Posthumous Portrait

BALZAC (404 pp.)—Stefan Zweig, translated by William & Dorothy Rose —Viking ($3.75).

When Austrian-born Biographer Stefan Zweig committed suicide (together with his wife) in Brazil almost five years ago, he had been working on Balzac for a decade, referred to it as "the large Balzac" that was to become his magnum opus. Now published, his passionately sympathetic portrait of the prolific French novelist is clearly handicapped by the sudden death of its author.

As edited and somewhat rewritten by Zweig's friend Richard Friedenthal, it still exposes its incompleteness, especially in the sketchy final...

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