Schnitzler, Arthur

   Born in Vienna, Arthur Schnitzler was the son of a prosperous Jewish laryngologist. The future novelist and playwright was himself a physician, who, as a student, had an early interest in neurology and psychiatry. He did clinical work, as did Sigmund Freud, in the laboratory of Theodore Meynert (1833–1892), who was interested in classifying mental disorders through the study of the brain. Schnitzler himself used hypnotism in his early medical practice and would, as a mature man, confess that many of his plots had come to him in dreams. Schnitzler’s plays and fiction, marked by detached and transparent language, the absence of authorial intrusion, withering psychological realism, and a subtle understanding of interpersonal dynamics, were almost always set in Vienna and its environs. His characters—ambitious Jewish professionals, bored but erotically driven members of the high middle classes and aristocracy, self-righteous clergymen, the often helpless poor of the city’s teeming outer districts—were all familiar on the local scene. Duplicity was everywhere, but especially in marital relationships. Self-revelation and self-discovery, whether therapeutic or painful, were consistent themes throughout his work. Schnitzler’s first major success on the stage, Liebelei, which premiered at the Burgtheater in 1895, was the story of the daughter of a coachman, driven to suicide by the apparent faithlessness of a young man of good family who takes their relationship all too casually. Much of his work however, was far more controversial and brought him much trouble. The play Leutnant Gustl (1900), which centered around the problem created by a duel over a woman’s attentions, showed the military code of honor in an unfavorable light and cost the writer his officer’s rank. Das grüne Kakadu (The Green Bird), set during the French Revolution, offended circles around Emperor Franz Joseph. Reigen, better known as La Ronde to French and English audiences, reduced romantic bonds to the drive for self-gratification; it circulated at first only in manuscript form and provoked scandal even in 1920, when it was finally staged. Schnitzler himself refused to allow further performance of it.
   After World War I, Schnitzler lost much of his audience in his native land, which deemed his work too frivolous and cynical to be worthy of attention. Before his death, he tried writing scripts for American films, without great success.
   See also Jung Wien; Literature.

Historical dictionary of Austria. . 2014.

Look at other dictionaries:

  • SCHNITZLER, ARTHUR — (1862–1931), Austrian playwright and author. Schnitzler s father, Professor Johann Schnitzler (1835–1593), was an eminent Viennese throat specialist. Since his patients included dramatic and operatic stars, young Schnitzler was in constant… …   Encyclopedia of Judaism

  • Schnitzler, Arthur — (1862 1931)    Playwright. Schnitzler was a product of fin de siècle Vienna, and his artistic sensibility was in a way similar to Hugo von Hofmannsthal s, though Schnitzler was much less lyrical in his plays and far more interested in the sensual …   Historical dictionary of German Theatre

  • Schnitzler, Arthur — (1862–1931)    The author of TRAUMNOVELLE (“Dream Novel,” 1926), which was the basis for STANLEY KUBRICK’s last film, EYES WIDE SHUT (1999), was born, lived, and died in his beloved Vienna. He was the son of a famous Jewish throat specialist who… …   The Encyclopedia of Stanley Kubrick

  • Schnitzler, Arthur — born May 15, 1862, Vienna, Austria died Oct. 21, 1931, Vienna Austrian playwright and novelist. Schnitzler practiced medicine in Vienna most of his life, and he also studied psychiatry. He became known for his psychological dramas and for his… …   Universalium

  • Schnitzler, Arthur — (1862–1931)    Austrian playwright. Schnitzler grew up in Vienna and qualified as a doctor with a special interest in psychotherapy. After the success of his play Liebelei (1895), he turned to a career as a dramatist. His plays enjoyed a vogue on …   Who’s Who in Jewish History after the period of the Old Testament

  • Schnitzler, Arthur — ► (1862 1931) Literato austríaco. Autor de El velo de Beatriz y Rueda. * * * (15 may. 1862, Viena, Austria–21 oct. 1931, Viena). Dramaturgo y novelista austríaco. Durante la mayor parte de su vida Schnitzler ejerció la medicina en Viena y además… …   Enciclopedia Universal

  • Schnitzler,Arthur — Schnitz·ler (shnĭtsʹlər), Arthur. 1862 1931. Austrian writer known for his psychologically penetrating and sometimes erotic novels and plays, particularly La Ronde (1896). * * * …   Universalium

  • Schnitzler, Arthur — (1862 1931)    Austrian play wright and author. Initially he practised medicine in Vienna, only later devoting himself to writing. His views about the position of Jews in modern society are found in the play Professor Bernhardi and the novel Der… …   Dictionary of Jewish Biography

  • Schnitzler, Arthur —  (1862–1931) Austrian playwright and novelist …   Bryson’s dictionary for writers and editors

  • Schnitzler — Schnitzler, Arthur …   Enciclopedia Universal

Share the article and excerpts

Direct link
Do a right-click on the link above
and select “Copy Link”

We are using cookies for the best presentation of our site. Continuing to use this site, you agree with this.