Lieutanant Gustl: Masterworks of Fiction

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Green Integer, 2003 - Fiction - 59 pages
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With Peter Altenberg and Hugo von Hofmansthal, Arthur Schnitzler was a major modernist of the period of Viennese intellectual activity from 1890 to 1930. Born in 1862 and trained as a physician, Schnitzler increasingly came to be influenced by the psychoanalysis centered around Sigmund Freud. Ultimately he gave up medicine to devote himself to writing brilliant psychological portraits of the Viennese bourgeois and upper classes of the fin de siecle.
Schnitzler's most famous works include his dramas. Anatol (1893), Liebelei (1896), and The Green Cockatoo (1899), and the fictions The Lonely Way (1904), The Road Into the Open (1908), Casanova's Homecoming (1918), and Dream Story (1926). Lieutenant Gustl, published in 1901, is among Schnitzler's major short works, and is important as one of the first examples in this century of "stream of consciousness" narration. James Joyce has admitted to have been influenced by this book in writing Ulysses.
A tour de force of modernist point-of-view, Lieutenant Gustl is highly critical of Austria's militarism, and resulted in anti-Semitic attacks to Schnitzler when it was first published.

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Contents

Section 1
5
Section 2
7
Section 3
24
Copyright

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About the author (2003)

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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