Stefan Zweig was an Austrian writer who achieved distinction in several genres – poetry, essays, short stories, and dramas – most notably in his interpretations of imaginary and historical characters.
His first book, a volume of poetry, was published in 1901. He travelled widely in Europe before settling in Salzburg, in 1913. In 1934, driven into exile by the Nazis, he emigrated to England and then, in 1940, to Brazil by way of New York. Finding only growing loneliness and disillusionment in their new surroundings, he and his wife committed suicide in 1942.
Zweig’s interest in psychology and the teachings of Sigmund Freud led to his most characteristic work, the subtle portrayal of character. Zweig’s essays include studies of Friedrich Hölderlin, Heinrich von Kleist, Friedrich Nietzsche and many others. He also wrote a psychological novel, Beware of Pity (1938), and translated works of Charles Baudelaire, Paul Verlaine, and Émile Verhaeren.