Adepts in Self-Portraiture: Casanova, Stendhal, Tolstoy

Adepts in Self-Portraiture: Casanova, Stendhal, Tolstoy

by Stefan Zweig
     
 
Written in the 1920s, Zweig's work of literary criticism and biography might today be titled Masters of Memoir. In it, Stefan Zweig – one of the 20th century's most widely-published writers – describes the creative process and work of authors for whom no subject is as compelling as the material of their own lives.

Adepts in Self-Portraiture examines the lives

Overview

Written in the 1920s, Zweig's work of literary criticism and biography might today be titled Masters of Memoir. In it, Stefan Zweig – one of the 20th century's most widely-published writers – describes the creative process and work of authors for whom no subject is as compelling as the material of their own lives.

Adepts in Self-Portraiture examines the lives and work of three men who represent, in Zweig's view, three levels of development in autobiographical writing. The first and most basic level is evinced by Giacomo Casanova, the Venetian womanizer who records his sexual and social conquests, adventures and escapes, without attempting to analyze or even reflect on them. The second level of self-portraiture is exemplified by Stendhal, the French pioneer of psychological fiction, who kept voluminous notebooks on his own experience of life and on whom no nuance of feeling seems to have been lost. Russian master Leo Tolstoy represents the third and highest level of autobiographical writing in which the psychological is imbued with the spiritual and ethical.

In Adepts, Stefan Zweig examines the impulses that give rise to life writing and anticipates the current popularity of the memoir form.

(Cover: Self-Portrait by Susan Erony, oil, acrylic, burnt paper on canvas, 2000, 24" x 18", Collection Cape Ann Museum)

Product Details

ISBN-13:
2940013463172
Publisher:
Plunkett Lake Press
Publication date:
11/30/2011
Sold by:
Barnes & Noble
Format:
NOOK Book
Pages:
410
File size:
644 KB

Meet the Author

Stefan Zweig (1881-1942) was the most widely read German-language author of the twentieth century. Zweig was a secular Jew, a Pan-European and a pacifist. He was born in Vienna on November 28, 1881 and studied there and in Berlin. As a young man, he translated French poetry by Verlaine, Baudelaire, and Verhaeren into German. He quickly branched out into journalism, fiction, biography and writing for the theater. His plays, including the anti-war Jeremiah, were produced throughout Europe. His books were eventually translated into over 50 languages.

Today, he is best known for his many works of non-fiction. They include the classic memoir The World of Yesterday (also available as an eBook from Plunkett Lake Press) and many biographical essays on famous writers and thinkers such as Erasmus, Tolstoy, Nietzsche, Dostoyevsky, Dickens, Freud and Mesmer. He lived in Salzburg with his first wife Friderike until 1933, when his books were burned by the Nazis. In 1934, he emigrated to England where he continued writing and met his second wife Lotte Altman. In 1940, the couple moved to Brazil where they committed suicide in 1942.

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