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The Collected Stories of Stefan Zweig
 
 

The Collected Stories of Stefan Zweig [Kindle Edition]

Stefan Zweig , Anthea Bell
4.3 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (6 customer reviews)

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Review

'Shining through this deliciously fat book is [Zweig's] pitch perfect understanding of women, not least in his sublime masterpiece Letter From An Unknown Woman .' Daily Mail

'Wonderfully fluent... All the stories have great charm.' Scotsman

'One of the joys of recent years is the translation into English of Stefan Zweig's stories. They have an astringency of outlook and a mastery of scale that I find enormously enjoyable.'-Edmund de Waal, author of The Hare with the Amber Eyes

'One hardly knows where to begin in praising Zweig's work .'- Nick Lezard

'Zweig belongs with those masters of the novella-Maupassant, Turgenev, Chekhov.'

--Paul Bailey

Product Description

Perfectly paced and brimming with passion-twenty-two tales from a master storyteller of the twentieth century.

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


'One of the joys of recent years is the translation into English of Stefan Zweig's stories. They have an astringency of outlook and a mastery of scale that I find enormously enjoyable.'-Edmund de Waal, author of The Hare with the Amber Eyes

'One hardly knows where to begin in praising Zweig's work .'-Nick Lezard

'Zweig belongs with those masters of the novella-Maupassant, Turgenev, Chekhov.'-Paul Bailey


Stefan Zweig (1881-1942) was born in Vienna, into a wealthy Austrian-Jewish family. He studied in Berlin and Vienna and was first known as a poet and translator, then as a biographer. Zweig travelled widely, living in Salzburg between the wars, and was an international bestseller with a string of hugely popular novellas including Letter from an Unknown Woman, Amok and Fear.

In 1934, with the rise of Nazism, he moved to London, where he wrote his only novel Beware of Pity. He later moved on to Bath, taking British citizenship after the outbreak of the Second World War. With the fall of France in 1940 Zweig left Britain for New York, before settling in Brazil, where in 1942 he and his wife were found dead in an apparent double suicide.

Much of his work is available from Pushkin Press.


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More About the Author

Stefan Zweig (1881-1942) was an Austrian writer who, at the height of his fame in the 1920s and 30s, was one of the most famous authors in the world. Zweig was born into a wealthy Austrian-Jewish family in Vienna, where he attended school and university before continuing his studies on Berlin. A devotee of Hugo von Hoffmanstahl, he had published his first book of poetry by the age of 19. After taking a pacifist stance during the First World War he travelled widely and became an international bestseller with a string of hugely popular novellas including Letter from an Unknown Woman, Amok and Fear. He also developed friendships with great writers, thinkers and artists of the day, including Romain Rolland, Rainer Maria Rilke, Arturo Toscanini and, perhaps most importantly, Sigmund Freud, whose philosophy had a great influence on Zweig's work.

In 1934, with the rise of Nazism, he moved to London. There he began proceedings for the divorce of his first wife Frederika, whom he had left for his secretary Lotte Altmann, a young German-Jewish refugee. In London he also wrote his only novel - his most famous and arguably greatest work, Beware of Pity - before moving to Bath, where, with the outbreak of the Second World War in 1939, he and Lotte took British citizenship. With the German occupation of France in 1940, Zweig, a committed pacifist and advocate of European integration, was devastated. "Europe is finished, our world destroyed," he wrote. Zweig and Lotte married and left Europe for New York, before finally settling in Petrópolis, Brazil, where in 1942 the couple were found dead in an apparent double suicide.

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Customer Reviews

4.3 out of 5 stars
4.3 out of 5 stars
Most Helpful Customer Reviews
10 of 10 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A master of the short story 16 Feb 2014
Format:Hardcover
What a joy to have all of Zweig's short stories in one book. This contains 22 stories written between 1900-1940, spanning most of his writing life. It gives us an overview of his great contribution to the form - which was not easy to grasp when reading the brief and separate collections of his work the Pushkin Press had issued previously. All are translated from the German by that doyen of translators, Anthea Bell, who has done so much for Zweig in the English speaking world - she must surely be today's equivalent of Constance Garnett, who was writing at the same time as Zweig and who brought Turgenev and other great Russian novelists into English for the first time.

From the very first we encounter Zweig's impassioned, heightened, romantic style (it makes the plain, paired-down style favoured in so many novels today seem insipid by comparison). We are plunged into highly dramatic situations (some, perhaps, not wholly plausible) in which the effects on the characters involved, rather than the events, are what counts. Characters are always vividly realised, full of individuality, brilliantly described; invariably, they have reached a crisis point in their lives, are on the brink either of radical change or annihilation; their interior lives are what interests him most, events creating revelations and re-evaluations. Many of his characters are, in a Dostoevskian sense, under extremes of internal pressure.

Love, death, humanity - these are the great themes that irradiate his work; he draws you into human dramas with effortless ease and great narrative art.
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5.0 out of 5 stars Five Stars 9 July 2014
Format:Kindle Edition|Verified Purchase
These are superbly crafted stories from the interwar years that are so pertinent to our own times.
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4.0 out of 5 stars Unmissable for Zweig's fans 12 Jun 2014
Format:Kindle Edition|Verified Purchase
Some of these stories were slightly over the top and melodramatic for today's taste, but most of them were gems of literature (thank you translator Anthea Bell who cannot be praised enough) and insight into the human condition and the psychological reasons why things don't always go in a straightforward predictable fashion. Great read.
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