Author: Mela Hartwig

Mela Hartwig, Mela Hartwig Spira was born 1893 in Vienna, Austria-Hungary, as Mela Herzl later Hartwig, as a daughter of the sociologist Theodor Herzl, who converted in 1895 from Judaism to Catholicism and adopted the name Theodor Hartwig. She studied at the Vienna Conservatory and was active as actress in the years 1917 to 1921 in Austria and Berlin. She married the Jewish lawyer Robert Spira in 1928. In a literary competition of the magazine Die Literarische Welt, her story The Crime (1927) was awarded and by the mediation of Alfred Döblin and Stefan Zweig, Hartwig could publish her novella collection Ekstasen the following year. Her first novel Das Weib ist ein Nichts was published in 1929. After Austria’s Anschluß to the German Reich in 1938, Mela and her husband emigrated to London, where she met Virginia Woolf, who gave her a job as a language teacher. There Mela Hartwig Spira died in 1967 at the age of 74.

An extraordinary find: first ever publication! IMPRESSIVE, IF NOT VERTIGINOUS … INFERNO IS LIKE A PRECURSOR OF ELIAS CANETTI’S CROWDS AND POWER. Vienna 1938. The »Anschluss« of Austria is imminent. It is a time of pogroms, of opportunists, of denunciations and enthusiastic nazis. In these times of upheaval 18-year-old Ursula […]