, she comes to find it intolerable. Life at court, for all its essential emptiness, was the only thing that gave her existence meaning, and she moves inexorably towards suicide. In Moonbeam Alley, a traveller delayed in a French port explores the sailors' quarter. Enticed by a voice singing an aria, to a bar near the harbour, he learns the story of those who run it and frequent it: a tale of violence, unrequited passion, and a marriage that is no true marriage.From the Trade Paperback edition.
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