Who killed Stefan Zweig?
Who killed Stefan Zweig?
1942 was the watershed year in which the potency of the Axis was closer of gaining the war. In February, a few weeks after the attack to Pearl Harbor who extended the conflict to the Pacific Ocean, Singapore fell down, and the allied overseas power seemed to crumble like a playing cards castle, postponing the end of a nightmare that in Europe lasted already two years. From a knowledge at a later stage of the ending it is easy to undervalue the gravity of the blow that this supposed, but probably “Europe“, like culture, was never so close to the abyss as then, except perhaps in its darkest and primitive epochs.
It is no wonder that many intelligentsia compromised for ages with the humanism was throwing the towel on having seen that everything for what they had believed and fought he was lacking sense, on having given them the similar destination, it rewards. It was the case of writer Stefan Zweig (1881-1942), who up to Hitler's irruption in scene was the author with major success of the moment. Curiously, the pursuit the first Nazi, and the war later, they plunged it in a half a century negligence, until at the end of the XXth century its work was rescued and re-edited, beginning to recover - of gradual and unstoppable form - the success that the war truncated.
The life and work of Stefan Zweig have been much reviewed lately, almost always from the interest that wakes up its romantic history of ascent and fall. In its posthumous memoirs, The yesterday world, biography the Europe that knew across its experience, and it connects its life of such a way in the events through that he had him to live, that, not to be from the skeptical and biting look of a type like Karl Kraus, one cannot allow removing of the drama of Europe. Stefan Zweig died at the beginning of 1942 one some week after the fall of Singapore, the days in which the war went so far as to threaten to destroy also the remote refuge that he had chosen to flee of the war.
Few persons as he had lived so close through the step of the ancient world order - that of the imperial Europe - to the ruin to which she remained limited after the war, with the addition of being a son of the same region in which the madness Nazi took form, and of having lived in the eye of the hurricane that swept the world that so many curiosity and enthusiasm was waking up in him. In addition to its literary excellence, the vertiginous disappointment of its humanism from the European cultural top to the fraticidio of the continent and of its own generation, feeds the poetic art of its biography, seducing all kinds of readership who find its validity in a reconciled and close Europe (in spite of the holes), which was the sleep of its life.
In the work of Zweig there are histories, novels and biographies in which it grants a special caress to the psychology of the personages, for influence of its teacher Sigmund Freud. And there are essays, which from an almost infantile enthusiasm and curiosity, infect its interest and love for the parents of the European culture: Montagne, Dickens, Dostoievski, Stendhal … would not be completely exaggerated to say for all this that Stefan Zweig was, in addition to a big writer, the first chronicler of Europe.
This text is a summary of the article that we will publish in next Magazine Atticus 19 that we will put at your disposal on October 11.
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