I have been looking for this short story in English, but I haven’t found it; I suppose it is included in some of the compilations of Zweig’s stories but not as a single book as in Spain, so I’m showing you the Spanish cover. Anyway, I thought I would never say this about Zweig, but I don’t recommend this story.
I love Stefan Zweig’s novels and short stories, and when I am hesitating because I don’t know which book to read, I usually try to read a book I know I will love while I decide between the others, so I have three or four authors reserved that I will like “for sure”. And that’s why I started this short story: I knew I would enjoy it very much – because it’s Zweig’s story – but it finally disappointed me a lot.
Erika Ewald is a pianist that meets a violinist she has to play in a concert with. Both are talented composers and Erika falls in love with him, but this love is only in her mind, imaginary and perfect, and she doesn’t want it to materialize because when the boy confesses he also feels attracted to her, she refuses him.
Just as I didn’t understand Erika’s behavior, neither did I understand her sensitivity about music. Of course she is a musician and she loves music and art, but I found the girl overly sensitive to the point that she burst into tears, screaming and suffering, when she heard a song that thrilled her. It was difficult not to see her as an exaggeration, instead of thinking of her as a real character.
So for the first time Zweig has failed me. My life is over.
My Spanish review here.