EDWARD TIMMS Critique of a Journalistic Age. Arthur Schnitzler and Karl Kraus 49
EDWARD TIMMS Critique of a Journalistic Age Arthur Schnitzler and Karl Kraus This essay reviews the principal phases in the relationship between Karl Kraus and Arthur Schnitzler, highlighting their contrasting attitudes to journalism. The sources include handwritten letters by Kraus, rescued from the clutches of the Nazis in 1938 through the ef forts of Eric Blackall, a Cambridge student who befriended the Schnitzler family. These letters form part of the Arthur Schnitzler Collection in Cambridge University Library, which also includes numerous drafts of the “play about journalists” on which the dramatist worked for fifteen years, finally published in 1917 under the title Fink und Fliederbusch. Even more significant is a further resource that remained hidden for decades after Schnitzler’s death – his private diaries. These, too, might not have survived if they had not been smuggled out of the country after Austria was annexed by Nazi Germany. Published complete in ten substantial volumes, the diaries of fer fascinating insights into the culture in early twentieth-century Vienna, including the journalistic milieu that framed Schnitzler’s career and formed the grist of Kraus’s satire.1 The early twentieth century was the great age of the newspaper press, as mass literacy endowed the printed word with unprecedented power. Newspaper production was revolutionized by rotary presses and linotype composing machines, while modern roads and railways, together with the telephone, telegram and teleprinter, were transforming communications. In Western Europe, democratic institutions, social reforms and scientific 1 This chapter is indebted both to the team that edited Schnitzler’s diaries,...
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