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The Resource The impossible exile, George Prochnik

The impossible exile, George Prochnik

Label
The impossible exile
Title
The impossible exile
Statement of responsibility
George Prochnik
Title variation
Stefan Zweig at the end of the world
Creator
Author
Subject
Genre
Language
eng
Writing style
Award
National Jewish Book Award, 2014.
Review
  • Drawing on archival and personal material, Prochnik (Putnam Camp ) examines the life of exiled Austrian writer Stefan Zweig (1881–1942) to shed light on the affliction of exile that redefined the lives and works of many intellectuals during WWII. Perhaps best known for his novellas, Zweig, who was Jewish, fled from his native Vienna and spent time abroad (New York, Rio de Janeiro), but was never able to adjust. While Zweig struggled to adapt to life in new countries, he also faced pressures as a high-profile intellectual who was expected to act as a political savior. Meanwhile, he continued to produce new work in a language that had been redefined by the Nazis and gradually went from being one of the world’s most widely read authors to one of diminished recognition. The book pays close attention to Zweig’s two wives: the first, Frederike, who would write a memoir that doubled as his biography; and Lotte, his amanuensis who would commit suicide by his side. Though Prochnik acts as a guiding consciousness throughout the book, he sometimes enters the narrative as a character, sharing personal anecdotes that provides glimpses into modern-day Austria. Though the book would have benefitted from more detailed discussions of Zweig’s fiction and why it warrants revival, this original and often ruminative study should find an appreciative audience. Fans of filmmaker Wes Anderson might also be interested, as Anderson recently said that his new film, Grand Budapest Hotel, is “our own version of a Zweig story.” Photos. Agent: Jin Auh, Wylie Agency. (May) --Staff (Reviewed February 24, 2014) (Publishers Weekly, vol 261, issue 08, p)
  • Little remembered in America, Austrian novelist, playwright, biographer, and intellectual Stefan Zweig (1881–1942) is still well known in Europe, his books routinely best sellers there, observes Prochnik (editor-at-large, Cabinet; In Pursuit of Silence; Putnam Camp ) in his assessment of Zweig's legacy. In the 1930s, before the rise of Nazism in Europe, the prolific Zweig (Decisive Moments in History; Beware of Pity ) was one of the most popular writers in the world. But the last years of Zweig's life were characterized by exile and a fall from grace remarkable—even unprecedented—for an artist of his stature, as he moved from Europe to America to Brazil seeking respite from the erosion of civilization as he knew it. In the autobiographical The World of Yesterday, Zweig describes his increased feeling of detachment as the experience of being pulled "from all roots and from the very earth which nurtures them." Along with his wife, Lotte, he committed suicide in PetrÃ3polis, Brazil, in 1942. VERDICT Accessible, compelling, and thorough without being pedantic, this literary and cultural biography offers keen insight into Zweig's life, particularly his final years. Readers interested in the evolution of literary and intellectual ideas in turn-of-the-century Europe or the biography of a largely forgotten literary force will appreciate Prochnik's compassionate treatment.— Patrick A. Smith, Bainbridge Coll., GA --Patrick A. Smith (Reviewed February 1, 2014) (Library Journal, vol 139, issue 2, p75)
  • Stefan Zweig (1881–1942) stands in for Europe's uprooted intellectuals in this elegiac portrait by Prochnik (In Pursuit of Silence: Listening for Meaning in a World of Noise, 2010, etc.). Zweig was one of the most famous and successful authors in the world in the 1920s and early '30s, best known for his novellas and breezy biographies of historical figures like Erasmus and Marie Antoinette. His fellow Viennese intellectuals might have slightly disdained his wild popularity—except that everyone loved this slight, dapper man with his "genius for friendship." When the Nazis came to power, Zweig was in a much better position that most, with plenty of money to fund his travels as he roamed from Switzerland to southern France to England and the United States in search of a refuge from the fascist madness. His relative comfort, however, could not make up for the trauma of being ejected from the culture that he, like many other German-speaking Jews, had believed belonged to them as well. "The world we loved has gone beyond recall," he gloomily told a fellow refugee in Manhattan in 1941. "We shall be homeless in all countries. We have no present and no future." Prochnik, himself a polymath writer with European Jewish roots, was prompted by the story of his own family, which also fled Nazi-occupied Vienna, to investigate Zweig's experience of exile. Unable to envision himself settled in America despite four stays in New York, Zweig finally moved to a small village in Brazil in 1941, hoping for peace in which to write. Prochnik sensitively considers his final books—the poignant memoir The World of Yesterday (1942) and Brazil: Land of the Future (1941), which determinedly celebrated his adopted country's embrace of "the humanist values his native Europe had so wretchedly betrayed." In the end, accumulating losses and dwindling hopes of a better tomorrow drove Zweig to commit suicide not long after his 60th birthday. Intelligent, reflective and deeply sad portrait of a man tragically cut adrift by history.(Kirkus Reviews, March 1, 2014)
Biography type
individual biography
http://library.link/vocab/ext/novelist/bookUI
10307559
Cataloging source
DLC
http://library.link/vocab/creatorName
Prochnik, George
Dewey number
838.912
Index
no index present
Literary form
non fiction
http://library.link/vocab/resourcePreferred
True
http://library.link/vocab/subjectName
  • Zweig, Stefan
  • Europe
  • Jewish authors
  • Authors, Austrian
http://bibfra.me/vocab/lite/titleRemainder
Stefan Zweig at the end of the world
Label
The impossible exile, George Prochnik
Instantiates
Publication
Carrier category
volume
Content category
text
Control code
000051783099
Dimensions
24 cm.
Extent
390 pages
Isbn
9781590516126
Isbn Type
(hardcover)
Lccn
2013025383
Other physical details
illustrations
System control number
(OCoLC)881464340
Label
The impossible exile, George Prochnik
Publication
Carrier category
volume
Content category
text
Control code
000051783099
Dimensions
24 cm.
Extent
390 pages
Isbn
9781590516126
Isbn Type
(hardcover)
Lccn
2013025383
Other physical details
illustrations
System control number
(OCoLC)881464340

Library Locations

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      669-673 Anzac Parade, Marouba, NSW, 2035, AU
      -33.938111 151.237977
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