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Stefan Zweig quotes Showing 1-30 of 547

“Time to leave now, get out of this room, go somewhere, anywhere; sharpen this feeling of happiness and freedom, stretch your limbs, fill your eyes, be awake, wider awake, vividly awake in every sense and every pore.”
Stefan Zweig, The Post-Office Girl
“Nothing whets the intelligence more than a passionate suspicion, nothing develops all the faculties of an immature mind more than a trail running away into the dark.”
Stefan Zweig, The Burning Secret and other stories
“The strength of a love is always misjudged if we evaluate it by its immediate cause and not the stress that went before it, the dark and hollow space full of disappointment and loneliness that precedes all the great events in the heart's history.”
Stefan Zweig, The Burning Secret and other stories
“Only the person who has experienced light and darkness, war and peace, rise and fall, only that person has truly experienced life.”
Stefan Zweig, The World of Yesterday
“He was the kind of young man whose handsome face has brought him plenty of success in the past and is now ever-ready for a new encounter, a fresh-experience, always eager to set off into the unknown territory of a little adventure, never taken by surprise because he has worked out everything in advance and is waiting to see what happens, a man who will never overlook any erotic opportunity, whose first glance probes every woman's sensuality, and explores it, without discriminating between his friend's wife and the parlour-maid who opens the door to him. Such men are described with a certain facile contempt as lady-killers, but the term has a nugget of truthful observation in it, for in fact all the passionate instincts of the chase are present in their ceaseless vigilance: the stalking of the prey, the excitement and mental cruelty of the kill. They are constantly on the alert, always ready and willing to follow the trail of an adventure to the very edge of the abyss. They are full of passion all the time, but it is the passion of a gambler rather than a lover, cold, calculating and dangerous. Some are so persistent that their whole lives, long after their youth is spent, are made an eternal adventure by this expectation. Each of their days is resolved into hundreds of small sensual experiences - a look exchanged in passing, a fleeting smile, knees brushing together as a couple sit opposite each other - and the year, in its own turn, dissolves into hundreds of such days in which sensuous experience is the constantly flowing, nourishing, inspiring source of life.”
Stefan Zweig, The Burning Secret and other stories
“No guilt is forgotten so long as the conscience still knows of it.”
Stefan Zweig, Beware of Pity
“Besides, isn't it confoundedly easy to think you're a great man if you aren't burdened with the slightest idea that Rembrandt, Beethoven, Dante or Napoleon ever lived?”
Stefan Zweig, Chess Story
“How terrible this darkness was, how bewildering, and yet mysteriously beautiful!”
Stefan Zweig, The Burning Secret and other stories
“She was at that crucial age when a women begins to regret having stayed faithful to a husband she never really loved, when the glowing sunset colors of her beauty offer her one last, urgent choice between maternal and feminine love. At such a moment a life that seemed to have chosen its course long ago is questioned once again, for the last time the magic compass needle of the will hovers between final resignation and the hope of erotic experience.”
Stefan Zweig, The Burning Secret and other stories
“All I know is that I shall be alone again. There is nothing more terrible than to be alone among human beings.”
Stefan Zweig, Letter from an Unknown Woman: The Fowler Snared
“In chess, as a purely intellectual game, where randomness is excluded, - for someone to play against himself is absurd ...
It is as paradoxical, as attempting to jump over his own shadow.”
Stefan Zweig, Chess Story
“For the more a man limits himself, the nearer he is on the other hand to what is limitless; it is precisely those who are apparently aloof from the world who build for themselves a remarkable and thoroughly individual world in miniature, using their own special equipment, termit-like.”
Stefan Zweig, Chess Story
“For I regard memory not as a phenomenon preserving one thing and losing another merely by chance, but as a power that deliberately places events in order or wisely omits them. Everything we forget about our own lives was really condemned to oblivion by an inner instinct long ago.”
Stefan Zweig, The World of Yesterday
“There are two kinds of pity. One, the weak and sentimental kind, which is really no more than the heart's impatience to be rid as quickly as possible of the painful emotion aroused by the sight of another's unhappiness, that pity which is not compassion, but only an instinctive desire to fortify one's own soul agains the sufferings of another; and the other, the only one at counts, the unsentimental but creative kind, which knows what it is about and is determined to hold out, in patience and forbearance, to the very limit of its strength and even beyond.”
Stefan Zweig, Beware of Pity
“For this quiet, unprepossessing, passive man who has no garden in front of his subsidised flat, books are like flowers. He loves to line them up on the shelf in multicoloured rows: he watches over each of them with an old-fashioned gardener's delight, holds them like fragile objects in his thin, bloodless hands.”
Stefan Zweig, The Post-Office Girl
“Freedom is not possible without authority - otherwise it would turn into chaos and authority is not possible without freedom - otherwise it would turn into tyranny.”
Stefan Zweig
“Shaken to the depths of your soul, you know that day and night someone is waiting for you, thinking of you, longing and sighing for you - a woman, a stranger. She wants, she demands, she desires you with every fiber of her being, with her body, with her blood. She wants your hands, your hair, your lips, your night and your day, your emotions, your senses, and all your thought and dreams. She wants to share everything with you, to take everything from you, and to draw it in with her breath. Henceforth, day and night, whether you are awake or asleep, there is somewhere in the world a being who is feverish and wakeful and who waits for you, and you are the centre of her waking and her dreaming. It is in vain that you try not to think of her, of her who thinks always of you, in vain that you seek to escape, for you no longer dwell in yourself, but in her. Of a sudden a stranger bears your image within her as though she were a moving mirror - no, not a mirror, for that merely drinks in your image when you offer yourself willingly to it, whereas she, the woman, this stranger who loves you, she has absorbed you into her very blood.”
Stefan Zweig, Beware of Pity
“In this instant, shaken to her very depths, this ecstatic human being has a first inkling that the soul is made of stuff so mysteriously elastic that a single event can make it big enough to contain the infinite.”
Stefan Zweig, The Post-Office Girl
“I hadn't had a book in my hands for four months, and the mere idea of a book where I could see words printed one after another, lines, pages, leaves, a book in which I could pursue new, different, fresh thoughts to divert me, could take them into my brain, had something both intoxicating and stupefying about it.”
Stefan Zweig, Chess Story
“Even from the abyss of horror in which we try to feel our way today, half-blind, our hearts distraught and shattered, I look up again and again to the ancient constellations that shone on my childhood, comforting myself with the inherited confidence that, some day, this relapse will appear only an interval in the eternal rhythm of progress onward and upward.”
Stefan Zweig, The World of Yesterday
“Wer einmal sich selbst gefunden, kann nichts auf dieser Welt mehr verlieren.”
Stefan Zweig
“We are happy when people/things conform and unhappy when they don't. People and events don't disappoint us, our models of reality do. It is my model of reality that determines my happiness or disappointments.”
Stefan Zweig, Chess Story
“Yeryüzünde hiçbir şey insana hiçlik kadar baskı yapamaz”
Stefan Zweig, Chess Story
“We who have been hunted through the rapids of life, torn from our former roots, always driven to the end and obliged to begin again, victims and yet also the willing servants of unknown mysterious powers, we for whom comfort has become an old legend and security, a childish dream, have felt tension from pole to pole of our being, the terror of something always new in every fibre. Every hour of our years was linked to the fate of the world. In sorrow and in joy we have lived through time and history far beyond our own small lives, while they knew nothing beyond themselves. Every one of us, therefore, even the least of the human race, knows a thousand times more about reality today than the wisest of our forebears. But nothing was given to us freely; we paid the price in full.”
Stefan Zweig, The World of Yesterday
“We live through myriads of seconds, yet it is always one, just one, that casts our entire inner world into turmoil, the second when (as Stendhal has described it) the internal inflorescence, already steeped in every kind of fluid, condenses and crystallizes—a magical second, like the moment of generation, and like that moment concealed in the warm interior of the individual life, invisible, untouchable, beyond the reach of feeling, a secret experienced alone. No algebra of the mind can calculate it, no alchemy of premonition divine it, and it can seldom perceive itself.”
Stefan Zweig, Confusion
“He was, like everyone of a strongly erotic disposition, twice as good, twice as much himself when he knew that women liked him, just as many actors find their most ardent vein when they sense that they have cast their spell over the audience, the breathing mass of spectators before them.”
Stefan Zweig, The Burning Secret and other stories
“ولأول مرة في حياتي بدأت اتبين ان الضعف - لا الشر، ولا الوحشية - هو المسئول عن أسوأ الكوارث التي تقع في هذه الدنيا !”
Stefan Zweig, Beware of Pity
“Being sent to bed is a terrible command to all children, because it means the most public possible humiliation in front of adults, the confession that they bear the stigma of childhood, of being small and having a child's need for sleep.”
Stefan Zweig, The Burning Secret and other stories
“Los libros sólo se escriben para, por encima del propio aliento, unir a los seres humanos, y así defendernos frente al inexorable reverso de toda existencia: la fugacidad y el olvido”
Stefan Zweig, Mendel dei libri
“Once a man has found himself there is nothing in this world that he can lose. And once he has understood the humanity in himself, he will understand all human beings.”
Stefan Zweig, Fantastic Night & Other Stories

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