Cover Image: Encounters and Destinies

Encounters and Destinies

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Member Reviews

Stefan Zweig was a great author and this memories of his contemporaries is poignant and fascinating.
I was moved by his words about Rilke, one of my favorite poets, and loved all his portraits.
An excellent read, strongly recommended.
Many thanks to the publisher and Netgalley for this ARC, all opinions are mine
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A new collection of essays by Stefan Zweig: tributes to the great artists and thinkers of the Europe of his day. Stefan Zweig was one of the twentieth century's greatest authors and a tireless champion of freedom, tolerance and friendship across borders. Encounters and Destinies collects his most impassioned and moving tributes to his many illustrious friends and peers: literary, philosophical and artistic luminaries from across the Old Europe that Zweig loved so much, and which he grieved to see so cruelly destroyed by two world wars. 

Including pieces on Rainer Maria Rilke, Marcel Proust, Sigmund Freud, Maxim Gorky and Arturo Toscanini, this essential collection is also Zweig's tribute to the ideal of friendship: an ideal he clung to as the world he knew was torn apart. This is a compelling and emotionally resonant anthology of eminently readable essays. In his most personal collection to date, Zweig writes straight from the heart. There's both vulnerability and strength here. It is a paean or love letter to the Europe Zweig adored and the people who inhabited it. Many thanks to Pushkin for an ARC.
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If are you a lover of arts, music and literature this book is for you. Zweig offers personal accounts of some of the greatest figures in these areas. I particularly like the way that Zweig portraits and writes about Proust, sharing his struggles with health issues, over protection from his parents and solitude. He also wrote a very beautiful and poetic farewell to the ‘true poet’ Rainer Maria Rilke, ‘Music has sounded at this hour, into music will it flow.’ Zweig also gives us some of his comprehensive views about the time he lived, sometimes poetically but also sometimes full of humour, an example of his sense of humour is how he starts describing James Joyce’s Ulysses. It’s a great book to have in your library, especially the physical book, I suspect, that you can visit a few times, choosing the path you prefer to take. Highly recommended.
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Stefan Zweig pours out his heart in some of the finest memoirs and eulogies ever written to his contemporaries and we are fortunate enough to be able to have them in this book. All the stars.
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I didn't know what to expect with this but I loved it. It took me back in time almost and I was enthralled.
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Who says that time travel is impossible? Reading this book transported me to Europe in the years before WWI and what Google tells me is called the Interwar Period. Our guide is Stefan Zweig, whom I knew by name and reputation, but had never read before. This is the perfect introduction to the author, as it’s a series of essays and obituaries about his friends. You may have heard of said friends? Mahler, Rilke, Toscanini, Freud, Gorky and Proust. Others, I honestly had never heard of, but the pieces are beautiful. Even if they were unknown to me, I was invested in their lives. The longest piece, about a poet named Emile Verhaeren, is such a lovely snapshot of life in France right before and at the beginning of WWI that the inevitable ending is all the more devastating. Another favorite was A Farewell to John Drinkwater, a poet and actor that I’d never heard of, but had to learn more about after reading Zweig’s text. Last but not least, the piece about Proust made me learn a little more about him. These are hugely famous and influential people who turn into normal human beings seen through Zweig’s eyes. The translation by Will Stone is easy to follow. For history buffs and lovers of poetry. 
I chose to read this book and all opinions in this review are my own and completely unbiased. Thank you, NetGalley/Pushkin Press!
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