"A perfect translation of a near-perfect novella of bourgeois adultery and guilt."—Jonathan Bate, Times Literary Supplement, Book of the Year 2010Finding her comfortable bourgeois existence as wife and mother predictable after eight years of marriage, Irene Wagner brings a little excitement into it by starting an affair with a rising young pianist. Her lover's former mistress begins blackmailing her, threatening to give her secret away to her husband. Irene is soon in the grip of agonizing fear.Written in the spring of 1913, and first published in 1920, this novella is one of Stefan Zweig's most powerful studies of a woman's mind and emotions. La Paura (1954) the Roberto Rossellini film based on the Stefan Zweig novel Fear was the last of the extraordinary features in which Rossellini directed Ingrid Bergman, his wife.
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However, it is far more fruitful to view Zweig's artless tracing of Irene's emotional state - "Here the pictures in her mind's eye were suddenly extinguished in the darkness of a confused and cruel fear" - as a kind of psychic anatomy lesson: an attempt, like Freud's, to strip bare the mechanics ...Feb 18 2011 | Read Full Review of Fear
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