Thinking the Unthinkable Emotionally and politically, if not yet militarily, the presidency of Donald Trump has had the same impact on the world as the election of Adolf Hitler in 1933 or the assassination of the Archduke Ferdinand in 1914. I dont feel it an exaggeration to echo Zweigs feeling for Montaignes situation of precisely a generation like ours, cast by fate into the cataract of the worlds turmoil. Before Trump, the United States, while often causing great harm in the world, had some claim to moral standing. He had already experienced the political and economic disaster of the First World War and the shame that ensued. Montaigne, Zweig felt accurately or not, was a man who encountered a similar mass deterioration of society. Like Montaigne, Zweig felt We too need to stand the test, to endure one of the most horrifying collapses of humanity, which follows directly one of its most magnificent periods of advancement.
Zweig wrote this in Brazil shortly before he killed himself with his second wife, exiled from the irretrievably ruined European culture he thrived in and treated like his true religion (if you haven't read The World of Yesterday, I can't recommend it more highly if you're interested in Euro culture in the first half of the 20th century). Interesting bits: he flees the plague that kills half of Bordeaux's 34K population, he essentially self-publishes his essays, he travels for nearly two years at age 48 to get away from all the demands of family and land ownership and while away is named mayor without running for office, he essentially locks himself in a tower with a view of his inherited estate and writes, trying to get as close as possible to the core of his life (I've used that phrase before writing about Knausgaard) yet he doesn't consider himself a writer. But the really interesting thing was to read the opening as Zweig parallels his own time with Montaigne's time, thinking all the time of course about our own time, its particular nastiness -- really bad, so bad, bad!
Thank you to Pushkin Collection for re-publishing Stefan Zweig's biography of Montaigne. Zweig's personal, somewhat casual, yet highly informed style of writing for biography totally engaged me in Montaigne's life and also led me to a renewed wish to read the Essays sooner rather than later.
He felt close to Montaigne because he had lived through the violence and intolerance of the religious wars that convulsed Europe in the 16th century and had advocated for civilized values that were in danger of disappearing. The therapy failed - I have the sense that Montaigne remained unfinished at the double suicide of Zweig and his wife on February 22, 1942. (*) Only he who in his own stricken soul must live through a time that with war, violence and tyrannical ideologies threatens his life, and within that life his most valuable substance, his individual liberty, only he knows how much courage, how much honesty and resolve are necessary to remain true to his innermost Self in such times of herd madness.
Zweig, an Austrian Jew, wrote this book after fleeing to South America following the outbreak of World War II and killed himself before completing it. It's quite delightful to see Zweig misquote books and muddle sources while describing the way Montaigne aloofly humblebragged about his own poor memory.
Dito isto, não se pode chamar a um texto que aglutina um conjunto solto de ideias sobre alguém uma biografia.
alnt: Kendi anlattna göre, genç bir insanken, "böbürlenmek" ve bildikleriyle kendini göstermek için okumutur; daha sonra biraz daha bilge olabilsin diye okumutur; imdi ise yalnzca can istedii için okumakta, asla herhangi bir yarar düüncesi beklememektedir. "kiinin kendisini ödünç verebileceini ama ruhunun özgürlüünü kendisi için ayrmas gerektiini" savunmas farkl bir bak açsyd. Bir dönem biryerlere gelebilmek için çabalayan Montaigne'in eserlerinin baslmas sonras belediye bakan olmas, ardndan Navarreli Henri ile III. Evet Matmazel, Montaigne'in yazdklarna tutulmu olabilir ama bir insann yazdklarna balanmakla onun karakterine ak olmak farkl ekler diye düünüyorum.
Among his most famous works are Beware of Pity, Letter from an Unknown Woman, and Mary, Queen of Scotland and the Isles. He also wrote a psychological novel, Ungeduld des Herzens (1938; Beware of Pity), and translated works of Charles Baudelaire, Paul Verlaine, and Emile Verhaeren.