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Exposition De Stefan Zweig à Martin Bodmer

Exposition De Stefan Zweig à Martin Bodmer
la collection [in]visible

From 24 April to 29 August 2021

Johann C. F. Hölderlin, Burg Tübingen, [vers 1790] © Fondation Martin Bodmer / Naomi Wenger
Graphisme : Karen Ichters

Introduction

Stefan Zweig (Vienna, 1881 – Petrópolis, 1942) wasn’t only the internationally successful author of Amok and Letter from an Unknown Woman, he was also an important collector of literary manuscripts. He managed to amass an eclectic range of texts that reflect his keen interest in the diversity of European literatures, a collection of several hundred autograph texts by the authors he most admired. This trove includes rough drafts of famous or unpublished works, preparatory notes, personal letters, even manuscripts meant for the printers, from Renaissance writers up to his contemporaries. This personal gallery of the “greatest masters of all time” – Goethe, Balzac, and Rimbaud found side by side with Racine, Casanova, and Wilde – also represented for him the chance to sound the mysteries of artistic creation, an abiding quest throughout his busy and turbulent life.

Arthur Rimbaud, Enfer de la soif [1872?] © Fondation Martin Bodmer

Arthur Rimbaud, Enfer de la soif [1872?] © Fondation Martin Bodmer

Emmanuel Kant, [Fragment d'un texte philosophique] [date inconnue] © Fondation Martin Bodmer / Naomi Wenger

Emmanuel Kant, [Fragment d’un texte philosophique] [date inconnue] © Fondation Martin Bodmer / Naomi Wenger

Forced into exile by the threat of Nazism, Zweig chose to part with his collection, a magnificent trove that he deemed “more worthy to survive [him] than [his] own works” (The World of Yesterday, 1942), and turned to the Viennese bookseller Heinrich Hinterberger, with whom he organized the sale of the manuscripts from London. The greater part of the collection was acquired by the Swiss bibliophile Martin Bodmer (Zurich, 1899 – Geneva, 1971), whose already famous library Zweig knew by reputation. The characteristic unity of the Zweig collection was thus largely preserved.

Bringing to light once again a collection that was long thought to be lost, the Michalski Foundation’s show De Stefan Zweig à Martin Bodmer (From Stephan Zweig to Martin Bodmer) offers a rare opportunity to see some of the finest pages of the world’s literary heritage in the author’s hand, while questioning what could have brought together these two collectors in their respective undertakings. As heirs to Goethe, they shared both a “magical” understanding of the autograph manuscript as the circle in which to conjure up “geniuses” through their written markings, and a humanist vision of Weltliteratur –  world literature – as a cultural horizon in the face of the brutal rise of nationalisms.

Victor Hugo, « Lumière » [date inconnue] © Fondation Martin Bodmer

Victor Hugo, « Lumière » [date inconnue] © Fondation Martin Bodmer

Jean-Jacques Rousseau, « Lettres écrites de la montagne » [1763-1764] © Fondation Martin Bodmer

Jean-Jacques Rousseau, « Lettres écrites de la montagne » [1763-1764] © Fondation Martin Bodmer

Guest curator

Marc Adam Kolakowski, adjunct researcher at the Bodmer Lab, University of Geneva.

Archival Collection

The Martin Bodmer Foundation, Cologny – private collections

Sceenography

Raphaèle Gygi

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Credits

Conception: Fondation Jan Michalski
Editing and production: Benoît Jordil, Géosud SA
Pictures of the works: © Bodmer Lab, Fondation Martin Bodmer, Naomi Wenger et Fondation Jan Michalski
Texts : Marc Adam Kolakowski et Fondation Jan Michalski
Content of the videos: Marc Adam Kolakowski et Jérôme David
Production of videos: Isokina Sàrl

Arthur Rimbaud, Enfer de la soif [1872?] © Fondation Martin Bodmer

Arthur Rimbaud, Enfer de la soif [1872?] © Fondation Martin Bodmer

Emmanuel Kant, [Fragment d’un texte philosophique] [date inconnue] © Fondation Martin Bodmer / Naomi Wenger

Emmanuel Kant, [Fragment d’un texte philosophique] [date inconnue] © Fondation Martin Bodmer / Naomi Wenger

Victor Hugo, « Lumière » [date inconnue] © Fondation Martin Bodmer

Victor Hugo, « Lumière » [date inconnue] © Fondation Martin Bodmer

Jean-Jacques Rousseau, « Lettres écrites de la montagne » [1763-1764] © Fondation Martin Bodmer

Jean-Jacques Rousseau, « Lettres écrites de la montagne » [1763-1764] © Fondation Martin Bodmer