Casanova, Stendhal, Tolstoy: Master Builders of the Spirit: Adepts in Self-Portraiture Stefan Zweig

ISBN: 9781412845953

Published: March 1st 2012

Paperback

417 pages


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Casanova, Stendhal, Tolstoy: Master Builders of the Spirit: Adepts in Self-Portraiture  by  Stefan Zweig

Casanova, Stendhal, Tolstoy: Master Builders of the Spirit: Adepts in Self-Portraiture by Stefan Zweig
March 1st 2012 | Paperback | PDF, EPUB, FB2, DjVu, AUDIO, mp3, RTF | 417 pages | ISBN: 9781412845953 | 7.38 Mb

Casanova, Stendhal, Tolstoy: Adepts in Self-Portraiture, the final volume of Stefan Zweigs masterful Master Builders of the Spirit trilogy, discloses the smaller version of a writers own ego. Unconscious though it is, no reality is as important toMoreCasanova, Stendhal, Tolstoy: Adepts in Self-Portraiture, the final volume of Stefan Zweigs masterful Master Builders of the Spirit trilogy, discloses the smaller version of a writers own ego. Unconscious though it is, no reality is as important to the writer as the reality of their own life.

Giacomo Casanova, Stendhal (Marie-Henri Beyle), and Leo Tolstoy have different approaches to self-portraiture, but Zweig shows that together they symbolize three levels which represent successively ascending gradations of the same creative function. Casanova is depicted as having a primitive gradation- he simply records deeds and happenings, without any attempt to appraise them or to study the deeper working of the self.

Stendhals self-portraiture is depicted as psychological- he observes himself and investigates his own feelings. Tolstoy has the highest level- he describes his own life, records what led him to his own actions, and focuses on self-reflection in a completely unexaggerated manner. At first glance it might seem as if self-portraiture is an artists easiest task. With no further trouble than a probing of memory and a description of the facts of life, the truth is revealed. The history of literature shows that ordinary autobiographers are no more than commonplace witnesses testifying to facts that chance has brought to their knowledge.

A practiced artist is needed to discern the innermost happenings of the soul- few who have attempted autobiography have been successful in this difficult task. The present volume expounds the characteristics of these subjectively minded artists, and of autobiography as their typical method of personal expression.



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