Learn More

Stefan Zweig

(1881-1942 / Austria)

Quotations

  • ''It is a law of life that human beings, even the geniuses among them, do not pride themselves on their actual achievements but that they want to impress others, want to be admired and respected because of things of much lower import and value.''
    Stefan Zweig (18811942), Austrian writer. Balzac, p. 370, trans. by Marion Sonnenfeld, S. Fischer Verlag (1959).
    3 person liked.
    1 person did not like.
  • ''Immanuel Kant lived with knowledge as with his lawfully wedded wife, slept with it in the same intellectual bed for forty years and begot an entire German race of philosophical systems.''
    Stefan Zweig (18811942), Austrian writer. Der Kampf mit dem Daemon (The Struggle with the Demon), p. 256, trans. by Marion Sonnenfeld, Insel Verlag (1929).
  • ''With Nietzsche, the black pirates' flag appears for the first time on the high sea of German knowledge. (He is) a different man, from a different race, (his,) a new kind of heroism, philosophy ... with bellicose weapons and armor.''
    Stefan Zweig (18811942), Austrian writer. Der Kampf mit dem Daemon (The Struggle with the Demon), p. 300, trans. by Marion Sonnenfeld, Insel Verlag (1929).
  • ''Against my will, I became a witness to the most terrible defeat of reason and to the most savage triumph of brutality ever chronicled ... never before did a generation suffer such a moral setback after it had attained such intellectual heights.''
    Stefan Zweig (18811942), Austrian writer. Die Welt von Gestern (The World of Yesterday), p. 8, trans. by Marion Sonnenfeld, S. Fischer Verlag (1955).
  • ''Only the person who has experienced light and darkness, war and peace, rise and fall, only that person has truly experienced life.''
    Stefan Zweig (18811942), Austrian writer. Die Welt von Gestern (The World of Yesterday), p. 385, trans. by Marion Sonnenfeld, S. Fischer Verlag (1955).
  • ''Nothing that has ever been thought and said with a clear mind and pure ethical strength is totally in vain; even if it comes from a weak hand and is imperfectly formed, it inspires the ethical spirit to constantly renewed creation.''
    Stefan Zweig (18811942), Austrian writer. Erasmus of Rotterdam, p. 227, trans. by Marion Sonnenfeld, Herbert Reichner Verlag, Vienna, Austria (1935).
  • ''Erasmus was the light of his century; others were its strength: he lighted the way; others knew how to walk on it while he himself remained in the shadow as the source of light always does. But he who points the way into a new era is no less worthy of veneration than he who is the first to enter it; those who work invisibly have also accomplished a feat.''
    Stefan Zweig (18811942), Austrian writer. Erasmus of Rotterdam, p. 71, trans. by Marion Sonnenfeld, Vienna, Austria, Herbert Reichner Verlag (1935).
  • ''The organic fundamental error of humanism was that it desired to educate the common people (on whom it looked down) from its lofty stance instead of trying to understand them and to learn from them.''
    Stefan Zweig (18811942), Austrian writer. Erasmus of Rotterdam, p. 116, trans. by Marion Sonnenfeld, Herbert Reichner Verlag, Vienna, Austria (1935).
  • ''The free, independent spirit who commits himself to no dogma and will not decide in favor of any party has no homestead on earth.''
    Stefan Zweig (18811942), Austrian writer. Erasmus of Rotterdam, p. 204, trans. by Marion Sonnenfeld, Herbert Reichner Verlag, Vienna, Austria (1935).
  • ''One never gets to know a person's character better than by watching his behavior during decisive moments.... It is always only danger which forces the most deeply hidden strengths and abilities of a human being to come forth.''
    Stefan Zweig (18811942), Austrian writer. Magellan. Der Mann und seine Tat (Magellan. The Man and His Feat), p. 142, trans. by Marion Sonnenfeld, S. Fischer Verlag (1983).

Read more quotations »

Die Zärtlichkeiten

Ich liebe jene ersten bangen Zärtlichkeiten,
Die halb noch Frage sind und halb schon Anvertraun,
Weil hinter ihnen schon die anderen Stunden schreiten,
Die sich wie Pfeile wuchtend in das Leben baun.

Ein Duft sind sie, des Blutes flüchtigste Berührung,
Ein rascher Blick, ein Lächeln, eine leise Hand –
Sie knistern schon wie rote Funken der Verführung
Und stürzen Feuergraben in der Nächte Band.

[Hata Bildir]