I, Erzählende Schriften 30, Casanovas Heimfahrt, Seite 132

30. Casanovas Heinfahrt
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# an in. I — O a n
inimitable light touch, and his gift of characteriza¬
tion. He is not an obscure writer endeavoring to
gain notoriety through a sensational novel. He is
an artist of the first rank.
The Book.
The story deals with an imaginary incident in
the twilight of Casanova’s checkered career. He
is fifty-three years old; he is penniless; he is living
at an inn whose meanness is in sad contrast with
his former glory; he cannot return to his beloved
Venice because he has been exiled; he is a decrepit
wastrel, no longer attractive to women, no longer
a figure of romance and glamor, but a man fast
sinking into oblivion and clutching vainly at the
straw of the conquests of his outh.
A chance encounter brings him in contact with
an old friend, who invites him to his house. There
Casanova meets Marcolina, young, wise and beau¬
tiful. Forgetting his years, he strives to win her
favors. She is repelled by his wasted üigure, his
wrinkled and dissolute face, his toothless mouth.
Thwarted, Casanova resorts to trickery to gain his
ends, only to find horror and loathing on Marco¬
lina’s face when she discovers that she has been
And what he read in Marcolina’s counte¬
nance was not what he would a thousand times
rather have read there# it was not thief, liber¬
tine, villain. He read only something which
crushed him to earth more ignominiously that
could any terms of abuse; he read the word
which was to him the most dreadful of all
words, since it passed a final judgment upon
him*** old man.?
The Casanova of Schnitzler is not the Casanova
of 7e Memoirs. He is not the young and dashing
duellist, gamester, master of intrigue, wit, con¬