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. 

Sign Up to our newsletter

Receive free articles, highlights from the archive, news, details of prizes, and much more.

Follow Literary Review on Twitter

  • Last Tweets

    • Tarantino's latest film is 'a fairy tale about Hollywood, where fantasy is an industrial product and the boulevards… ,
    • 'I don’t think we’re here on Earth to be Happy. I think we’re here on Earth to help God. I am a messianic writer'.… ,
    • 'Darley’s book is not a mad dash through this most compelling and complex of English counties. Nor is it another ti… ,
    • 'Moser’s book offers such a gripping account of a profoundly damaged human being, trapped in a cycle of repetition,… ,
    • 'Ideas that I’d thought were set down in full continue to smoulder ... this book is only a snapshot of some larger… ,
    • 'Full of invention which, at its most pedestrian, is eminently Victorian, and at its most unrestrained wildly imagi… ,
    • 'What in other hands could have been a dry, pedantic account of Christianity’s birth and evolution becomes in Holla… ,