Evelyn Juers

Now, Voyager

The Impossible Exile: Stefan Zweig at the End of the World

By

Other Press 390pp £19.99 order from our bookshop

Stefan Zweig died in Brazil on 22 February 1942 in a suicide pact with his second wife, Lotte. In biographical accounts of Zweig we generally meet a worldly man blessed with inherited wealth, a stellar cast of friends, talent and the immense popularity of his books. Like so many others in his generation of German-speaking writers, he was deracinated by the mid-20th century’s mounting catastrophes.

Born in 1881, Zweig spent his life travelling: to France, Germany, Belgium, Italy, Spain, Holland, Algeria, India and Indochina, North and South America, Switzerland, Eastern Europe and Russia, Scotland and England. His contemporaries called him the Flying Salzburger. In a chapter in The Impossible Exile entitled ‘Traveling Womb’, George Prochnik investigates Zweig’s relentless roaming more closely and associates it with his childhood insecurities – above all his mother’s oddities and restlessness. Prochnik catches him en route and observes him in places where he settled for longer or shorter periods. 

Follow Literary Review on Twitter

  • Last Tweets

    • A treat from the LR Archive: exactly 20 years ago, Malcolm Bradbury reviewed John Updike's 'Bech at Bay' ,
    • ‘When bullets come close, the noise they make as they go past changes from a zing to a crack’ John Lanchester's dy… ,
    • Man with a Bloody Paintbrush: Robin Simon on Lucian Freud ,
    • Jane Ridley reviews The Diaries of Kenneth Rose (ed. D R Thorpe) ,
    • ‘Look,’ says Trump. ‘The fact is I’m only human.’ On the evidence of this book that point is debatable. From the A… ,
    • From our December/January issue - here's John Banville's review of Colm Tóibín on the fathers of Wilde, Yeats and J… ,
    • Hi , we would love to review 'Death of the Vazir-Mukhtar' in our next issue! Please could you get in… ,