Was he himself not a critical author? Not only did Schnitzler admonish the rigid social conventions of his age, which placed women of all walks of society firmly in dependence of men, however irresponsible these men may be. This is true, but Schnitzler felt strongly that the overriding sentiment of the immediate post-war years was hate. Through Expressionism, this transcended into literature. After the war, he was very interested in Communism, while in later years, he became more conservative, and entertained Catholic sympathies.
Schnitzler never refuted Expressionism in public — only privately, in his diaries and in conversation with his friends. Otherwise he would have reinforced yet another stereotype: The chronicler of a bygone era. One may only write plays of — did you know that? Also, death and love are no longer suitable subjects — only border regulations, currency fluctuations, tax questions, theft, and hunger risings are of interest to the serious especially the serious German man.
Towards the end of the war, he even turned to the life and times of Casanova.
Another drama from this time, Der Gang zum Weiher , is set in a pre-modern era, and, like Casanova in Spa, written entirely in verse. The fact is, that for all his scepticism of contemporary political developments, Schnitzler was more attached to the new era than his critics would have us believe.
In spite of a strong aversion to Expressionism, Schnitzler defended himself against the allegation of being an out- dated author. He embraced the latest technological developments: He was greatly enthused by his first flight from Venice to Vienna. He was an avid cinema-goer, and was very interested in the artistic potential of film. DeMille already in Der junge Medardus was turned into a film in Schnitzler describes a young woman of the new society, confident, and sexually aware. This alone bears witness to the financial instability of the post-war 35 Letters Schnitzler to Georg Brandes, Schnitzler traces every one of her thoughts and associations, using the modern technique of the interior monologue.
In the end, Else sees no way out of her predicament but in an overdose of veronal. The manner in which she reflects upon herself and her effect upon others is not that of a 19th-century woman. She dreams about lying unclothed on marble steps by the sea. Before getting dressed, she speaks to her image in the mirror admiringly about her own body. The total lack of reliability in the narrative voice, however, is a clear mark of literary modernism. This lack of authority in the narrative voice reflects the disorientation of post-war society, its political and economic instability, and its social confusion.
And yet the majority of contemporary critics were not prepared to recognise his modernity. Perhaps the most significant reason for this was his position as an Austrian-Jewish writer in a time of ever-increasing anti-Semitic hostility. The play opens with a fatally ill patient in a stage of euphoria just before the end. This occurrence, as soon as it becomes public, is blown up into a scandal, and is vigorously debated in parliament.
Eventually, one of the witnesses confesses to having lied under oath at the trial. Bernhardi could resume proceedings to avenge himself. Liberal journalists approach him, offering their help. He declines both options, however, stressing that the whole affair was an entirely personal, not a political matter.
He only did what he felt was right, and he did so without compromise. The play was banned in Austria in , but successfully performed on the major German stages. With the abolition of censorship in the republic, the path was cleared for the Viennese premiere of the play.
By November , preparations to perform Professor Bernhardi at the Volkstheater under Alfred Bernau were in full swing. Although a police official had warned Schnitzler of potential demonstrations, the first Viennese performance on 21 December was a great success. Even the press reviews were, for the most part, favourable. They could not avoid noticing the increased anti-Semitic tendencies around them, and appreciated his stinging criticism of it. So much so, in fact, that the play formed the centrepiece of the memorial service for Schnitzler in October At a show in Wiener Neustadt in Lower Austria, however, in early October , things were very different.
No police force will be able to prevent the piece from getting the reception it deserves. The Jewish community should settle with the theatre directors whether it would like that or not. No one knows what wider consequences a Jewish theatre scandal can have. Our task is to warn publicly, just as we have warned in the theatre. The Christian population tolerated this crude offence once, — has seen what Jews are capable of — it must not happen a second time On 23 October, Christian Socials and nationalists organised a scandal. The police arrested four students. Schnitzler noted in his diary that these were the first scandals ever caused by Professor Bernhardi.
I alone. Because this would have placed him more soundly into the category of the modern, decadent, Jewish writer. The pace of everyday life had increased rapidly by the early 20th century. Coupled with social and cultural tensions, this made for considerable anxiety among inhabitants of modern European cities. At the forefront of economic and industrial development, but also in the artistic and literary avant-garde — so journalists such as Adolf Bartels explained — stood the Jews.
Conveniently, Jews could also be taken to represent the thoroughly modern movement of Socialism, by pointing to prominent representatives from Marx to Viktor Adler. For Julius Langbehn, the notorious author of Rembrandt als Erzieher , the Jew epitomised the restlessness, the cosmopolitanism, the liberalism, and the general corruption of 39 Hartmut Scheible: Schnitzler, Reinbek bei Hamburg, , p. Horch, eds. Langbehn turned against Naturalism, with its essentially destructive capital Berlin. He would continue to become one of the most prominent philologists of the Third Reich.
Striking a similar vein as Langbehn, he explains: Since the decadents are here already, we cannot simply beat them to death, but we have no reason to treat them to kindly, either.
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We believe that our people are still healthy, or can become so again very soon; and we simply deny the diseased their right to national existence. The uniting factor in these paradoxical stereotypes was, of course, basic, pseudo-scientific racism. Had Schnitzler emphasised his literary modernity — apart from the fact that he did not want to be identified with Expressionism — he would have become an even easier target for anti-Semitic journals than he already was.
The events of the war expanded it beyond the Austrian and Jewish dimensions, to include his identification with the wider German-speaking world. His complex cultural identity, and his notion of doing what one is convinced to be right, irrespective of slander in the press, set him above the political currents of the day.
Nähe und Distanz in Schnitzlers ‚Fräulein Else‘ -- ein sprachwissenschaftlicher Ansatz.
But Schnitzler would not let himself be harnessed to a political movement such as Zionism. Furthermore, Schnitzler disliked being considered a Jewish writer. A Jewish author wrote in Hebrew, he held, whereas a German one wrote in German. Another reason was that he was opposed to certain orthodox Jewish rituals. During the war, Schnitzler was requested to donate to provide Jewish prisoners of war with unleavened bread for Pessach.
Instead of a donation, he sent a letter to the committee of the Israelitische Kultusgemeinde, explaining he considered this not only an outdated, but also a dangerous idea. He maintains that the rabbis, rather than encouraging religious supersition, should work towards enlightening the Jews. Also, Schnitzler considers it imperative to change the Sabbath to Sunday. Schnitzler was very much attached to Vienna, which he never left throughout his life — except for travels.
As noted earlier, Schnitzler was equally fond of German-speaking Austria, which he considered native soil. In relation to the rest of Europe, one could say: We Germans are being treated the same as we Austrians and Jews. We are being misunderstood.
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Blackall, der damit untrennbar verbunden ist. Wie es kam, dass sie dabei ausgerechnet den damals erst 23 Jahre alten Briten Eric A. Blackall, geboren am Eric A. Blackall muss seine Hilfe unmittelbar zugesichert haben und handelte sogleich, ohne Zeit zu verlieren. Diese wurde vom britischen Konsul in Wien beglaubigt, der sogleich die Versiegelung von Schnitzlers Arbeitsraum veranlasste, in dem sich der Nachlass befand. Das Haus stand zu diesem Zeitpunkt bereits unter Beobachtung und wurde von der Gestapo aufgesucht, jedoch nicht betreten.
Mai in England eintraf. Schnitzlers Nachlass hat den 2. November verstarb. Sein Forschungsinteresse galt zeitlebens der deutschen Literatur des Klasse des Verdienstordens der Bundesrepublik Deutschland ausgezeichnet. Vivien Friedrich. Anybody dealing with the literary estate of Arthur Schnitzler will sooner or later come across the name Eric A. Blackall, which is inextricably bound up with it. The story that lies behind this is as unusual as it is intriguing.
With the incorporation of Austria into the German Reich through the Anschluss in March , the systematic persecution of the Jewish population and the destruction or confiscation of their property was extended to Vienna, and the Schnitzler family also felt the effects of this. Heinrich Schnitzler was already abroad on business at this time and avoided returning to Vienna, and Olga Schnitzler found herself alone in the face of the palpable threat, with a need to act swiftly.
How she came to turn for help to the then just year-old Briton Eric A. Blackall remains something of a mystery. Blackall, who was born in London on 19 October , had been in Vienna since the winter term of , in order to work for his doctorate with the Viennese Professor of German, Josef Nadler later a controversial figure owing to his membership of the NSDAP and his support of the Anschluss.
The highly talented young German scholar, who had completed his undergraduate studies at the University of Cambridge, by all accounts already had an excellent command of German at that point und enjoyed a socially and culturally active existence in Vienna.