Dies gilt insbesondere fur den ersten Teil der Studie, der sich mit Prag befasst und eine Fulle von familiaren, historischen, kulturellen, politischen, nationalen und sprachlichen Aspekten erortert, mit denen sich Rilke ebenso konfrontiert sah wie eine ganze Reihe von heute weniger prominenten Autoren (Ferdinand von Saar
, Gustav Meyrink u.a.), die man bei dieser Gelegenheit ebenfalls kennenlernen kann.
occur: Kleist and Kafka, Grillparzer and Ferdinand von Saar
, Schnitzler and Feuchtwanger, Max Frisch and even Lewis Carroll.
Even better is the chapter on Austrian writers, which acknowledges the philo-Semitism of Marie von Ebner-Eschenbach and reveals the contradictions in the lives and works of Ludwig Anzengruber and Ferdinand von Saar
, culminating in a defence of the latter's great story Seligmann Hirsch (1889) as philo-Semitic.
The writer who provides the largest body of relevant material is Leopold von Sacher-Masoch, but works by Gutzkow, Bettine von Arnim, Annette von Droste-Hulshoff, Hebbel, Freytag, Raabe, Fontane, Grillparzer, Ebner-Eschenbach, Anzengruber, and Ferdinand von Saar
are also examined, as are several tales by the Alsatian authors Erckmann and Chatrian.
Late in the century, Wilhelm Jensen and Carl Hauptmann (elder brother of Gerhart) link Gypsies to the pseudo-scientific discourse of racial difference and Social Darwinism, a trend that only intensifies in the work of Ferdinand von Saar
and Otto Alscher.
Even worse, Stifter was an Austrian, as were the gifted realists Marie von Ebner-Eschenbach and Ferdinand von Saar
- victims of a 'kleindeutsch', Prussocentric trend in literary history.
Casting his net more widely, Hettche provides a nicely differentiated summary of the three major currents in 'Grossstadtlyrik um 1890': the older poets of the Grunderzeit, Arno Holz and the Naturalists, and the Viennese Ferdinand von Saar
. He admits to some difficulty in placing Fontane's poems in the same category, but, on the basis of their difference, 'das Schlendern und ziellose Spazierengehen' of theme and form, he claims for a few of them a proximity to the 'decadent' response to modern urban life as defined by Kafitz.
The main chapters of the book, subdivided into the two parts 'Kindheitsgeschichten als Liebesgeschichten' and 'Liebesgeschichten als Lebensgeschichten' offers close readings of thirty-six narratives (most conventionally classified as novellas) by Marie von Ebner-Eschenbach, Ferdinand von Saar
, Ferdinand Kurnberger, Jakob Julius David, F.
Here he is concerned with the anti-modern mentality and the stereotypical images of Jews projected in the writings of Friedrich Hebbel, Ferdinand von Saar
, Wilhelm Raabe, and Thomas Mann.
Ferdinand von Saar
's novellas deserve to be read, and they also deserve to be studied: read, because the melancholy power of their portrayal of late Habsburg society can still engage readers today; studied, because (alongside Marie von Ebner-Eschenbach's works) they represent Austrian Realism at its best, and can thus provide remarkable insights into the culture and mentality of Vienna's liberal Ringstrassenzeit, as has recently been demonstrated in Karlheinz Rossbacher's magisterial tome Literatur und Liberalismus (Vienna: Jugend & Volk, 1992).
In an essay full of fascinating historical detail, Ian Foster places Ferdinand von Saar
's story Doktor Trojan in the contexts of increasing tensions (within Czech nationalism and between Czechs and Germans) and of contemporary medicine, notably Albert Reibmeyer's tract blaming the failure of scientific advances to lower mortality rates on the over-eager interventions of surgeons.
Patricia Howe puts her finger on the problem in her stimulating essay on 'Realism and Moral Design', a comparison of texts by Fontane, Ferdinand von Saar
, and Marie von Ebner-Eschenbach, when she says that the best Realist fiction displays a divergence between traditional morality and aesthetic quality.