Irene Wagner, verheiratet und Mutter zweier Kinder, lebt vordergr ndig ein Leben, das den Anforderungen b rgerlicher Moralvorstellung vollauf gen gt Im Widerspruch zu diesem Leben steht ihr Verh ltnis mit einem Musiker Sorgsam um Geheimhaltung bem ht, wird sie bei einem Treffen mit ihrem Liebhaber von einer vermeintlichen Nebenbuhlerin gestellt und erpresst Als auch ihr Ehemann Verdacht zu sch pfen scheint, entsteht aus dem Konflikt zwischen individueller Leidenschaft und gesellschaftlicher Norm ein Sog, der Irene, getrieben von Angst und Schuld, schlie lich zum u ersten treibtDie Novelle des sterreichischen Schriftstellers Stefan Zweig entstandin Wien Sie exemplifiziert am Charakter der Irene die Freudschen Theorien zur Psychoanalyse


10 thoughts on “Angst

  1. karen karen says:

    ZWEIG this is my second dip in the zweig pool, and i m pretty much sold i do wish someone would publish a volume of his collected works so i don t have to keep buying these tiny, albeit beautiful, pushkin press editions they can be read in the time it takes to eat a box of crackers and then you are left with no crackers and nobook and that is a heavy souled feeling.ya know what is also a heavy souled feeling the guilt of infidelity a seamless transition into the book by ms brisse ZWEIG this is my second dip in the zweig pool, and i m pretty much sold i do wish someone would publish a volume of his collected works so i don t have to keep buying these tiny, albeit beautiful, pushkin press editions they can be read in the time it takes to eat a box of crackers and then you are left with no crackers and nobook and that is a heavy souled feeling.ya know what is also a heavy souled feeling the guilt of infidelity a seamless transition into the book by ms brissette 2 points bored by a perfect life into an equally boring affair, and then blackmailed by the ex lover of her current lover, irene experiences fear seamless name drop of title 4 points what follows is 100 pages of slow psychological breakdown as she pays off her blackmailer and fears exposure overcome by angst mention of the german title 5 points , she contemplates suicide naturally it is zweig, after all and homicide as she tries to find a way out of the hole she has dug herself into there is the usual poking at the bourgeoisie, and an ending that i half expected, but it was completely satisfying zweig does character so well all the false starts and crazy notions and deliberations of this woman are crystallized into impressive and taut prose that makes the storyof a thriller than you would expect considering that it is mostly hand wringing consciousness of her burning secret name drop of another zweig book 5 points , and not the big explosions of amodern thriller i have earned many points here tonight.my work is done.go read some zweig.come to my blog


  2. BlackOxford BlackOxford says:

    Coming Out of the Proto Feminist ClosetZweig was a close friend and confidant of Sigmund Freud And this little novella is clearly influenced by psycho analytic theory However it suggests to me at least a nod to the concepts of Carl Jung in its development and resolution.Who is this Frau Irene Wagner really Merely a bourgeois socialite, a Mme Bovary, who decides to engage in a little adultery out of boredom with her established matronly routine A hedonist pushing for that extra frisson of ple Coming Out of the Proto Feminist ClosetZweig was a close friend and confidant of Sigmund Freud And this little novella is clearly influenced by psycho analytic theory However it suggests to me at least a nod to the concepts of Carl Jung in its development and resolution.Who is this Frau Irene Wagner really Merely a bourgeois socialite, a Mme Bovary, who decides to engage in a little adultery out of boredom with her established matronly routine A hedonist pushing for that extra frisson of pleasure A neurotic housewife trying to escape the horrible fate of relationships without apparent meaning Or perhaps just a selfish bitch What fundamental motivation lies behind her behaviour If nothing else, Frau Wagner is certainly what Carl Jung termed an Objective Introvert She lives mainly in her own head as indicated by the scarcity of dialogue throughout But almost nothing exists in that head of her own making She is defined by the views of the people she is with, her set , those others who have apparent regard for her, and particularly by her husband She moulds herself to this society, as she does to her family s expectations of her Even her children can command that she not deviate from their expectations for their care taking.Woe to the Objective Introvert who intuitively can see the limits of their own psychology The only thing they can do to, as it were, broaden their perspective on life is to expose themselves to contradictory external demands If they are within a sedate, stable society, they purposely but unconsciously seek out passion and danger as a corrective environment Their life then, of course, becomes miserable, not because of the passion and danger but because of the radical conflict in the demands upon their personality.Frau Wagner, therefore, becomes dissociated into two separate selves, so thatAll that had passed and been forgotten was no longer her crime at all, but that of another woman whom she could not herself understand and whose mind she could no longer even enter intoIn fact each aspect of her personality feels guilt about the other Whether she turns to her husband or her lover for solace she will be judged inadequate.Like all of us, according to Jung, Frau Wagner wants to have her psychological cake and eat it She wants what the Jungians call integration , that is, the acceptance of both parts of herself into a coherent whole She in fact wants to be found out and thus healedDeep inside her she longed for what she had hitherto been afraid of the lightning flash of redemption that would come when she was caught The only resolution to this fracture in the self appears to be annihilation of both aspects of her personality,She considered all routes to death that she was familiar with, weighing up legion possibilities of self destruction, before she suddenly recollected with a kind of joyous terror that the doctor, on account of her insomnia during a painful illness, had prescribed morphineThe internal contradiction is simply overwhelming.But the solution isn t actually in her hands It is the environment that has to change to accommodate her This is precisely what happens While I find his resolution a bit too much deus ex machina and abrupt, I am not entirely dissatisfied with Zweig s resolution of Frau Wagner s dilemma She has at least learned that it is not she who is always required to adapt to the demands of the world


  3. Jibran Jibran says:

    It seems there is an inexhaustible supply of writers who devote their literary powers to investigate the deepest recesses of the minds and souls of respectable married women cheating on their dear husbands, taking on lovers, or simply committing adultery The names are well known, be it Anna Karenina or Madame Bovary or others, so let s just say that the persona of an unfaithful woman provided and still provides perhaps the best vantage point from which to observe the follies of human society It seems there is an inexhaustible supply of writers who devote their literary powers to investigate the deepest recesses of the minds and souls of respectable married women cheating on their dear husbands, taking on lovers, or simply committing adultery The names are well known, be it Anna Karenina or Madame Bovary or others, so let s just say that the persona of an unfaithful woman provided and still provides perhaps the best vantage point from which to observe the follies of human society amid all its complacence and contradictions on full display, and also because of that inscrutable, inexpressible, ineffable fascination with female sex which does not get replicated for its male counterpart.Either by conditioning or by instinct, to this modern day readers grab books that promise another story of transgressive women in the throes of passion, and in the process become the cause of their own ruination and those related to them, destroying the tender fabric from which social life is knitted and families are formed.Even though I have read only two novels, I think of Stefan Zweig as one of the finest writers to explore with great clat the deep psychological multiverse of his characters, the gaping hole of the self, the hidden iceberg of human emotions, in a measured prose wherein the apparent complements the hidden and vice versa in a flowing stream of words that makes it hard for the reader to put the book down And so, here too, Zweig explores the inner workings of the mind of one Irene Wagner, who takes on a lover without there being a pressing need, without an emotional hole to fill Her perfectly happy marital life is not an impediment for her seeking extra happiness, so if a reader is looking to make pop psychological connections about Irene s transgressions, she ll have none Irene is bored and she wants to experience the adventure of the verboten As simple as that But then fear strikes soon, and everything threatens to come crumbling down She isn t the angry, raving, intrepid, couldn t care less heroine of the latter day literature, a template that gets repeated in fictions with a feminist label she is an ordinary woman who fears for her secret to be out in the open.Zweig has a flair for theatrics, and there s a good helping of the same in the story Aside from this he s employed I would say a cheap plot device to resolve the conflict in the end It s fine if it s done to solve some minor plot issues, or to give credence to a character s thoughts and actions but in this case it is as though he s opted for an easy way out of Irene s conundrum and resolved the tension simply by an awe inspiring revelation I think it does not behoove a writer of Zweig s calibre to succumb to this weakness, and this is my biggest criticism of the novella.All in all a fine piece of writing full of drama, excitement, passion and a lot of fear.August 16


  4. Rowena Rowena says:

    I felt the inner turmoil of Irene, the married bourgeois wife and mother of two who was being blackmailed by her lover s former mistress I couldn t help but read this novella through a feminist lens Irene has similar feelings of discontentment to a lot of the literary heroines who lived before ouremancipated times and felt trapped in their lives Irene certainly feels trapped in her marriage and this leads her to having an affair with a young talented pianist Irene has everything societ I felt the inner turmoil of Irene, the married bourgeois wife and mother of two who was being blackmailed by her lover s former mistress I couldn t help but read this novella through a feminist lens Irene has similar feelings of discontentment to a lot of the literary heroines who lived before ouremancipated times and felt trapped in their lives Irene certainly feels trapped in her marriage and this leads her to having an affair with a young talented pianist Irene has everything society deems she could possibly want, yet she still feels suppressed In fact she rues the fact that she is living in the lap of luxury and wants for nothingA sense of temperate happiness can beprovocative than outright unhappinessSatiety can be as much of an incitement as hungerA quick read Highly recommended


  5. Magdalen Magdalen says:

    If you had the chance to pick any author to write your story or to write a character based on you whom would you pick I d pick Stefan Zweig for sure His ability to analyze the human psyche will never seize to impress me He is by far one of the best novelists who walked on earth I will make it a personal life goal to read everything that he has ever written.


  6. PGR Nair PGR Nair says:

    Fear Eats the SoulLiterature is replete with great works of art dwelling on extra marital relationships As a single story , perhaps Chekhov s Lady with the lapdog may be considered as the Taj Mahal for extramarital love We then have masterpieces like Tolstoy s Anna Karenina, Flaubert s Madam Bovary and Fontaine s Effi Briest Zweig also deals with the same theme but he chooses to concentarte his entire drama on the angst or fear that clutches the doer when someone witnesses her secret rendez Fear Eats the SoulLiterature is replete with great works of art dwelling on extra marital relationships As a single story , perhaps Chekhov s Lady with the lapdog may be considered as the Taj Mahal for extramarital love We then have masterpieces like Tolstoy s Anna Karenina, Flaubert s Madam Bovary and Fontaine s Effi Briest Zweig also deals with the same theme but he chooses to concentarte his entire drama on the angst or fear that clutches the doer when someone witnesses her secret rendezvous and later tries to blackmail her.Hardly had I read ten pages of the novel and I realized that Zweig bears striking comparison with another giant of Austrian Literature, Arthur Schnitzler, who handled psychological drama with fine finesse I was particularly reminded of the story The Dead are Silent , which in a recent discussion I mentioned as one of my favorite short stories Zweig was Schnitzler s junior by twenty years Both shared a liking for psychological themes and often used the bourgeoisie world of contemporary Vienna for their observations Both treat the theme of marital infidelity The basic situations in both the stories are similar In each story, a married woman is placed in a situation which could lead to the discovery by her husband of her infidelity.Leaving the apartment of her young lover, Irene, the wife of a wealthy lawyer is seized by a sudden sense of foreboding At the bottom of the stairs a woman is waiting, a woman who will stalk, blackmail and intimidate her into a state of suicidal despair Fear , a 1920 novella of just 59 pages charts every fluctuation of its heroine s inner turmoil and ends with an ingenious twist There is always a plateau in married relationships The truth is that man is seldom contented with one relationship and many people know that they cannot make a contract for love to last lifetime He always carves for multiple relationships needn t be sexual alone to fulfil the gaps and to complement his inner needs There is often a thrill and excitement in a new relationship even when the existing one is satisfying This is the case with Irene She was perfectly happy with a prosperous husband whose intellect was superior to hers, two children, contentedly and even lazily at ease in her comfortable, calm, middle class existence But a kind of languor in the air may arouse sensuality just as sultry or stormy weather can, a sense of temperate happiness can beprovocative than outright unhappiness, and for many women their contentment itself provesdisastrous than enduring dissatisfaction in a hopeless situation Satiety can be as much of an incitement as hunger, and it was the very safety and security of Irene s existence that made her feel curious and ready for an adventure Irene confesses that she was attracted by the mysterious magnetism of adventure than a real urge when she started the affair with a young pianist she had met in a theater The issue is that even a new relationship too after a while becomes jejune and trips into torpor and Irene is aware of that fact Soon her lover made no difference at all to the comfortable mechanism of her existence, he became, as it were, an additional source of temperate happiness, like the idea of a third child or a motor car, and her adventure soon seemed to her as ordinary as her lawful pleasures.Irene s problem is that though she loves adventure, she isn t a woman trained to tackle adventure and the risk it entails This is her failure The moment her rendezvous with her lover is discovered by someone, and that too by a former consort of her lover, she runs into panic Though she initially sops her with money, it is just the beginning of her entry into the realm of fear Irene first tries to cloister herself in her house for some days to escape a second encounter with the woman This is all thefrustrating as she isn t used to spending all the time at home Her relationship with her children lacked care and affection and all the inmates become uncomfortable when she stays at home This further frets the matter and makes her aware of her deep alienation Whenever she tried to do something actively useful she came up against the interests of others, who resisted her sudden attempts as an intrusion on their own customary rights There was no place left for her for lack of contact with it she herself had become a foreign body in the organism of her own household She did not know what to do with herself and her time, and even her approaches to the children failed, for they suspected that her sudden lively interest in them meant the introduction of a new kind of discipline, and she felt herself blush in shame when, during one of her attempts to look after them, her seven year old son asked outright why she wasn t going for so many walks these days.Soon the witness woman turns out to be a stalker blackmailing Irene forandmoney and even dares one day to step into her house and she is forced to give away even her engagement ring in panic Irene knows that The ring itself was not her chief anxiety recovering it would mean only postponement, not release from the fear of revelation Fear is a riveting tale of how Irene steadily submits to the terrors and humiliation of blackmail in order to preserve the innocence of the husband she adores, but whom she systematically undercuts at home and in his career The devouring fear builds up to a crescendo and Stefan Zweig splendidly succeeds in its gestationCorrosive fear had eaten into her life like nitric acid, separating its elements The weight of everything was suddenly different, all values were reversed, all relationships confused She felt as if until this moment she had merely been groping her way vaguely through life with her eyes half closed, and now everything was illuminated with terrible clarity There are many illuminating moments and clever connecting incidents in the novel to illustrate the state of mind of Irene One such is when her husband questions their daughter for stealing and destroying a wooden horse they had gifted to their boy The daughter lies initially but when the lawyer probes further to extort the truth, the girl break down and cries incessantly He says to IreneDon t let her tears lead you astray yes, they came pouring out, but they d been dammed up inside her before, and they hurt worse there than on the surface. The husband by this incident indirectly indicts Irene and ask whether she has anything to confess to him, putting her to embarrassment and shame The novel is a good examination of many themes like guilt, shame, trust, indifference in relationship, extortion and suicide and the narration gains power like that of sweeping cyclone Zweig beautifully captures the emotional state of the protagonist with sensitivity and subtlety Irene s own surgical analysis of her soul in the light of past actions and her superficial relationships with the members of her family produces cathartic revelations Like that of the Judge in Tolstoy s Death of Ivan Illyich She felt coffined in endless silence, and the darkness of the invisible sky weighed down on her breast Now and then the hours chimed a number in the darkness, and then the night was black and lifeless, but for the first time she thought she could understand the meaning of that endless, empty darkness. Fear is not especially concerned with what went wrong in the marriage Its subject is the depth of a bitterness that can pass for love It is possible that some critic may view this novella as a suffocating banal bourgeois melodrama I didn t feel that way I would have been tempted to give it 5 star had it not been for the formulaic approach and the element of Viennese theatricality evident towards the end of this novella.I have read only one work of Zweig and hence it is too premature to form an informed opinion about him I intend to read soon the Chess Story as recommended by my GR friend Seemita Pooja.There is also an interesting film titled La Paura 1954 based on this novel directed by Roberto Rossellini and Ingrid Bergman stars as Irene In my case, it is the film that directed me to the novel


  7. Shayan Foroozesh Shayan Foroozesh says:

    Zweig, Zweig, and my dear Zweig All his books have this magnetic captivating nature If a non Zweig reader stumbles upon one of his works and wants to leaf through to check the structure of his writing he she would probably decide that it s a boring and hyper energy consuming book with no chapters and no separating parts, with its long paragraphs and minimum dialog among the characters But the moment you set your eyes on his magical writing you are drawn into his world and you just keep readin Zweig, Zweig, and my dear Zweig All his books have this magnetic captivating nature If a non Zweig reader stumbles upon one of his works and wants to leaf through to check the structure of his writing he she would probably decide that it s a boring and hyper energy consuming book with no chapters and no separating parts, with its long paragraphs and minimum dialog among the characters But the moment you set your eyes on his magical writing you are drawn into his world and you just keep reading and reading and reading without being able or dare to take your eyes away from the lines since there are no checkpoints in the story to relieve you, there is only a beginning and an ending Being a friend of Freud enabled Zweig to inject Freud s ideas into his stories, just as his other friend Arthur Schnitzler did In Fear we see a young respectable upper class married woman, Irene, living with her fear of getting exposed by a blackmailer who threatens to publicize her adultery She was only seeing the adultery as an adventure and didn t have any feelings for her lover The first lines open as Irene is leaving her lover s apartment, already suffering and trembling from the fear of being caught red handed and anxious to get back to her comfortable and safe life On her way out the building she is buttonholed by his lover s former beloved, a plebeian woman who accuses her of stealing her man Scared stiff and ashamed, Irene begins a descent into abysmally insane fear The woman demands ever larger sums in blackmail, while Irene tries to hide everything from her husband, her children and every one.The story, like most of Zweig s other stories, taps on some characteristics of human nature and behavior which goes at odds with what society holds as proper Individuals indulging their desires in secret and condemn it in fa ade, in society In this story, together with Irene, we can feel her beneath that false constructed demeanor and empathize with her, to undergo what she goes through storms of carnal passion, guilt, shame, rage, and ever growing fear.In one part of the book when she protested against her husband s harsh chastisement for their little daughter, she is faced by the husband s explanation of the whyness of his doing so, which also encapsulates Irene s own psychological condition Don t I feel sorry for her, you ask Well, I won t say anyabout that today She feels better now that she s been punished, although her punishment seems bitter too She was unhappy yesterday when she put the broken bits of the poor little horse in the stove Everyone in the house was looking for it, and she was afraid all day that it was sure to be found That fear was worse than the punishment, which after all is something definite, and whether it s hard on her or not, it s still better than the terrible uncertainty and cruel suspense she was feeling earlier As soon as she knew her punishment she felt all right Don t let her tears lead you astray yes, they came pouring out, but they d been dammed up inside her before, and they hurt worse there than on the surface If she weren t a child, or if we could somehow see right into her mind, I think we d discover that she is really glad to have been found out, in spite of her punishment and her tears She s certainly happier than she was yesterday, when she appeared not to have a care in the world, and no one suspected herBut she just can t bring herself to confess it to her husband and relieve herself of the stifling burden of fear and shame.Overall, it was a great read for me, but I might be biased for I love the way Zweig writes and the way Anthea Bell translates it, but after all here is Goodreads, a site for prejudiced reviews, and not an academic circle to claim objectivity which I believe as impossible.Once the most read author of his age, Zweig turns into Mr Nobody not long after his suicidal death But I m so glad to see him regaining some small part of his stance and fame amongst readers As Salman Rushdie said, it s good to have Zweig back


  8. Cheryl Cheryl says:

    There it is, what happens when life evolves and becomes complacent, much too complacent for a woman who marries young, bears children, and soon finds no true meaning in her everyday life She isn t dissatisfied, no, in fact she appreciates her life of complacent bourgeoisie of which she has no control If anything, she craves desire, the kind at its ripened stage She does not want to feel like someone s mother she wants to feel like someone s lover For,a kind of languor in the air may ar There it is, what happens when life evolves and becomes complacent, much too complacent for a woman who marries young, bears children, and soon finds no true meaning in her everyday life She isn t dissatisfied, no, in fact she appreciates her life of complacent bourgeoisie of which she has no control If anything, she craves desire, the kind at its ripened stage She does not want to feel like someone s mother she wants to feel like someone s lover For,a kind of languor in the air may arouse sensuality just as sultry or stormy weather can, a sense of temperate happiness can beprovocative than outright happiness Zweig s novellas are different in the way they exemplify the psychological Just as in Journey into the Past and La Confusion des sentiments, the reader goes on an inward journey, trying to decipher the main character s thoughts and illusions This is where Zweig never fails a reader his language and style always renders a story singular on the page, even when the story is one that is familiar, even in those brief moments when he, the writer, does not fully appreciate the whims of his female character She weighed up her life as a whole and felt that it was still a heavy weight, but that if she could only hold on to it in the new, intensified,elevated frame of mind that these days of fear had shown her, if she could begin it again from the beginning, pure and sure and straightforward, she was ready to do so. The overarching story introduced is comical I laughed at the notion of a mistress being confronted by her lover s lover, and it seemed like just the sort of drama to enjoy with a bag of warm, buttery popcorn At its core, however, this is a story about change and actualization The lover takes a backseat to Irene s contemplations How interesting, when title and theme intertwine and elucidates an offspring of desire and betrayal Irene s fear is the antagonist that makes her realize the value of life, self and family her dark contemplation makes her recognize her deepest vulnerabilities, and in the end, it is desire which awakens her inner truth


  9. Hoda Elsayed Hoda Elsayed says:

    i have become a fan of Stefan Zweig.


  10. Irina Irina says:

    Finished it in a few hours absolutely impossible to put down and what an ending Zweig is a master at describing the inner emotions of his characters without becoming melodramatic I really didn t expect the ending and I m usually pretty good at guessing Excellent novella