Road into the Open

ISBN-10: 0520077741
ISBN-13: 9780520077744
Edition: 1992
List price: $31.95 Buy it from $3.00
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Description: A finely drawn portrayal of the disintegration of Austrian liberal society under the impact of nationalism and anti-semitism,The Road into the Open (Der Weg ins Freie,1908) is a remarkable novel by a major Austrian writer of the early twentieth  More...

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Book details

List price: $31.95
Copyright year: 1992
Publisher: University of California Press
Publication date: 12/19/1991
Binding: Paperback
Pages: 314
Size: 5.75" wide x 9.25" long x 0.50" tall
Weight: 0.946
Language: English

A finely drawn portrayal of the disintegration of Austrian liberal society under the impact of nationalism and anti-semitism,The Road into the Open (Der Weg ins Freie,1908) is a remarkable novel by a major Austrian writer of the early twentieth century. Set in fin-de-siegrave;cle Austria--the cafeacute;s, salons, and musical concerts frequented by the Viennese elite--Schnitzler's perceptive exploration of the creative process and the private lives and public aspirations of urban Jewish intellectuals ranks with the highest achievements of Karl Kraus and Robert Musil. The novel's central character, Baron Georg von Wergenthin, is a handsome young composer whose troubled relations with women, musical collaborators, and representatives of the old social order make Schnitzler's book a revealing investigation of individual psychology and social allegory. In his comprehensive introduction, Russell Berman situates the book within the literary and political history of Central Europe and analyzes its relation to psychoanalysis, Marxism, musical aesthetics, and the legacy of European modernism.

Arthur Schnitzler, Viennese playwright, novelist, short story writer, and physician, was a sophisticated writer much in vogue in his time. He chose themes of an erotic, romantic, or social nature, expressed with clarity, irony, and subtle wit. Reigen, a series of ten dialogues linking people of various social classes through their physical desire for one another, has been filmed many times as La Ronde. As a Jew, Schnitzler was sensitive to the problems of anti-Semitism, which he explored in the play Professor Bernhardi (1913), seen in New York in a performance by the Vienna Burgtheater in 1968. Henry Hatfield calls Schnitzler "second only to Hofmannsthal among the Austrian writers of his generation and one of the most underrated of German authors... . He combined the naturalist's devotion to fact with the impressionist's interest in nuance; in other words, he told the truth" (Modern German Literature). In his most famous story, Lieutenant Gustl (1901), Schnitzler employs the stream-of-consciousness technique in an exposition of the follies and gradual disintegration of society in fin de siecle Vienna. Schnitzler has also been linked with Freud (see Vols. 3 and 5) and is credited with consciously introducing elements of modern psychology into his works.

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