Alison Flood writes in the Guardian that English Heritage will not be attaching a blue plaque to the London building where the Austrian-born writer Stefan Zweig lived for five years in the 1930s. Apparently, "reaction to the recent reissue of his autobiography appeared to show that there is not a modern critical consensus about his work." Which made me laugh, especially when I (mistakenly) searched for reviews of Oliver Matuschek's recent biography and found only praise for Zweig, and then realised they were referring to poet and reluctant translator Michael Hofmann's entertaining slating of The World of Yesterday in the London Review of Books back in 2010. Want a blue plaque attached to your house after you die? Better not get on Michael Hofmann's nerves then.
There is of course an informal campaign to get Zweig's former house a blue plaque, led by vocal British campaigning authors Zadie Smith and Antonia Fraser. And according to Guy Cunningham's piece in Bookslut, Zweig's fans also include Joan Acocella, Clive James and the late John Geilguld. Not to forget the England football team's "cerebral leader" Roy Hodgson, who famously enjoyed Beware of Pity. Fraser mentions in the Guardian piece that "one of the things about London is that we welcome refugee writers – it's
an honour for London and part of our heritage to have a plaque
[commemorating Zweig]". English Heritage sees it differently and refuses to budge for the next ten years though, so don't plan your exiled writers sightseeing tour of London just yet.