Reblogged: A librettist and his composer: Stefan Zweig and Richard Strauss as seen through their letters (guest post by Kimberly Taylor)

Stefan Zweig, ca. 1935. Photographer unknown. Stefan Zweig Collection, Reed Library Archives & Special Collections.

In February 1935, Austrian Stefan Zweig (1881-1942), commonly regarded as the most translated German language author of his time, wrote to German composer Richard Strauss (1864-1949), “One day, your letters, your decisions, will belong to all mankind.” (Richard Strauss and Stefan Zweig, A confidential matter: the letters of Richard Strauss and Stefan Zweig, 1935-1935, trans. Max Knight. Berkeley: University of California Press, 1977, 67.) Having recently completed the libretto for Strauss’s opera “Die schweigsame Frau”, this solemn admonition was a response to Strauss’s suggestion that, due to political developments, the two might do well to continue their artistic collaborations in secret. Aware of the impending jeopardy in which his association with Zweig – a Jewish writer with a now-dangerously high profile – was sure to place him, Strauss …

Source: A librettist and his composer: Stefan Zweig and Richard Strauss as seen through their letters (guest post by Kimberly Taylor)

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Save the dates for “Zweig at Fredonia 2016” this October 3-5!

Continuing the recent surge of interest in the Austrian Jewish author Stefan Zweig (1881-1942) since Wes Anderson’s The Grand Budapest Hotel, including the premiere of an Austrian biopic selected as that country’s Oscar foreign-language submission (Vor der Morgenröte/Stefan Zweig: Farewell to Europe), and a host of new critical studies worldwide, Zweig returns to Fredonia this Fall!

Dates and times are now set for the upcoming celebration “Zweig at Fredonia 2016”. Exploring Zweig’s lifelong fascination with music, particularly his collaborative relationship with Richard Strauss (1864-1949) as librettist for Strauss’s opera Die schweigsame Frau, events will include a panel discussion, an exhibit featuring manuscript correspondence between the respective literary and musical giants, a musical performance, and the 4th Biennial Stefan Zweig Lecture.

Please see details below and join us in October!

Zweig at Fredonia 2016
Dates: 3-5 October 2016
Location:  The campus of The State University of New York at Fredonia, Fredonia, NY
Contacts: Birger Vanwesenbeeck (vanweseb@fredonia.edu), Kim Taylor (taylokr@fredonia.edu)

3 October 2016
Daniel A. Reed Library Garden Area

3:30 pm, Zweig and Strauss: A Continuing Conversation
Faculty panel led by musicologist Dr. Matthew Werley (Oxford) with Fredonia School of Music Faculty Dr. Bernd Gottinger and Dr. Anne Kissel, among others. Dr. Werley is currently a Gerda Henkel Stiftung Research Fellow at the renowned Richard Strauss Institute in Garmisch-Partenkirchen, Germany and is also co-editing (with Dr. Jeffrey B. Berlin) a forthcoming critical edition of newly translated correspondence between Strauss and Zweig.

5:00 pm, Zweig and Strauss: Artistic Collaboration in a Time of War
Opening of manuscript exhibit featuring correspondence between Strauss and Zweig from Fredonia’s prized Stefan Zweig Collection. The exhibit is co-curated by Dr. Birger Vanwesenbeeck, Associate Professor of English, and Kim Taylor, Coordinator of Archives & Special Collections, with assistance from current English undergraduate and graduate students at Fredonia. Exhibit runs 3-27 October 2016.

4 October 2016
Rosch Recital Hall

8:00 pm, Selected Songs and Arias of Richard Strauss
Fredonia School of Music faculty Dr. Anne Kissel and Dr. Angela Haas will be joined by School of Music students in a performance of songs and arias of Richard Strauss, including selections from Die schweigsame Frau (libretto by Stefan Zweig), composed during Strauss’s tenure as head of the Reichsmusikkammer (Reich Music Chamber) under the Nazi regime, and excerpts from the Strauss-Zweig correspondence.

5 October 2016
Rosch Recital Hall

6:00 pm, 4th Biennial Stefan Zweig Lecture
Keynote lecture by award-winning author George Prochnik. Prochnik is well known for his biographical treatment of Stefan Zweig, The Impossible Exile: Stefan Zweig at the End of the World (2014), from which filmmaker Wes Anderson loosely drew inspiration for his film The Grand Budapest Hotel. In 2014 NPR’s Robert Siegel interviewed Prochnik, discussing both Anderson’s film and the author’s then forthcoming book (listen here). Prochnik’s other works include In Pursuit of Silence: Listening for Meaning in a World of Noise (2010) and Putnam Camp: Sigmund Freud, James Jackson Putnam and the Purpose of American Psychology (2006).

All events are free and open to the public.

For directions and lodging information, please go here.

Website: http://fredonia.libguides.com/archives/zweig
Blog: https://zweigatfredonia.com/
Twitter: @FREDarchives

Zweig at Fredonia 2016 is sponsored with the generous support of Reed Library, the Carnahan-Jackson Endowment Fund, The English Department’s Mary Louise White Fund, and the Dean of the College of Liberal Arts and Sciences.

 

The views and opinions expressed in this page are strictly those of the page author(s).  The contents of this page have not been reviewed or approved by The State University of New York at Fredonia.
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Zweig at Fredonia 2016, October 3-5, 2016, “Zweig and Strauss: Artistic Collaboration in a Time of War”

 

Stefan Zweig, ca. 1938, The Stefan Zweig Collection, Daniel A. Reed Library Archives & Special Collections, State University of New York at Fredonia

Stefan Zweig, ca. 1938
The Stefan Zweig Collection
Daniel A. Reed Library
Archives & Special Collections
The State University of New York at Fredonia

 

Please join the Archives & Special Collections of Reed Library, the Department of English and the School of Music at The State University of New York at Fredonia in a celebration of Stefan Zweig and music at the upcoming Zweig at Fredonia 2016 schedule of events to be held October 3-5, 2016 on the campus of Fredonia in Fredonia, NY: “Zweig and Strauss: Artistic Collaboration in a Time of War”.

Matthew Werley

Matthew Werley

Highlighting Zweig’s lifelong fascination with music, this three-day event will commence October 3 on Fredonia’s campus with a panel discussion investigating the collaborative relationship between Zweig and German composer Richard Strauss. The panel will be led by noted historical musicologist and Zweig scholar Dr. Matthew Werley.  Currently a Research Fellow at the renowned Richard-Strauss-Institut in Garmisch-Partenkirchen, Germany, Dr. Werley is co-editing, together with Dr. Jeffrey B. Berlin, a forthcoming critical edition of newly translated correspondence between Strauss and Zweig.

A post-panel reception at Fredonia’s Reed Library on the evening of October 3 will open an exhibition featuring select items from Fredonia’s renowned Stefan Zweig Collection illustrating Zweig’s personal connections to contemporary composers (Strauss, Bruno Walter, Arturo Toscanini, among others) in both creative and intellectual terms. The exhibit will also attempt to portray Zweig’s position in relation to the increasingly hostile environment of Nazi Germany within which artistic and musical expression struggled to survive, including a somewhat cryptic telegram sent from Strauss to Zweig on the 1935 premiere in Dresden of Strauss’ opera Die schweigsame Frau (The Silent Woman) for which Zweig himself famously wrote the libretto.

On the evening of October 4, Fredonia School of Music faculty and students will perform excerpts from Die schweigsame Frau, which Strauss composed during his tenure as head of the Reichsmusikkammer under the Nazi regime. Strauss’ decision to commission Zweig as his librettist for the opera would ultimately harbinger his resignation from the post under acute Nazi pressure.

George Prochnik.

George Prochnik
© Elisabeth Prochnik

Finally, on October 5, Fredonia welcomes the return of renowned author and Zweig biographer George Prochnik (The Impossible ExileOther Press, 2014) as he delivers the keynote 4th Biennial Stefan Zweig Lecture in Fredonia’s Rosch Recital Hall. Prochnik previously participated in the 2009 Zweig Symposium at Fredonia where he presented his paper “The Netherworld of Yesterday: An Imaginary Conversation between Stefan Zweig and Hannah Arendt” (listen to the podcast here). A brief conversation between Prochnik and Paul Holdengräber at the New York Public Library can be viewed here.

Please subscribe to the Zweig at Fredonia blog or follow us on twitter (@FREDArchives) for regular updates on the Zweig at Fredonia 2016 events. Questions may be directed to Dr. Birger Vanwesenbeeck (Birger.Vanwesenbeeck@fredonia.edu), Associate Professor of English at Fredonia, or Kim Taylor (taylokr@fredonia.edu), Coordinator of Archives & Special Collections at Fredonia.

From the Zweig Collection at Fredonia

Letter from Stefan Zweig to Richard Strauss (13 December 1934) in which he expresses his concerns about a German premiere of Die schweigsame Frau.

The Stefan Zweig Collection, Correspondence Box 11, no. 292A-2
Reed Library Archives & Special Collections, The State University of New York at Fredonia

 

The views and opinions expressed in this page are strictly those of the page author(s).  The contents of this page have not been reviewed or approved by The State University of New York at Fredonia.

 

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New Film on the Life of Stefan Zweig, “Vor der Morgenröte” (“Stefan Zweig: Farewell to Europe”)

German director Maria Schrader’s new film on Stefan Zweig’s life as an exile in Brazil, “Vor der Morgenröte” (“Stefan Zweig: Farewell to Europe”), recently premiered in Leipzig and is continuing its run in theaters across Germany. In an interview with Deutsche Welle’s Jochen Kürten, Schrader comments on the correlation between Zweig’s own feelings of displacement as an émigré with that of the current refugee crisis in Europe and the resonance such themes hold for contemporary viewers. The film, featuring Austrian actor Josef Hader in the role of Zweig, further explores Zweig’s persistent refusal to take a political stance as events unfolded in wartime Europe. The topic is one of continued debate and interest among Zweig scholars today, and Schrader’s film offers a welcome reexamination of the internal conflict Zweig so obviously experienced during the final years of his life.

© X Verleih

Another brief trailer from DW, along with clips of interviews with Schrader and Hader can be viewed here.

The views and opinions expressed in this page are strictly those of the page author(s).  The contents of this page have not been reviewed or approved by the State University of New York at Fredonia.
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Freud and the Iceberg Metaphor

The recent “Google doodle” celebrating the 160th anniversary of Sigmund Freud’s birth presents a welcome opportunity to highlight not the influence Freud exerted on Stefan Zweig, as seen in such works as Der Amokläufer (Amok, 1922) and Schachnovelle (The Royal Game, 1942), but the effect Zweig himself may have had on the legacy of psychoanalysis.

The iceberg metaphor attributed to this day to Freud as his visual explanation of the unconscious mind may well be more accurately ascribed to his longtime friend and correspondent Stefan Zweig. As pointed out by Fredonia Professor of English Birger Vanwesenbeeck in his essay, “A Stefan Zweig Revival?”, the symbol of the iceberg, which nowhere appears in Freud’s own writings, may well have stuck to psychoanalysis as a result of Zweig who employs it in his book on Freud, Die Heilung durch den Geist (Mental Healers, 1931).¹

In this work, Zweig describes “the destructive possibilities of an iceberg only upon the ground of what is visible above the surface of the water, whereas nine-tenths of the colossus lie beneath the waves” in reference to the unconscious depths and power of the human mind.² Vanwesenbeeck’s study underscores both the collaborative respect and influence both individuals had on one another, as well as the impact that Zweig may well have exerted on one of the most enduring tropes of modern-day psychology.

From the Zweig Collection at Fredonia

The first page of Worte am Sarge Sigmund Freuds, Zweig’s eulogy to Freud, given in London on 26 September 1939.

Freud eulogy001

The Stefan Zweig Collection, H206
Daniel A. Reed Library Archives & Special Collections
State University of New York at Fredonia

References

  1. Birger Vanwesenbeeck, “A Stefan Zweig Revival?” in Stefan Zweig and World Literature: Twenty-First-Century Perspectives, ed. Birger Vanwesenbeeck and Mark H. Gelber (Rochester, New York: Camden House, 2014), 16.
  2. Stefan Zweig, Mental Healers: Franz Anton Mesmer, Mary Baker Eddy, Sigmund Freud, trans. Eden and Cedar Paul (New York: Frederick Ungar, 1962), 292.
The views and opinions expressed in this page are strictly those of the page author(s).  The contents of this page have not been reviewed or approved by the State University of New York at Fredonia.
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“Messages from a Lost World” : new collection of Zweig essays reviewed in The Nation

Translated by Will Stone, Pushkin Press, 2016

Translated by Will Stone, Pushkin Press, 2016

A new collection of essays by Stefan Zweig, Messages from a Lost World (trans. Will Stone, Pushkin Press, 2016), allows readers considerable insight into Zweig’s persistent dedication to the notion of borderless existence, specifically within the countries of the European Union. Zweig penned these writings during a period starting around the outbreak of World War I and extending to a year before his death in 1942. They touch on his vision of European unity (a constant theme during his life), the crumbling of his cherished Viennese culture as fascism gained an ever greater hold, and the conflicted sentiments which attend a precipitate and necessary flight from one’s homeland. As Gavin Jacobson, writer and book critic for The Nation, explains in his recent review of the work, “Zweig’s transnational visions in Messages are a product of his displacement, and a sharp reminder to citizens about the agony of being stateless in the present age of the refugee.” Jacobson’s article traces with deft deliberation the correlation between Zweig’s reinvented Europe and the political climate of today’s EU which may have yet to endure its strongest test of the Schengen Agreement, underscoring Zweig’s prescience in these matters.

Stefan Zweig (standing) with his brother, Alfred, Vienna, ca. 1910. The Stefan Zweig Collection, Daniel A. Reed Library Archives & Special Collections, State University of New York at Fredonia.

Some of the writings in Messages have never before been published, and none of them have appeared in English before now – further testament to Pushkin’s dedication to the expansion of Zweig readership. The Archives & Special Collections at Fredonia holds typescripts and galley proofs for several of the pieces in this volume, including The Sleepless World (Die schlaflose Welt, 1914), The Vienna of Yesterday (Das Wien von gestern, 1940), The Unification of Europe (Einigung Europas, 1934), and History as Poetess (Die Geschichte als Dichterin, 1931), all of which offer researchers a unique opportunity to better understand Zweig’s creative process. Individuals wishing to consult the Stefan Zweig Collection are encouraged to contact the Coordinator of Archives & Special Collections, Kim Taylor.

 

The views and opinions expressed in this page are strictly those of the page author(s).  The contents of this page have not been reviewed or approved by the State University of New York at Fredonia.
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New English Translation of Weidermann Work: Ostende: 1936, Sommer der Freundschaft

A newly published English translation of the work Ostende: 1936, Sommer der Freundschaft (2014) by author and literary reporter for Der Spiegel, Volker Weidermann, centers on the relationship between Zweig and Austrian novelist Joseph Roth and their extensive circle of emigrant friends and acquaintances during the summer of 1936 in the Belgian seaside resort of Ostend.

Stefan Zweig and Josef Roth in Ostende, Belgium. Photography. 1936. (Photo by Imagno/Getty Images)

Currently enjoying heightened attention from literary critics both here in the United States and abroad, Ostend: Stefan Zweig, Joseph Roth, and the summer before the dark (Pantheon Books, 2016) is reviewed here by New York Times book critic Jennifer Senior as “light on its feet, a reverie in a way; when it’s over, you’ll half wonder if you’ve dreamed it … [Weidermann] writes the book as a novel, almost, recreating scenes and channeling characters’ thoughts.” A slightly more extensive review by Tara Isabella Burton for the New Republic can be found here.

Joseph Roth died in Paris in 1939 just before the outbreak of the Second World War, a fact noted by Zweig in his last letter to Friderike dated 22 February 1942: “… remember the good Josef Roth and Rieger, how glad I always was for them, that they had not to go through those ordeals.” Whereas Roth died by natural causes (attributed to his alcoholism), Zweig chose to quietly take leave by his own volition. Ostend recounts an effort, albeit an ultimately doomed one, to reclaim a shred of the familiar and a life as the two friends would have known it prior to the rise of fascism within 20th-century Europe.

Listen to English actor Peter Firth read an abridged version of Ostend on BBC Radio 4.

 

The views and opinions expressed in this page are strictly those of the page author(s).  The contents of this page have not been reviewed or approved by the State University of New York at Fredonia.
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