I, Erzählende Schriften 30, Casanovas Heimfahrt, Seite 62

ists, age. It has taken his money, his good
looks, and, most grievous of all, h’s appeal
box 4/10
Casanovas Heinfahrt.
to women.
CEas neibranT
In real life the defeat of a swindler, liar
and seducer a# the hands of old age is
hardly a theme to wring tears of syipathy
from one’s eyes. Butyhere comes in the
art of Arthur Schnitzler. All through the
rogue’s last intrigueg in the“ Homecoming“
Casanova is a sympäthetic figure, a gay but
harrowed spirit beset by an enemy that
is sure to overtake and destroy him." He
could still at times grasp happiness, but
Casanova s Homecoming, By Arthur Schnitzler
for à moment ofly; he could no longer hold
it fast. His pewer over hie Tellows, over
Casanova, the most piquant figure of a piquant century, the man of the
women no less than over.. had van¬
thousand amours and thousand escapades, in his Memoirs has left perhaps
the frankest acconnt that a man has ever written of himself. Arthur —
ished. Only where he evoked memories
Symons says, A scholar, an adventürer, a gamester, one ’born to the
could hiswords, bis voice, his glance, still
fairer sex, as he tells, and born also to be a vagabond; thls man who 1e
conjure; apart from this, his presence was
reniembered now for his written acconnt of his own life, was the rarest#
kind of autoblographer, one who did not live to write, but wrote because be &
void of interest. His day was done!“
had lived.“ All of which sound saying is found in the blurb.
His seductiveness was spent and the
And now comes Arthur Schnitzler, with the daring and the artistry, to tell X&
the tale of this Don Juan's old age and last fond adventure. It is the
tragedy of this is revealed in his confession
story of lust, stripped of the dream-stuff and romance of youth: the febrile #,“
that it had been: Women, always women.
dodderer, stale with age, yet somehow vigorous with a putrescent life.
The story is excellently done, a work of faultless beauty. of great moral
For them he had again and again cast every¬
beauty. But all purists take warning—it scarcely belongs to the Sabbata¬
thing to the winds; sometimes for women
rian school of art. I fancy thattalong with Jurgen“ and“ Sons and Lovers“
who were refined, sometimes for women who
it will go, if it goes at all, on the sinshelf in most public libraries.
Strange, ien't it, how many of our moral books are actually immoral.
were vulgar; for passionate women and for
how many of our immoral books are most moral?
frigid women; for maidens and for harlots.
Allthe honors and all the joys of the world
Seitzer, publisher, New York.
had ever seemed cheap to him in compari¬

son with a successful night on a new love
Hence, being bereft of what he valnes
most in the world, this povyer of seduction,
there is something pathetic and courageous
in the way he summens his bravade and
swaggers manfully in the face of bis in¬
vincible opponeat, time. There is, too,
something sad abont his disgraceful con¬
nivings to obtitin the favors once eagerly
given, also sorgething droll.
Homecoming“ is crude. But the bare outline
106-110 SEVENTH AVE.
of the plot of most lives is crude, even of
unscoundreily lives. Casanova, past his
prime, desires Marcolina, at the dawn of
FROM JAN 7 1920
hers. By fair means or foul he is deter¬
mined to possess her. His connivings to¬
ward this end make up the events ofthe
Rochester, N. V.
story Man angling for maid—a dull, worn
Casanorn in Pietion.
theine, had it no deeper significance.
But behind Casanova’s shameless con¬
lated by
By Arthur Schnitzle
Eden and Cedar I
niving is the universal dramt of old age,
82.50. New Tork: Pomasheitzer.
thetragedg that none escapes, if he escapes
with bis lire.* We wrinkle, wither, grow
Aided bya considerable insight into
bent and ##avering, yet our obstreperous
character and a fine command of at¬
hearts demand the same rewards that they
mesphere, the author has summoned
demanded when we were young and beauti¬
out of history the tarnished figure of
ful and strong. The bitterness of tbis in¬
Casanova and made him to livelfor a
congru### is nowhere more sharply deline.
few hours in a fietion that brings bim
into an intimacy withthe readerchat
l eisode f Casanova—
sted than
nothing less than a perusal of Casa¬
hova’s tweive volumes of memoirs
could accomplish. In this one small
sensual and adventurous life.
volume veu have the entire man;
Sad And then, for Schnitzler is real¬
the past that he glories in, the pres¬ ¬
and galling is the cllmax of this 'stic. comes Casanova’s recovery of
that is beginning to elude his mast..
Sepisode where Marçolina stands
his self esteem. The rogue proceeds
and such future as a broken but still
Pcontemplating Casanova with un- to Venice and soon is once more
utterable horror.“
ardent adventurer of 53 might lock
enthralling an audience with a
forward to. Mr. Schnitzler’s presenta¬
Grotesque and droll as the in- dramatized account of his wanger¬
tion of his fietional Casanova gainsat¬
trigue is, Schnitzler handles it with ings and adventurings. He tells his
tention with his opening paragraph
dignity and sorrow. As the dawn cales stirringly and he seems to re¬
and compels it tosthe end. The illu¬
creeps in through the window the spond to bis audience. His manner
sion is so artistically crerted and so
reader is not witnessing the esca- is “bright and bold.“ But his re¬
faithfully maintained that dhe reader
pade of a swash-buckling Arabian ccvery Is only superficial. Under
is stirred te revolt and disgust by a
Nights hero. Instend, he is seeing his anlmation and gaiety is a grow¬
number of the frankest passages. One
a grief-stricken King Lear of the ing weariness and distaste for life.
lays the book aside with the feeling
senses, bereft of his glorious realm, And when, shortly after midnight,
that no matter how he may have
a despairing old Lear whose heart he throws himself on his uncasy
glittered in his day. Casanova, stripped
knows its own bitterness.
pallet in a shabby inn, there is
naked by this flictional biographer,
Then comes that weirdest of duels unen nis lips “a bitter after-taste
and all bis gloss rubbed off. is a sordid
In the shaded alley. Beautifun, which seemed to permeate his whole
und sinister old blackguard who merit¬
Schnitzler handles this encounter, being.“ And thus, marked for de¬
afate much worse than that of
A paragragh—the scene is set in all feat, Schnitzter with a gesture of
slking back to his natige Venice to
its brighifstrangeness, the#inality Ardeggol tenderness leaves
plahthe spy for the Letincil of Ten.
bend, t e and deuth thismost tragfall-herean
Düsdgtresc a stark white figure eshausted and sor adventurer,
face to face with age.