STEFAN ZWEIG QUOTES

Austrian novelist, playwright & journalist (1881-1942)

Stefan Zweig quote

In history as in human life, regret does not bring back a lost moment and a thousand years will not recover something lost in a single hour.

STEFAN ZWEIG, Stellar Moments in Human History

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Tags: history


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, Erasmus of Rotterdam

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All the pale horses of the apocalypse have stormed through my life, revolution, starvation, devaluation of currency and terror, epidemics, emigration; I have seen the great ideologies of the masses grow and spread out before my eyes. Fascism in Italy, National Socialism in Germany, Bolshevism in Russia, and, above all, that archpestilence, nationalism, which poisoned our flourishing European culture.

STEFAN ZWEIG, The World of Yesterday

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Tags: Apocalypse


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

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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

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Tags: memory


In some mysterious way, once one has gained an insight into human nature, that insight grows from day to day, and he to whom it has given to experience vicariously even one single form of earthly suffering acquires, by reason of this tragic lesson, an understanding of all its forms, even those most foreign to him, and apparently abnormal.

STEFAN ZWEIG, Beware of Pity

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Tags: suffering


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

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Tags: genius


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

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Fear is a distorting mirror in which anything can appear as a caricature of itself, stretched to terrible proportions; once inflamed, the imagination pursues the craziest and most unlikely possibilities. What is most absurd suddenly seems the most probable.

STEFAN ZWEIG, The Post Office Girl

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Tags: fear


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

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Tags: suspicion


One can run away from anything but oneself.

STEFAN ZWEIG, Beware of Pity

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If you are going to sell yourself, you should at least get a good price.

STEFAN ZWEIG, Beware of Pity

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As we grow old, we become aware that death is drawing near; his shadow falls across our path; the realities of life seem less crude than of yore, they touch our senses less intimately, and they lose much of their poignancy.

STEFAN ZWEIG, Twenty-Four Hours in the Life of a Woman

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Tags: death


A human being will accept the strictest disciplinary measures with a better grace if he knows that they will fall with equal severity on his neighbor.

STEFAN ZWEIG, Beware of Pity

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And so it was that the two of us, out of a shared and confused hatred, performed an act that looked like love, but while our bodies sought each other and came together we were both thinking and speaking of him all the time, of nothing but him.

STEFAN ZWEIG, Confusion

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To grow old means to be rid of anxieties about the past.

STEFAN ZWEIG, Twenty-Four Hours in the Life of a Woman

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Tags: old age


Those whom fate has dealt hard knocks remain vulnerable for ever afterwards.

STEFAN ZWEIG, Beware of Pity

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Tags: fate


It is better to be the servant of God than the ruler of men.

STEFAN ZWEIG, Jeremiah: a drama in nine scenes

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Tags: God


It is never until one realizes that one means something to others that one feels there is any point or purpose in one's own existence.

STEFAN ZWEIG, Beware of Pity

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Adultery is in most cases a theft in the dark. At such moments almost every woman betrays her husband's innermost secrets; becomes a Delilah who discloses to a stranger, discloses to her lover, the mysteries of her husband's strength or weakness. What seems to me treason is, not that women give themselves, but that a woman is prone, when she does so, to justify herself to herself by uncovering her husband's nakedness, exposing it to the inquisitive and scornful gaze of a stranger.

STEFAN ZWEIG, Confusion of Feelings or Confusion

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Tags: adultery