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La Confusion des sentiments

4.04  ·  Rating details ·  5,192 ratings  ·  495 reviews
Au soir de sa vie, un vieux professeur se souvient de l'aventure qui, plus que les honneurs et la réussite de sa carrière, a marqué sa vie. A dix-neuf ans, il a été fasciné par la personnalité d'un de ses professeurs ; l'admiration et la recherche inconsciente d'un Père font alors naître en lui un sentiment mêlé d'idolâtrie, de soumission et d'un amour presque morbide. ...more
Mass Market Paperback, 124 pages
Published October 2008 by Le Livre de Poche (first published 1927)
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May 17, 2014 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Recommended to Florencia by: Shayan Foroozesh has rests as well as notes. (19)

Master of the novella. Connoisseur of the human soul. His prose tears down the walls that separate the mind from the outside world. It finds its way towards the essence of being. And you will no longer inhabit your own body. You become one of his characters, for better or for worse.

A young man was wasting his life until he had a conversation with his father that enlightened his path. That is how he ended up assisting to a talk with a brilliant professor
Sep 27, 2016 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: those fascinated by life's elucidation of confusion
You should begin by hearing the language in the mouths of the poets who create and perfect it, you must have felt poetry warm and alive in your hearts before we start anatomizing it.

How similar are we to those we teach, to those from whom we learn? This is the exploration. For when we reflect upon our lives, which one of our influencers will we find we've become? And at some point in our youthful, confused naiveté, what could we have overlooked?
And so I, who have spent a lifetime depicting
Jan 04, 2018 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Just finished this little dark gem of a novella about forbidden love and suppressed sexuality. Starts slowly (and a bit wordy) but builds into a moving tale of torturous emotions. This is why I wish they had half stars as really its a 3.5 novella. As after a gently paced beginning, which took a little while to get into, it really grips you and forms one of the most vivid depictions of a mans struggle with his sexuality Ive read. ...more
We live through myriads of seconds, yet it is always one, just one, that casts our entire inner world into turmoil.

Roland, a well respected, older professor who holds an honored place in the ivory towers of academia, recalls his life as a young student, and his relationship to his own professor and mentor at that time-- a man whom he admired, obsessed over and wanted to emulate. He replays memories of his situation as a university student, having had a horrific grievance with his father, renting
Lee Klein
Dec 15, 2013 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Said something like oh man that's awesome when I finished (owing more to the final half-page chapter than the entire novella) but still I'll rate it 4.25 stars rounded down since it sometimes felt melodramatic, sensationalist, hysterical -- a review on here calls Zweig a watered-down Proust or Stendhal but that doesn't hold water for me since the passionate tilt-a-whirl overwrought feints and parries in the French biggies are pronounced and dramatized ad nauseum whereas here they're glossed over ...more
No confusion for me. This was simply impressively bloodless, it reminded me a little of Traumnovelle, in that it felt like a book/novella/long-short story / whatever, that by a weird twist of fate - potentially involving a publisher and a time machine - was written in this case I'd say forty or fifty years after it might have made most impact (view spoiler), since it appears it was written when it was written - though I ...more
Sam Quixote
Nov 29, 2015 rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
Confusion is about a university student who goes from party monster to serious student, becoming obsessed with his charismatic literature teacher who has a dark secret! The two become close as the student helps the teacher write a book on Elizabethan theatre and then things happen.

Confusion is it for me and Stefan Zweig. Chess was a fine novella but everything Ive read since has been mediocre to outright terrible; Confusion is firmly in the latter. Its a self-consciously literary work which,
Stef Smulders
Aug 18, 2017 rated it liked it
A typical product of its era when the unconscious was only just discovered and writers started introducing characters that were tormented by hidden desires, nervous breakdowns, mental diseases. In that sense this novel is a bit outdated. The writing is superb, even in translation, with its long flowing sentences. The story itself is rather predictable, more now than when it was published probably and the subject doesn't shock the reader any more (I hope!). Fortunately Zweig really tries to ...more
Lets see. A slightly annoying narrator serving as a kind of amanuensis to a creative genius. He becomes obsessed, sublimated to the great, enigmatic man. Foreboding shadows creep in. And then a night in a rented room. Cinematic darkness, like music, falls. A Confession.

when suddenly, ashamed and dismayed, I stood before his self-forgetful figure, I felt as if it were only Wagner sitting there, a physical shell in Fausts garment

And the underlying tension?: (view spoiler)
Jul 23, 2019 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Zweig in this novel touches the taboo of his time and today: Homosexuality.
A literature student, Roland, falls in a platonic love with his elderly philology professor at the university. The literary paragons personality diffuses into the blood and heart of Roland. This literary conquest is what will change the life of the Roland once and for all. He is baptized with religious faith and worship to the elderly man and reads night after day in order to be able to touch the spiritual world and the
In the past couple of decades, Austrian writer Stefan Zweig (1881-1942) has gained a new-found readership in the English-speaking world. This is largely thanks to the impassioned advocacy of a handful of independent publishing houses. Foremost amongst these is Pushkin Press, which has published most of Zweig's work in new translations, the majority of them by award-winning translator Anthea Bell.

Zweig enjoyed great popularity during his lifetime and this led some critics to dismiss his works as
Chuck LoPresti
Dec 12, 2012 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
It's easy to dismiss Zweig as a pre-chewed Proust or half-stewed Stendhal and those criticisms are probably more than fair. But I think it's wrong to say that despite the relatively saccharine moments that Zweig doesn't write interesting books. I like Zweig's books the way I like music like the Carpenters. Sure it's all pretty obvious and pointed at a very general audience but there's something so polished and easy to digest that it's hard to ignore the skill on display. Zweig seems to have, at ...more
Adam Dalva
A good novella - surprisingly generous in its sentiment and with some propulsive, anxious scenes. A paragraph toward the end, in particular, is worth clipping. But it is impossible to write about Confusion because the whole thing hinges on a secret that dominates most of the action. There are two main problems:

1: For such a lean thing, exposition overly dominates.
2: It has not aged well despite its forward-thinking. The hints are too broad, the implications too known. This isn't Zweig's fault (I
Dec 27, 2013 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
For if one feels reverent passion even of a pure nature for a woman, it unconsciously strives for physical fulfilment; nature has created an image of ultimate union for it in the possession of the body--but how can a passion of the mind, offered by one man to another and impossible to fulfil, ever find complete satisfaction?
I am very happy to have discovered Zweig thanks to a few of my GR friends (M. Sarki and Lee). He's a very good writer, and I was completely at the mercy of this story the
Sahib Tulsi
Sep 15, 2018 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I cannot help but leave the worlds created by Stefan Zweig with a mingled sense of despair, heartache, ambiguity, and hope. Hope. I asked myself after finishing this novella why a tiny part of my heart cant distance itself from this dangerous word when it is spending time with Stefan Zweigs fiction? The answer lies in something that another enigmatically perceptive writer, Marcel Proust, wrote:

The power of our feelings often suppresses in us that faculty the immense importance of which we are
Sep 03, 2018 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Confusion is properly titled but I will get to that in a bit. As previously noted, Zweig has become one of my top ten favorite authors in just a short while (read 4 of his books now) and it is unusual since I had not ever heard of him and the story of his life.

Let me first deal with what is to some an argumentative topic. Confusion falls within a genre that I would call literary fiction. There are some who will take exception to this distinction but I did borrow it from The Storied Life of A.
Viji  (Bookish endeavors)
Aug 01, 2014 rated it really liked it
Shelves: stefan-zweig
A wonderful story of love and admiration. Zweig beautifully portrays the two different kinds of love,divine and lustful. The admiration that every teenager feels towards his/her teacher and the extremes to which one goes to get that teacher's attention is described in words not much different from what happens in the real world. Intensity of emotions is what marks every work of Zweig,in my opinion. And that intensity is visible throughout the story. With Zweig,no emotion is simple,it's never ...more
Feb 07, 2016 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: my-babies
Amazing book, beautifully written, completely disconnected me from The real world surrounding me and that's what a book should do to it's reader.
Nov 30, 2015 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: europa
I have always held some affection for Zweig, because I think "World of Yesterday" is pretty great, but reading this makes me think that maybe his thing isn't fiction. It didn't really move me, I found it, just okey, which is worse than really bad, because no matter how much he seems to put into it, it didn't move me that much.
I will read his book on Brasil, though, and I hope that book is a better example of what he's like in his true territory, at least for me.
Feb 28, 2018 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
i've read this book previously but the arabic version. it is not the best of Zweigs work.
Nov 21, 2016 rated it really liked it
Confusion by Stefan Zweig

Another version of this note and thoughts on other books are available at:


I am confused...
After reading most of the book, I thought that the hero has an affection for his teacher and vice versa.

Nevertheless, there seems to have been more than I detected.
Yet, in a note posted on YouTube after finishing the first part I have speculated on the undercurrents of this account.

There appeared to be an intimacy that recalled the Ancient
Mar 18, 2011 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
It is easy to see why Zweig was at one time one of the most popular writers in the world. The style (in the hands of translator Anthea Bell) is simple, the plot built from episodes of perfectly sustained and released narrative tension, the characters appearing both believable and completely comprehensible. But these qualities are also flawsthe style too transparent; the characters too complete; the plot too perfect a vehicle for the revelation of character. Everything is so cleanly resolved that ...more
Nicholas During
Not quite sure what to think about Zweig really. In a way, he is a really good story teller, and this is a gripping story. In another way, he is a pretty terrible writer. I feel like he adds phrases on to sentences that just repeat what he has already said. And repetition is a real problem. I think I read the word "confusion" in this book at least 50 times.

But he does continue a German tradition of highly emotional, romantic writing. Before this I read Goethe The Sorrows of Young Werther and I
Aug 04, 2008 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: summer08
Can I give it 6 stars? It's one of those rare books that leave your heart exhausted, gasping for air, like after a long strenuous but satisfying race. Very Mannish, reminds me of Death of Venice. And why are German authors so good?! Mann, Hesse and now Zweig.
Jim Blevins
Jan 28, 2018 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
A dense, moving but sometimes obsessive and grim, novella.
Suad Alhalwachi
Jan 03, 2020 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I am a sucker for great words and eloquent writing and this book hit every part of my brain. Relationship between student and teacher and how this relationship had changed the students life and made him a better student who cared about his work. This time the relationship is between a male student and a male teacher. One cannot tell if there is any insinuation of sexual feelings between them. To me it just seemed very strong academic link. The teacher has moods and at times he can be great and ...more
This novella by Stefan Zweig starts slowly with the story of Roland, a young college student who acts likewella college student. He skips class, lies to his family about it to pocket the cash he gets from them, and sleeps with anything with a pulse. Hes cocky, uninterested in anything outside of his own urges and impulses and is generally pretty unlikable.
That is, until Rolands dad forces him back into school and he encounters a new and hypnotic professor. From that moment on, Roland is
Jul 23, 2015 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: stefan-zweig
I am not confused about Confusion. It is a beautiful story, brilliantly crafted, with Zweig's usual 'economy and subtlety', as Robert MacFarlane was quoted on the book jacket. There are numerous great expressions, such as 'intellectual gladiators' to describe academics. I will need to reread just to capture and savor again the highlights of his prose. Part way through the story, we can imagine what the outcome is, but Zweig still surprised me and gave such power and emotion to the ending that it ...more
Dec 06, 2013 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Zweig aside from being a great writer, writes as a gifted author that understands the human psyche and human behavior. As opposed to a Psychologist that is a author, Zweig is a author first.
If you are into Austrian lit(story takes place in Germany/author Austrian) this is a fascinating look at homoerotic behavior-over simplification. As in most Zweig his writing is elegant and straight forward and your deeper thinkers(not that I am in that camp) will draw out deeper meaning in the
Dec 01, 2008 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
All the novels and books of this writer of the German language are great, powerful pieces of literature. This one, about the confusing feelings a teacher feels for a young man, is one of his most brilliant and remains as relevant today as it was decades ago. It's short (as are a lot of Zweig's writings), simply told, yet deeply complex in what it portrays (the passion that consumates a man who struggles with what he feels), and beautifully compassionate. Zweig deserves every bit to be as famous ...more
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NYRB Classics: Confusion, by Stefan Zweig 1 12 Oct 22, 2013 11:20AM  

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Stefan Zweig was one of the world's most famous writers during the 1920s and 1930s, especially in the U.S., South America, and Europe. He produced novels, plays, biographies, and journalist pieces. Among his most famous works are Beware of Pity, Letter from an Unknown Woman, and Mary, Queen of Scotland and the Isles. He and his second wife committed suicide in 1942.

Zweig studied in Austria,

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