Arthur Schnitzler

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The following article is from The Great Soviet Encyclopedia (1979). It might be outdated or ideologically biased.

Schnitzler, Arthur


Born May 15, 1862, in Vienna; died there Oct. 21,1931. Austrian writer.

Schnitzler graduated from the medical faculty at the University of Vienna in 1885. His best works written in the late 19th and early 20th centuries continue the traditions of critical realism; they expose the hollowness and cruelty of the worldly life and defend the primacy of true feeling. In the drama Free Game (1896; Russian translation under the title A Slap in the Face, 1897) and the short story “Lieutenant Gustl” (1901), he portrayed the amorality and the casteconscious arrogance of officers in the Austrian Army. The effect of Schnitzler’s critical statements was weakened, however, by his use of decadent motifs: his play The Green Cockatoo (1899) was concerned with the illusoriness of life, and his series of one-act plays Paracelsus (1899) dealt with the cult of eternal beauty.

Schnitzler’s prose, which includes the novella Casanova’s Homecoming (1918) and the short-story collections The Sage’s Wife (1898) and Masks and Miracles (1912), is distinguished by psychological insight and an intense concern with sex. Schnitzler was influenced by S. Freud; Freudian tendencies are especially apparent in such late works as the novella Theresa (1928).


Dramen. Berlin-Weimar, 1968.
Erzählungen, 2nd ed. Berlin-Weimar, 1969.
In Russian translation:
Poln. sobr. soch., vol. 1–9. Moscow, 1903–11.
Zhena mudretsa. Moscow, 1967.


Evlakhov, A. M. A. Shnitsler. Baku, 1926.
Allen, R. H. An Annotated A. Schnitzler Bibliography, 1879–1965. Chapel Hill, 1966.
The Great Soviet Encyclopedia, 3rd Edition (1970-1979). © 2010 The Gale Group, Inc. All rights reserved.
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