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Schnitzler’s Hidden Manuscripts


Edited By Lorenzo Bellettini and Peter Hutchinson

This volume, which takes its title from an international conference held at the University of Cambridge in November 2006, aims to shed new light on Schnitzler’s œuvre and his period by focusing on his as yet largely unpublished literary remains, his ‘hidden manuscripts’. Among the key topics covered in this collection are: the reconstruction of the adventurous rescue of the manuscripts from Vienna in 1938 and a description of their current locations; an overview of the author’s life, in its historical context, on the basis of such private documents as his diaries and letters; the plethora of existing variants, both published and unpublished, and their usefulness for our understanding of Schnitzler’s work, from the Anatol cycle to the ‘scandalous’ Reigen – in the light of the discovery of its original manuscript – and Schnitzler’s planned (but never completed) work on the historical figure of Emperor Joseph II; Schnitzler’s difficult relationship with one of the most influential journalists of his time, Karl Kraus, and his literary friendship with a close but hitherto neglected contemporary, Gustav Schwarzkopf; the network of intertextual references ‘hidden’ in the revolutionary monologue novella Lieutenant Gustl against the background of Hermann Bahr’s modernist theory of literature; and finally, Schnitzler’s ‘hidden legacy’ in our own epoch. This book contains contributions in both English and German.


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LORENZO BELLETTINI Introduction “Act immediately please”. The letter containing this urgent appeal, addressed to the Librarian at Cambridge University, came from a far-away place, had an unknown author, and contained an unusual request. A later missive added that by acting decisively Cambridge would be able to “claim the fame of having res- cued him from oblivion”. This was the beginning of an adventurous operation to save one of the most important literary legacies in Europe. The protagonists were a student, a widow on her way to America, a librarian, and a diplomat. The object was, of course, the private archive of Arthur Schnitzler (1862– 1931), the Viennese writer among whose intense and often problem-ridden friendships were Theodor Herzl, Stefan Zweig, Thomas Mann and many others, whose personal letters to Schnitzler are to be found in his vast archive. Although Schnitzler is still relatively unknown in the English-speaking world today, his work has inspired leading creative artists of our time, from the play- wrights Tom Stoppard (Dalliance, The Undiscovered Country) and David Hare (The Blue Room) to the director Stanley Kubrick, whose last film, Eyes Wide Shut, was based on Schnitzler’s fictional narrative Traumnovelle. Schnitzler’s legacy encompasses over 40,000 pages of diaries, literary drafts and letters of fering a vast portrait of one of the most fascinating and dramatic epochs in our history. It is almost a miracle that it still exists today. When in 1933 the Nazis came to power in Germany, the works of Jewish authors were denounced...

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