Romain Rolland: The Man and His Workby Stefan Zweig
Since that year, no artist has been the
THE first fifty years of Romain Rolland's life were passed in inconspicuous and almost solitary labors. Thenceforward, his name was to become a storm center of European discussion. Until shortly before the apocalyptic year, hardly an artist of our days worked in such complete retirement, or received so little recognition.
Since that year, no artist has been the subject of so much controversy. His fundamental ideas were not destined to make themselves generally known until there was a world in arms bent upon destroying them.
Envious fate works ever thus, interweaving the lives of the great with tragical threads. She tries her powers to the uttermost upon the strong, sending events to run counter to their plans, permeating their lives with strange allegories, imposing obstacles in their path-that they may be guided more unmistakably in the right course. Fate plays with them, plays a game with a sublime issue, for all experience is precious. Think of the greatest among our contemporaries; think of Wagner, Nietzsche, Dostoievsky, Tolstoi, Strindberg; in the case of each of them, destiny has superadded to the creations of the artist's mind, the drama of personal experience.
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