Book Review | Twilight and Moonbeam Alley by Stefan Zweig

Updated: Jul 28

Birth: November 28, 1881, Austria

Death: February 22, 1942, Brazil


Short Biography


Austrian novelist, theater writer, biographer and journalist Stefan Zweig, born in Vienna on November 28, 1881, is known for his short story "Chess" and his wonderful biography works supported by psychological analyzes.


Stefan Zweig met literature at a young age and received extremely high level education in this field. Having learned English, French, Italian, Latin and Greek, he also studied philosophy. Originally interested in poetry, the writer was largely influenced by the great German poet Rainer Maria Rilke, born in Prague. Zweig, who translated the poetry translations of Charles Baudelaire and Verlaine into German, then traveled to South Asia and many countries in the American continent.

He volunteered as an archive officer in World War I and returned to his country after the war and settled in Salzburg. Here he married his first wife, Frederike Von Winternit, and lived here for a long time. Zweig spent his most productive period here in the field of literature. He met many famous names. Among these names were great realist masters such as Thomas Mann, James Joyce, as well as H. G. Wells, known for his book "The Time Machine", considered one of the fathers of science-fiction, and Richard Strauss, known for his wonderful composition "Also Sprach Zarathustra".


Stefan Zweig's books are mentioned in many different types of writing. Zweig; Apart from stories, novels, and theater plays, he also wrote biography and essay books. In biographies, which are in a privileged position among his works, Stefan Zweig writes; He wrote the lives of prominent figures in the field of literature, philosophy and politics. The most important of these biographies is the book "Three Masters: Balzac, Dickens, Dostoevsky".


Stefan Zweig, during World War II, was exiled from his country due to his Jewish origin as a result of Anschluss. The writer, who started his first life in exile when he was in England, then went to Brazil and settled in Rio de Janeiro with Lotte Altman, whose second marriage. Considering that the fascist world order brought by Hitler will not change, the writer suffered a great grief and despair and committed suicide with his wife.


Book Review


For readers who are curious about Stefan Zweig and want to meet him, "Twilight and Moonbeam Alley" is not a right choice.


What have we read so far;

In "Fantastic Night", the evolution of artificial excitement towards the natural one, the ideals of theft and spiritual motion of man,

In "Der Zwang", comparison of the wish of war and love within the concept of obligation,

In the "Geschichte eines Untergangs", human beings who could be rocked down spiritually in the same way as states,

In "Amok", whether the goals are really worth achieving,

In "Fear", the tragicomic state of the people who are even afraid of being afraid,

In "The Burning Secret", almost all defense mechanisms in psychology science,

In "The Governess and Other Stories", the parallelism of human relationships with natural events,

In "Chess Story", the desire to win in a plot fed from a rank hierarchy and strict rules, under a political basis,

In "Twenty-Four Hours in the Life of a Woman", true love can be achieved with uncertainty and confidentiality,

In his biographies we have seen names like Balzac, Dostoevsky, Dickens, Montaigne, Stendhal and Tolstoy.


If you say what happened in Twilight and Moonbeam Alley "Twilight and Moonbeam Alley", I can't answer this question. But if you say what's not on "Twilight and Moonbeam Alley", almost none of the themes I wrote above.


Although I am a highly passionate Stefan Zweig reader, none of the novellas in this book reach the level of the books I mentioned above, neither in terms of fluency nor wording.


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