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Three Lives: A Biography of Stefan Zweig

really liked it 4.00  ·  Rating Details  ·  29 Ratings  ·  6 Reviews
My Three Lives was Stefan Zweig’s working title for The World of Yesterday, also published by Pushkin Press, and here Matuschek uses the title to reference the three major phases in Zweig’s life—the years of apprenticeship, the years of success as a professional "working writer" in Salzburg, and finally the years of exile in Britain, the USA and Brazil. Drawing on a wealth ...more
Hardcover, 386 pages
Published September 10th 2013 by Pushkin Press (first published October 31st 2006)
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Reading this biography after finishing Zweig’s own memoirs, The World of Yesterday, I have the impression I am sitting both at the other side of the window through which we looked at the World of Yesterday--for finally I am staring at the man who signed his memoirs--, but also that I am watching a second run of the parade of the foregone age--although this time it is the editor’s edition.

Matuschek refers to Zweig’s memoirs often but he complements them with copious additional documentation, most
Aug 20, 2014 Teresa rated it liked it
A serviceable biography, it helped to fill in the gaps I wondered about after my reading of Zweig's The World of Yesterday. On a frivolous note, it also gave me another facet of how the main character in the movie The Grand Budapest Hotel could be based on Zweig.

Unlike with a biography written by Zweig (see Marie Antoinette: The Portrait of an Average Woman), there is no psychoanalyzing here and Matuschek's sources are clearly laid out. The research that went into this seems impeccable and I app
Jul 13, 2014 Elena rated it it was amazing
Stefan Zweig was one of the most popular and widely read and widely translated authors of the twentieth century, appreciated by the broad reading public as well as by the intellectual elite. He was friends with nearly all the great writers of the age: Rilke, Thomas Mann, Hesse. If he was brilliant, Zweig was his friend. All this fame didn't save him from the terrors of the 20th century. After the Nazis burned his books and forced him to leave his beloved Austria and go into exile, he eventually ...more
M. Sarki
May 09, 2013 M. Sarki rated it really liked it
Though I enjoyed reading this very much and feel I have a better understanding of Stefan Zweig, I do not feel a review of this book imminent or necessary. It would be my suggestion to continue to read everything by and about this interesting writer and person. Ultimately it is a sad tale mostly due to the environment Zweig found himself in. There was no place left to go to escape the ravages of the second world war and in his mind he would never be able to ever go back home.
Aug 30, 2015 Rob rated it really liked it
Apparently Zweig originally wanted to give his memoir The World of Yesterday the title My Three Lives, a structure which Matuschek runs with in shaping this appealing but not wildly revealing biography. The first life is that he lives in Vienna as a child of privilege and enthusiastic man on the literary scene. The second is lived in Salzburg, following his return from Switzerland in the First World War, as he becomes a famous and successful author. The third, only a few years long, is his exile ...more
Malcolm Yarnell
Apr 14, 2014 Malcolm Yarnell rated it really liked it
Matuschek has given us a short but authoritative critical biography of one of the 20th century's most intriguing authors. A must read for anyone interested in Stefan Zweig and a fine addition to the revival of all things Zweig.
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