The Struggle with the Daemon: Holderlin, Kleist, and by Stefan Zweig

By Stefan Zweig

The fight with the Daemon is an excellent research of the ecu psyche via the nice novelist and biographer Stefan Zweig. Zweig experiences 3 giants of German literature and concept: Friedrich Hölderlin, Heinrich von Kleist, and Friedrich Nietzsche—powerful minds whose rules have been at odds with the medical positivism in their age; spirits whose intoxicating passions drove them mad yet encouraged them to nice works.

Born in Vienna in 1881, Stefan Zweig travelled extensively, residing in Salzburg, Austria, among the wars. He loved around the globe literary status, first as a poet and translator, then as a biographer.


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A hidden sore remained, a kink which nothing could straighten. ” During those years of repression, the noblest and most intimate element of his faith in life was being so maltreated that it was partly withered before the doors opened and he could return to the sunlight of the outer world. Thus early began, though only in a minor degree, the melancholy and the sense of being forlorn in an uncongenial world which were to cloud his spirit, and in the end to deprive him of all capacity for joy. Such was the beginning, in the twilight of childhood and during the formative years, of that inward cleavage in Hölderlin, of that pitiless gulf between the world at large and the world of his own self.

His mind was enwrapped in a veil. With disordered senses, this man, “sold into slavery to the celestial powers”, lived on for decades, dead to himself and to the world, while nothing but rhythms, waves of unmeaning sound, issued from his lips. The springtide with its blossoms came and went, the season he had been so fond of passed him by, for he noted neither its advent nor its going any more. Men flourished and died, and he paid no heed. Schiller and Goethe and Kant and Napoleon, the great figures of his prime, had preceded him into the grave; steam-driven trains were thundering on iron roads across the Germany of his youthful visions.

That is why the extraordinary is always the standard of greatness. Invariably, even in its most perplexing and most dangerous manifestations, the creative genius has a value supreme over other values, a meaning profounder than that of all other meanings. * mania HÖLDERLIN 1770–1843 ’Tis hard for mortals to recognise the pure of heart. The Death of Empedocles A SPLENDID COMPANY OF YOUTHS Night would for ever reign supreme, and cold would be the earth, The soul would be consumed by bitter need, did not the gods, In their goodness, send down such youths from time to time To refresh the wilting lives of mortal men.

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