Saturday, 1 December 2018

The Royal Game, by Stefan Zweig, a follow up.

It seems that my brief mention of Stefan Zweig's chess story The Royal Game barely scratched the bibliographical surface of the publication details of his final novella.

Manfred Mittelbach of Cape of Good Hope, has provided much further information including an extraordinarily detailed account of the writing and publication of Zweig's story compiled by Elke Rehder of Barsbüttel, Germany. This reveals that Zweig's original typescript was handed to his friend and publisher Abraham Koogan in Rio de Janeiro only two or three days before his death, with  three further copies being posted to associates in New York and Buenos Aires.

Rehder states that the very first publication of the story was in Brazilian Portuguese by Editora Guanabara in Rio de Janeiro in September 1942, with the title A Partida de Xadrez and was included in the omnibus volume As Três Paixões (Three Passions).  

Andreas Saremba has also informed me of this Portuguese translation, stating that this was revealed by Siegfried Schönle in the brochure 65 Jahre Schachnovelle, published by Susanna Poldauf and Andreas Saremba in 2007 for the Emanuel Lasker Gesellschaft.

The first German language publication, with the title Schachnovelle, was issued on 7th December 1942 in Buenos Aires, followed by the first European edition of Schachnovelle published by Gottfried Bermann Fischer in an edition of 5,000 copies at Stockholm in 1943.

One copy of the typescript was sent to Zweig's friend and editor Benjamin W. Huebsch of Viking Press in New York. Huebsch translated the German text into English and published the novel with the title The Royal Game in April 1944. However, the English text had already appeared a month earlier in the March 1944 edition of Woman's Home Companion, enhanced with some fine illustrations.

This American monthly was published by Crowell-Collier Publishing Company of New York and Springfield, Ohio.

A special edition for the American Armed Forces was also published in 1944 by Editions for the Armed Services  together with Zweig's other short novels Amok and Letter from an Unknown Woman.

Many thanks to Manfred Mittelbach for the above illustrations.

No comments:

Post a Comment