Stefan and Lotte in Rain Taxi

By | April 12, 2011

A thoughtful review of Stefan and Lotte Zweig’s South American Letters in the Spring 2011 issue of Rain Taxi. An excerpt below. Full review here.

“… provides a detailed epistolary account of the life and times of one of Europe’s preeminent intellectuals. […] Ultimately, Stefan and Lotte Zweig’s South American Letters reads as a cruel story of dislocation and despair: from their arrival in Rio de Janeiro to their dual-suicide in Petrópolis two years later, the Zweigs were unable to relinquish themselves of the knowledge that the people of Europe—once ‘pleasant and cultured’—were engaged in an endless conflict for racial and territorial supremacy. Through it all, however, the Zweigs continued to write, approaching their correspondence as a form of therapy—one which allowed them, rather like the tortured characters of W. G. Sebald or Joseph Roth, to come to terms with what Stefan referred to in 1942 as the ‘incertainty and isolation’ of war. Their pact complete, the Zweigs succumbed to their desolation—and to the desolation of a generation robbed of its homeland.” 

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