Saturday, January 1, 2011

Stefan Zweig: Confused Feelings

Every time I am opening a book by Stefan Zweig - and fortunately, I didn't finish all his books - I am impressed by the delicate description of feelings. Wheter I am reading it in English, French or German, I am delighted with the precision of words and the strong power of the wordly images. Maybe I am lucky to read the best translations. Confused Feelings, which I had read as of today, in French - as I wrote before, I had a very successful reading day by now, and hope to be a successful writing day as well - is the memoir of a former student about his philology professor. A reclused mind, trapped in his ambigous sexual feelings, translated at the level of intellectual emotions. The student and the teacher are sharing the same powerful connection, in the Socratic sens perhaps, but until the end of the story, they don't give it the name: the perfect attraction, marking their lives for ever. At the end, the student will ran away and will carry the weight of this revelation years thereafter. For ever. The written testimony is his confession to the world. Feelings are always confused and confusing and we, as humans, we are very often drived by them, even we avoid to call them their real names. Even the power of reciving and discovering knowledge is yet a feeling. Our inner equilibrium is so precarious that it is enough the touch of a feather for being thrown in the middle of the vortex of our incertitudes. Intellectual spirits are closer of this tourbillon that they think and Zweig is always reminding as on the fragility of our human natures. 
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