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Stefan Zweig Quotes & Sayings

Enjoy the top 100 famous quotes, sayings and quotations by Stefan Zweig.

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Stefan Zweig Quotes 2082267

She could be lively only in the midst of life; in isolation she dwindled to a shadow. — Stefan Zweig

Stefan Zweig Quotes 468559

When it looks at great accomplishments, the world, bent on simplifying its images, likes best to look at the dramatic, picturesquemoments experienced by its heroes ... But the no less creative years of preparation remain in the shadow. — Stefan Zweig

Stefan Zweig Quotes 1132034

Each of us, even the lowliest and most insignificant among us, was uprooted from his innermost existence by the almost constant volcanic upheavals visited upon our European soil and, as one of countless human beings, I can't claim any special place for myself except that, as an Austrian, a Jew, writer, humanist and pacifist, I have always been precisely in those places where the effects of the thrusts were most violent. — Stefan Zweig

Stefan Zweig Quotes 1068297

Memory is so corrupt that you remember only what you want to; if you want to forget about something, slowly but surely you do. — Stefan Zweig

Stefan Zweig Quotes 580474

I hadn't had a book in my hands for four months, and the mere idea of a book where I could see words printed one after another, lines, pages, leaves, a book in which I could pursue new, different, fresh thoughts to divert me, could take them into my brain, had something both intoxicating and stupefying about it. — Stefan Zweig

Stefan Zweig Quotes 2183536

It is the way of youth that each fresh piece of knowledge of life should go to its head, and that once uplifted by an emotion it can never have enough of it. — Stefan Zweig

Stefan Zweig Quotes 448553

Arrived at an age when others had already long been married and had children and held important positions, and were obliged to produce the best that was in them with all their energy, I still regarded myself as youthful, a beginner who faced immeasurable time, and I was hesitant about final decisions of any kind. — Stefan Zweig

Stefan Zweig Quotes 1218422

Often the presence of mind and energy of a person remote from the spotlight decide the course of history for centuries to come. — Stefan Zweig

Stefan Zweig Quotes 1248864

The sight of a wedding always has a disturbing effect on young girls; at such moments a mysterious sense of solidarity with their own sex takes possession of them. — Stefan Zweig

Stefan Zweig Quotes 264791

My child died last night - and now I shall be alone again, if I must really go on living. They will come tomorrow, strange, hulking, black-clad men bringing a coffin, and they will put him in it, my poor boy, my only child. — Stefan Zweig

Stefan Zweig Quotes 1506561

One can run away from anything but oneself — Stefan Zweig

Stefan Zweig Quotes 1038234

The more one limits oneself, the closer one is to the infinite; these people, as unworldly as they seem, burrow like termites into their own particular material to construct, in miniature, a strange and utterly individual image of the world — Stefan Zweig

Stefan Zweig Quotes 137305

ever since he discovered that all his millions could not bring him back his wife, he has learned to despise money. — Stefan Zweig

Stefan Zweig Quotes 1078116

In 1938, after Austria, our universe had become accustomed to inhumanity, to lawlessness, and brutality as never in centuries before. In a former day the occurrences in unhappy Vienna alone would have been sufficient to cause international proscription, but in 1938 the world conscience was silent or merely muttered surlily before it forgot and forgave. — Stefan Zweig

Stefan Zweig Quotes 1626788

she was never to be allowed to exchange a word with him; and that she was forbidden to pay him a visit even when he was ailing. He was quarantined from her as if she had been suffering from the plague. She was actually forbidden to converse with Simon the shoemaker, the boy's tutor, from whom she might have gleaned a little information about her son. His seclusion from her was to be unconditional and absolute. — Stefan Zweig

Stefan Zweig Quotes 1506345

What decides whether a man will become immortal, is not his character but his vitality. Nothing save intensity confers immortality. A man manifests himself more vividly, in proportion as he is strong and unified, effective and unique. Immortality knows nothing of morality or immorality, of good or evil; it measures only work and strength; it demands from a man not purity but unity. Here, morality is nothing; intensity, all. — Stefan Zweig

Stefan Zweig Quotes 1732012

But nothing is better than a truth which appears not to have the semblance of truth. There is always something incomprehensible about the great heroic deeds performed by humanity because they rise so far beyond the mediocre measure of mere mortals; but it is always only because of the incredible feats that human beings have accomplished that humanity recovers its faith in itself. — Stefan Zweig

Stefan Zweig Quotes 386246

Health alone does not suffice. To be happy, to become creative, man must always be strengthened by faith in the meaning of his own existence. — Stefan Zweig

Stefan Zweig Quotes 1931420

He sensed the presence of death, he sensed the presence of undying love: something broke open inside him, and he thought of the invisible woman, incorporeal and passionate, as one might think of distant music. — Stefan Zweig

Stefan Zweig Quotes 1041706

The dressmaker doesn't have problems unless the dress has to hide rather than reveal. — Stefan Zweig

Stefan Zweig Quotes 1016729

Fate is never too generous even to its favorites. Rarely do the gods grant a mortal more than one immortal deed. — Stefan Zweig

Stefan Zweig Quotes 173827

What is noble, lyrical, tender in the upper level shown is also with the servants, scoundrels, and scamps, as in a distorting mirror. This contrast seems to me a most appealing musical theme
to show love in its noble and crude forms, romanticism and crass realism mixed as in everyday life. — Stefan Zweig

Stefan Zweig Quotes 171167

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

Stefan Zweig Quotes 862648

Freedom is not possible without authority - otherwise it would turn into chaos and authority is not possible without freedom - otherwise it would turn into tyranny. — Stefan Zweig

Stefan Zweig Quotes 1576709

I regarded it more as an honor than a disgrace to be permitted to share this fate of the complete destruction of literary existence in Germany with such eminent contemporaries as Thomas Mann, Heinrich Mann, Werfel, Freud, Einstein, and many others whose work I consider incomparably more important than my own, — Stefan Zweig

Stefan Zweig Quotes 1850211

He listened yet more intently to what was within him, to the past, to see whether that voice of memory truly foretelling the future would not speak to him again, revealing the present to him as well as the past. — Stefan Zweig

Stefan Zweig Quotes 1918342

In medicine the use of the knife is often the kinder course. — Stefan Zweig

Stefan Zweig Quotes 203353

Decisive inventions and discoveries always are initiated by an intellectual or moral stimulus as their actual motivating force, but, usually, the final impetus to human action is given by material impulses ... merchants stood as a driving force behind the heroes of the age of discovery; this first heroic impulse to conquer the world emanated from very mortal forces — Stefan Zweig

Stefan Zweig Quotes 280649

Something indefinite is always worse than something definite, a strong fear that doesn't last very long is easier than one that's nebulous but doesn't go away. — Stefan Zweig

Stefan Zweig Quotes 1301493

Homeward bound I suddenly noticed before me my own shadow as I had seen the shadow of the other war behind the actual one. During all this time it has never budged from me, that irremovable shadow, it hovers over every thought of mine by day and by night; perhaps its dark outline lies on some pages of this book, too. But, after all, shadows themselves are born of light. And only he who has experienced dawn and dusk, war and peace, ascent and decline, only he has truly lived. — Stefan Zweig

Stefan Zweig Quotes 1729733

For the more a man limits himself, the nearer he is on the other hand to what is limitless; it is precisely those who are apparently aloof from the world who build for themselves a remarkable and thoroughly individual world in miniature, using their own special equipment, termit-like. — Stefan Zweig

Stefan Zweig Quotes 1714914

Long-protracted suffering is apt to exhaust not only the invalid, but the compassion of others; violent emotions cannot be prolonged endlessly. — Stefan Zweig

Stefan Zweig Quotes 99122

Fate forces its way to the powerful and violent. With subservient obedience it will assume for years dependency on one individual:Caesar, Alexander, Napoleon, because it loves the elemental human being who grows to resemble it, the intangible element. Sometimes, and these are the most astonishing moments in world history, the thread of fate falls into the hands of a complete nobody but only for a twitching minute. — Stefan Zweig

Stefan Zweig Quotes 100351

and it was the pride and ambition of the Jewish people to co-operate in the front ranks to carry on the former glory of the fame of Viennese culture. — Stefan Zweig

Stefan Zweig Quotes 107541

It is usual for a woman, even though she may ardently desire to give herself to a man, to feign reluctance, to simulate alarm or indignation. She must be brought to consent by urgent pleading, by lies, adjurations, and promises. I know that only professional prostitutes are accustomed to answer such an invitation with a perfectly frank assent
prostitutes, or simple-minded, immature girls. — Stefan Zweig

Stefan Zweig Quotes 151212

In their overestimation of the role of civilization, the humanists misunderstand the primary forces of the world of primitive human drives with their untamable violence. With their optimistic view of the role of culture, they (the humanists) trivialize the terrifying, hardly solvable problems of mass hatred and of the great passionate psychoses of the human race. — Stefan Zweig

Stefan Zweig Quotes 154535

Even if I had gone further than in all honesty I should have done, my lies, those lies born of pity, had made her happy; and to make a person happy could never be a crime. — Stefan Zweig

Stefan Zweig Quotes 221057

Nothing was done to us - we were simply placed in a complete void, and everyone knows that nothing on earth exerts such pressure on the human soul as a void. — Stefan Zweig

Stefan Zweig Quotes 222176

Live and let live was the famous Viennese motto, which today still seems to me to be more humane than all the categorical imperatives, and it maintained itself throughout all classes. — Stefan Zweig

Stefan Zweig Quotes 242166

Once a man has found himself there is nothing in this world that he can lose. And once he has understood the humanity in himself, he will understand all human beings. — Stefan Zweig

Stefan Zweig Quotes 262985

Time to leave now, get out of this room, go somewhere, anywhere; sharpen this feeling of happiness and freedom, stretch your limbs, fill your eyes, be awake, wider awake, vividly awake in every sense and every pore. — Stefan Zweig

Stefan Zweig Quotes 318378

Only the rare expands our minds, only as we shudder in the face of a new force do our feelings increase. Therefore the extraordinary is always the measure of all greatness. And the creative element always remains the value superior to all others and the mind superior to our minds. — Stefan Zweig

Stefan Zweig Quotes 333065

Were uproariously demanding relief from their intolerable miseries - in this Potemkin sideshow there prevailed a preposterous and mendacious comfort. — Stefan Zweig

Stefan Zweig Quotes 413117

The transformation of the impossible into reality is always the mark of a demonic will. The only way to recognize a military genius is by the fact that, during the war, he will mock the rules of warfare and will employ creative improvisation instead of tested methods and he will do so at the right moment. — Stefan Zweig

Stefan Zweig Quotes 504697

Against my will, I became a witness to the most terrible defeat of reason and to the most savage triumph of brutality ever chroniclednever before did a generation suffer such a moral setback after it had attained such intellectual heights. — Stefan Zweig

Stefan Zweig Quotes 542763

Lightly, caressingly, Marie Antoinette picked up the crown as a gift. She was still too young to know that life never gives anything for nothing, and that a price is always exacted for what fate bestows. She did not think she would have to pay a price. She simply accepted the rights of her royal position and performed no duties in exchange. She wanted to combine two things which are, in actual human experience, incompatible; she wanted to reign and at the same time to enjoy. — Stefan Zweig

Stefan Zweig Quotes 599581

Names have a mysterious transforming power. Like a ring on a finger, a name may at first seem merely accidental, committing you to nothing; but before you realize its magical power, it's gotten under your skin, become part of you and your destiny. — Stefan Zweig

Stefan Zweig Quotes 626598

Life is futile unless it be directed towards a definite goal. — Stefan Zweig

Stefan Zweig Quotes 637047

On the whole, more men had perhaps escaped into the war than from it. — Stefan Zweig

Stefan Zweig Quotes 641905

intelligence, its tenets those of division, regression, hatred, violence and persecution. In — Stefan Zweig

Stefan Zweig Quotes 721518

The instinct of self-deception in human beings makes them try to banish from their minds dangers of which at the bottom they are perfectly aware by declaring them nonexistent, and a warning such as mine against cheap optimism was bound to prove particularly unwelcome at a moment when a sumptuously laid supper was awaiting for us in the next room. — Stefan Zweig

Stefan Zweig Quotes 853098

Never is a historic deed already completed when it is done but always only when it is handed down to posterity. What we call "history" by no means represents the sum total of all significant deeds ... World historyonly comprises that tiny lighted sector which chanced to be placed in the spotlight by poetic or scholarly depictions. — Stefan Zweig

Stefan Zweig Quotes 886937

We who have been hunted through the rapids of life, torn from our former roots, always driven to the end and obliged to begin again, victims and yet also the willing servants of unknown mysterious powers, we for whom comfort has become an old legend and security, a childish dream, have felt tension from pole to pole of our being, the terror of something always new in every fibre. Every hour of our years was linked to the fate of the world. In sorrow and in joy we have lived through time and history far beyond our own small lives, while they knew nothing beyond themselves. Every one of us, therefore, even the least of the human race, knows a thousand times more about reality today than the wisest of our forebears. But nothing was given to us freely; we paid the price in full. — Stefan Zweig

Stefan Zweig Quotes 897155

Unless our souls had root in soil divine We could not bear earth's overwhelming strife. The fiercest pain that racks this heart of mine, Convinces me of everlasting life. — Stefan Zweig

Stefan Zweig Quotes 909825

Maybe everything's not so hard, maybe life is so much easier than I thought, you just need courage, you just need to have a sense of yourself, then you'll discover your hidden resources. — Stefan Zweig

Stefan Zweig Quotes 994146

The Minister-President or the richest magnate could walk the streets of Vienna without anyone turning around, but a court actor or an opera singer was recognized by every salesgirl and every cabdriver. — Stefan Zweig

Stefan Zweig Quotes 1004478

Nothing gives so keen an edge to the intelligence as a passionate suspicion. — Stefan Zweig

Stefan Zweig Quotes 1006454

A well-chosen tie could make me almost merry; a good book, an excursion in a motor car or an hour with a woman left me fully satisfied. It particularly pleased me to ensure that this way of life, like a faultlessly correct suit of English tailoring, did not make me conspicuous in any way. I believe I was considered pleasant company, I was popular and welcome in society, and most who knew me called me a happy man. — Stefan Zweig

Stefan Zweig Quotes 1012139

Again and again, faith in a possible satisfaction of the human race breaks through at the very moments of most zealous discord because humankind will never be able to live and work without this consoling delusion of its ascent into morality, without this dream of final and ultimate accord. — Stefan Zweig

Stefan Zweig Quotes 1046749

No one would have pity on the foolish slave of his own pity. — Stefan Zweig

Stefan Zweig Quotes 1046876

But in the intellectual world, there is room for all opposing forces: even that which never appears victorious in the real world continues to be effective as a dynamic force (in the intellectual world) and precisely the unfulfilled ideals prove to be the most invincible. — Stefan Zweig

Stefan Zweig Quotes 1106300

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

Stefan Zweig Quotes 1176970

But you smiled at me and said consolingly, "People come back again."
"Yes" I said, "they come back, but then they have forgotten".
There must have been something odd, something passionate in the way I said that to you. For you rose to your feet as well and looked at me, affectionately and very surprised. You took me by the shoulders. "What's good is not forgotten; I will not forget you," you said, and as you did so you gazed intently at me as if to memorise my image. — Stefan Zweig

Stefan Zweig Quotes 1182856

Pity, like morphine, does the sick good only at first. It is a means of helping them to feel better, but if you don't get the dose right and know where to stop it becomes a murderous poison. — Stefan Zweig

Stefan Zweig Quotes 1186798

We are happy when people/things conform and unhappy when they don't. People and events don't disappoint us, our models of reality do. It is my model of reality that determines my happiness or disappointments. — Stefan Zweig

Stefan Zweig Quotes 1221851

Only in youth does coincidence seem the same as fate. Later, we know that the real course of our lives is decided within us; our paths may seem to diverge from our wishes in a confused and pointless way, but in the end the way always leads us to our invisible destination. — Stefan Zweig

Stefan Zweig Quotes 1223799

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

Stefan Zweig Quotes 1238897

Every wave, regardless of how high and forceful it crests, must eventually collapse within itself. — Stefan Zweig

Stefan Zweig Quotes 1240276

Her first glance at me would be bound to hold the question: have you forgiven me? And perhaps that still more critical question: will you bear with my love, and can you return it? That first moment when she would gaze up with a blush, a look of controlled and yet uncontrollable impatience, might be at once the most hazardous and decisive. — Stefan Zweig

Stefan Zweig Quotes 1260034

Forget it all, I told myself, escape into your mind and your work, into the place where you are only your living, breathing self, not a citizen of any state, not a stake in that infernal game, the place where only what reason you have can still work to some reasonable effect in a world gone mad. — Stefan Zweig

Stefan Zweig Quotes 1267827

And if I am asked today to advise a young writer who has not yet made up his mind what way to go, I would try to persuade him to devote himself first to the work of someone greater, interpreting or translating him. — Stefan Zweig

Stefan Zweig Quotes 1298238

(Brazil I've never beheld such a paradise. The people are enchanting and
a mercy on this earth of ours
this is the only placewhere there isn't any race question. Negroes and whites and Indians, three-quarters, oneeighth, the wonderful Mulatto and Creole women, Jews and Christians, all dwell together in a peace that passes describing. The Jewish immigrants are in seventh heaven; all of them have jobs and feel at home. — Stefan Zweig

Stefan Zweig Quotes 1298355

In the last analysis it seems likely that they were wiser than I, all those friends in Vienna, because they suffered everything only when it really happened, whereas I had already suffered the disaster in advance in my fantasy, and then again when it became reality. — Stefan Zweig

Stefan Zweig Quotes 1355955

That is how our arch-adventurer likes to live, moving on from explosion to explosion of fortune and misfortune. — Stefan Zweig

Stefan Zweig Quotes 1418552

yet it may serve to show that courage is often nothing but inverted weakness. — Stefan Zweig

Stefan Zweig Quotes 1427780

Dostoevsky was the first to reveal to us this teeming multiplicity of emotions, this complexity of our spiritual universe. — Stefan Zweig

Stefan Zweig Quotes 1439277

All the bourgeois virtues, caution, obedience, zeal and thoughtfulness- they all melt away powerless in the fire of the great fateful moment that always demands only genius and forms it into a a lasting image. Contemptuously it repulses the timid man; it, another god of the earth, with fiery arms, lifts only the bold into the heaven of heroes. — Stefan Zweig

Stefan Zweig Quotes 1451718

A life without envy, hatred and lies was not a life worth living. — Stefan Zweig

Stefan Zweig Quotes 1504702

Only the person who has experienced light and darkness, war and peace, rise and fall, only that person has truly experienced life. — Stefan Zweig

Stefan Zweig Quotes 1528835

But don't despise error. When touched by genius, when led by chance, the most superior truth can come into being from even the most foolish error. The important inventions which have been brought about in every realm of science from false hypotheses number in the hundreds, indeed in the thousands. — Stefan Zweig

Stefan Zweig Quotes 1531782

Human life is so strangely constituted that even perfected intellectual understanding combined with the richest experience is incapable of conquering innate weaknesses. Even if it thoroughly analyzes itself, psychology (and this is one of the dubious aspects of psychoanalysis) can, to be sure, recognize its flawed native characteristics, but it cannot eliminate them. Understanding (them) is not the same as overcoming (them) and, again and again, we see the wisest of human beings helpless in the fact of their small follies which everyone else observes with a smile. — Stefan Zweig

Stefan Zweig Quotes 1532151

Once more my pity had been stronger than my will. — Stefan Zweig

Stefan Zweig Quotes 1547184

She tries to think, but the monotonous stuttering of the wheels breaks the flow of her thoughts, and the narcotic cowl of sleep tightens over her throbbing forehead - that muffled and yet overpowering railroad-sleep in which one lies rapt and benumbed as though in a shuddering black coal sack made of metal. — Stefan Zweig

Stefan Zweig Quotes 1551309

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

Stefan Zweig Quotes 1613339

The union of opposites, in so far as they are really complementary, always results in the most perfect harmony; and the seemingly incongruous is often the most natural. — Stefan Zweig

Stefan Zweig Quotes 1760435

It is better to pay tribute of gold to the enemy than tribute of blood in war. — Stefan Zweig

Stefan Zweig Quotes 1764130

Nothing on earth puts more pressure on the human mind than nothing. — Stefan Zweig

Stefan Zweig Quotes 1777385

Now I am discovering the world once more. England has widened my horizon. — Stefan Zweig

Stefan Zweig Quotes 1828879

One never gets to know a person's character better than by watching his behavior during decisive moments ... It is always only danger which forces the most deeply hidden strengths and abilities of a human being to come forth. — Stefan Zweig

Stefan Zweig Quotes 1869213

There are two types of compassion. One - is faint-hearted and sentimental. Actually, it is nothing more than impatience of the heart, that is hurrying to get rid of that hard feeling when you see other peoples' sufferings; this is not a compassion, but just an instinct will to defence yourself from misfortunes of others. But there is another compassion - real one, that demands for actions, not sentiments, it knows what it wants, and it is full of determination to do everything, what is in human power and even beyond it. — Stefan Zweig

Stefan Zweig Quotes 1916588

I had an irresistible desire to make a last effort to awaken your memory. — Stefan Zweig

Stefan Zweig Quotes 1926294

I am not one to compare long melodies as did Mozart. I can't get beyond short themes. But what I can do, is to utilize such a theme, paraphrase it and extract everything that is in it, and I don't think there's anybody today who can match me at that. — Stefan Zweig

Stefan Zweig Quotes 1963277

No guilt is forgotten so long as the conscience still knows of it. — Stefan Zweig

Stefan Zweig Quotes 1999173

Even from the abyss of horror in which we try to feel our way today, half-blind, our hearts distraught and shattered, I look up again and again to the ancient constellations that shone on my childhood, comforting myself with the inherited confidence that, some day, this relapse will appear only an interval in the eternal rhythm of progress onward and upward. — Stefan Zweig

Stefan Zweig Quotes 2019685

the natural animosity between those who slept and those who were stirring in the sleeping city. — Stefan Zweig

Stefan Zweig Quotes 2144630

Ah, how fatefully swift is the move from one feeling to another. — Stefan Zweig

Stefan Zweig Quotes 2181330

A first premonition of the rich variety of life had come to him; for the first time he thought he had understood the nature of human beings - they needed each other even when they appeared hostile, and it was very sweet to be loved by them. — Stefan Zweig

Stefan Zweig Quotes 2225691

That the whole nation, tired of war, actually only longed for order, quiet, and a little security and bourgeois life. And, secretly it hated the republic, not because it suppressed this wild freedom, but on the contrary, because it held the reins too loosely. — Stefan Zweig

Stefan Zweig Quotes 2236809

Art knows no happier moment than the opportunity to show the symmetry of an extreme, during that moment of spheric harmony when the dissonance dissolves for the blink of an eye, dissolves into a blissful harmony, when the most extreme opposites, coming together from the greatest alienation, fleetingly touch with lips of the word and of love. — Stefan Zweig

Stefan Zweig Quotes 2261155

When one does another person an injustice, in some mysterious way it does one good to discover (or to persuade oneself) that the injured party has also behaved badly or unfairly in some little matter or other; it is always a relief to the conscience if one can apportion some measure of guilt to the person one has betrayed. — Stefan Zweig