The Mysterious World of Stefan Zweig

The turbulent life of the popular Austrian novelist who escaped the Nazis—but could not escape himself.

Issue: July-August 2014

George Prochnik, The Impossible Exile: Stefan Zweig at the End of the World (New York: Other Press, 2014), 408 pp., $27.95.

 

IN JOSEPH Roth’s novel Radetzky March, Count Chojnicki drives district captain Franz von Trotta and his son Carl Joseph, a lieutenant in the Austrian infantry, in a straw-yellow britska to his small hunting lodge in the Galician forest near the border with Ukraine. After pouring glasses of 180 proof, Chojnicki disconcerts his two guests by declaring that the Habsburg Empire is doomed:

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