Stefan Zweig – Abschied von Europa
Curated by Clement Renoldner
Just to revisit Stefan Zweig’s A Chess Story briefly.
At the moment there’s an exhibition at the Theater Museum in Vienna, looking at the latter part of the Austrian writer’s life and career. In Stefan Zweig – Abschied von Europa, one room is given over to Schachnovelle. Here you can read manuscripts and typescripts, view various editions of the book and so on. A photograph of the room is above.
Note the chequered floor, the scale model of the Hotel Metropole – which was where the Gestapo were quartered in Vienna from 1938 – the leather great coats. The layout of the room and the iconography may strike some as being a bit creepy, not to say problematic. Zweig was Jewish, of course.
On a lighter note: elsewhere on the same floor, and as part of the exhibition, there’s a chess set on a table and a couple of chairs. When I visited the museum in August, I couldn’t resist playing out the moves 1.e4 e5 2.Nc3…
Zweig plays a part in the main exhibition, Richard Strauss und die Oper, as well. He knew the composer and suggested writing an opera based on Ben Jonson’s play Epicoene; Or the Silent Woman. This became Die schweigsame Frau (1933), for which Zweig wrote the libretto.
The top floor of the museum has a small array of artifacts relating to stage and set design. This is, I think, a permanent exhibition. The other two, Stefan Zweig – Abschied von Europa and Richard Strauss und die Oper, continue until early 2015, further details can be found here.