I, Erzählende Schriften 30, Casanovas Heimfahrt, Seite 112

distinguished accession to it. Like
its companion volumes, Casanova's
Homecoming, is priced 81.
Casanova's Homecoming“ is an al¬
luring title. The choice of a fictional
motif derived from Casanova’s re¬
conspicuous instance of Schnitzlerian
subtlety. Any writer of a novel based
on Casanova's life labors under the
handicapping fact that what really
happened to Casanova is stranger
than the wildest romance. It would
be impossible to imagine a more in¬
credible adventure than what actual¬
ly befell Casanova in his escape from
the prison of the Leads“ in Venice.
W/ISELY, and with a consummate
sense of what is admissible in art,
Schnitzler has not tried to embellish
history. By the same token, he has
not sought to usurp h.story’s throne
or to invade her realm.
Thie Casanova who holds the center
not the
Schnitzler’s stage is
dazzling adventurer who bewildersel
Europe with his mingled villainy and
No, the homecoming Casanova of
Schntzler long since has shot earth¬
ward from his zenith. He is 53 years
old. He fully realizes his decline.
But none the less fiercely he revolts
against it. At 53 Casanova is yet a
scoundrel, a desperado, a cutthroat—.
and a wizard. Power to fascinate is
indeed the dominant fact of Casa¬
nova's personality.
TUT it is fascination without win¬
D someness. Fascination that is
snakelike! The legend of the boa¬
constrictor’s jeweled eye, enthralling
the bird, has a human metamorphesis
in the career of Casanova.
Yet Casanova sees, and Schnitzler
makes us see, that Casanova's lure,
tremendous as it is, is not infallible.
Especially in a man of 53.
When, by a subterfuge so abomin¬
able that it sounds the uttermost
abyss of infamy, Casanova betrays
Marcolina, and the girl discovers the
ruse, Casanova is not afraid of being
called thief, libertine, villain. What
he reads in her face is the judgment
to him most dreadful of all—old
LRROM the point of view, either of
literature or ethics, there is much
in Casanova’s Homecoming,“ from
which smugness will draw äside its
skirts and Puritanism hide its
shocked head. Even art may raise
a question of good taste.
But the book must be judged by a
criterion with which smugness and
Puritanism have nothing to do and
which demands a breadth greater
than even that of art. In basic ver¬
ity. Casanova’s Homecoming“ is a
demonstration that arch-scoundrel¬
ism and arch-fascination combined
are no match for old age. The ethical
meaning of that truth is as great as
it is, in Schnitzler’s interpretation,
box 4/11
30. Casanovas Heimfahr
Carlisle Pa
AUG 211930
Columbus 0
This Land of Liberty'' Is 80
AUG 171930
vicious a denunciation that the.
ause of liberalism might well be
njnred by the over-statement of
which Bates is quite possibly
guilty. Still, the
Schhitzier Teils
igainst che Schnitzler beoklis 80
lustrative- ür the“ prüdery, ihe
chronie hysteita,ngainst Wirsch he
0. Casanovas
rails that hir words gain emphasis.
It. was in 1921 that“Casanova'’s
Final Deleat
Homecoming“ was üirst printed in
English. At that time it was hailed
into a magistrate’s court and a
inlizler, published by Simon and Schuster, Ihner
compromise was reached-the then
Sänctum edition, 81.
publisher agreeing torwithdraw the
book as soon as he had d.sposed of
GEis a grim executloner.
the first edition.
Simon and Schuster now have
PI Tragedy is intrinsic in his handiwork.
brought it out again as one of the
Arthur Schnitzler has crystallized the essence
"Inner Sanetum Novels“ ut a dol¬
of tragedy out of the creeping insidiousness of
lar. If eversthere-were a fletional
time in“ Casanova’s Homecoming.“
bargain this is it.
Casanova, the master amorist—the dashing
Casanova’s Homecoming“ de¬
hero of all circumstances which touch him—
scribes an imaginary event in the
meets defeat, erushing defeat through the re¬
lentless advance of senescence.
life of the greatest adventurer of
No woman he has wanted in his life of l1¬
them all when he has reached the
cense and high adventure has been beyond the
age of 53 and is returningto Ven¬
pale of his achievement. When he meets the#
ice. There occurs a hideous seduc¬
most desirable woman of his exotic career, the
tion but the scene—to which the
woman who matches his wit and learning, cool
moral agents apparently object so
in intellect but yet warmed by the glow of her
strenuously—is by no means glori¬
beauty and youth, Casanova, the invincible,
lied eroticism, ather it is a polg¬
meets only revulsion.
nant tragedy ol advancing old age.
He is only an old repellant man to Marco¬
lina, the young und wise and beautiful. She
puts the doom of senility's approach upon him.
THE eighteentn century erotic flavor of the
highly romantic tale has incurred the dis¬
favor of John S. Sumner at the helm of the
New rork Society for the Supression of Vice. He
Greensburg Pa
has asked for the bans by the court. The pub¬
lishers obligingly effered him a truck to trans¬
port the seizure. The outcome as yet remains
AUG 22 1930
This has nothing to do with the literary
merlt of this intense story done-in a brilllant
Wrhis Land of Liberty“ Is 80
style by the vell-known Viennese. Witk deft
vicious u denunclation that the cäuse
diserimination of a master-hand, he builds up
of liberalism might well be Injured
the kind of stirring polgnancy that leaves a
by the over-statement of which Bates
lingering sadness.
Is qulte possibly gullty. Still, the
The work is intensely dramatie. You see be¬
prosecution against the Schnitzler
fore you vislbly the aged adventurer's neck un¬
bock Is so illustrative of the pru¬
der the mereiless knife of the guillotine of time,
dery, the chronic hysteria, against
when he returns to the city he has yearned for.
which he ralls that his words gain
Venice, after nis long exile. He must come #8
an ignominlous spy devold of his shining luster,
t was in 1921 that“Casanova’s
his brilliant trappings dimmed.
Homecoming“ was first printed in
How Schnitzler drives that cruel irrevocable¬
ness of old age!
English. At that time he was halled
into a maglstrate’s court and g com¬
promise was reached¬the then pub¬
lisher agreeing to withdraw the book
as soon as be had disposed of the
first edition.
Simon and Schuster now have
brought it out again as one of the
Inner Sanctum Novels“ at a dol¬
lar. If ever there were a üictional
bargain thls Is it.
*Casanova's Homecoming“ de¬
serlbes u imnginary event in the
life of e g.entest adventurer of
themhen he has reached the
age of 5s and is returning to Venice.
There occurs a hideons seduction
but ihe scene—to which the moral
agents apparently object so strenu¬
ously—-Is hy no means glorifled ero¬
ticlsm; rather
tragedy of advancing old age.