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PamphletsOfforints
ARTHUR SCHNTTZLER
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delusions. The Fate of the Baron of Leisenbogh’ is to follow a beautiful
young actress as she flits from one adventure to another. Onlyonce does
the baron enjoy her favor, but as a result of this he dies of fright, because he
realizes that an awful curse applies to him which has been pronounced by
onc of her lovers on his death bed.
In Prophecy' a young man’s life is made miserable because a fakir
has prophesied that he will lie on bier in ten years. He attempts in all
possible ways to escape his impending fate, but many developments seem
to indicate that he is doomed. Circumstances make it necessary for him
totake part in a theatrical performance and to his joy he finds that he is to
appear stretched out on bier in accordance with the prophecy. The per¬
formance, however, tallies so closely with terms of the prophecy that he is
frightened to death by the mystery.
The New Song’ tells of the love affair of a young man with the daughter
of an innkeeper who sings for her father’s guests. After a prolonged illness,
during which the man breaks with her, she becomes blind. The parents
utilize her misfortune by having her sing a neee gong — the song of the blind
girl. Atthe first performance her former lover is present. Allthis stirs her
so profcundly that she commits suicide when she finally realizes her blind¬
ness nas become an insurmountable barrier between the two.
The Stranger' is a woman whose family has become impoverished.
In consequence of the humiliation she becomes violently insane, but later
she is restored to the point of accepting her lot with stolid resignation.
Attracted by her distinguished behavior, a young official falls in love with
her. Although she accepts him she remains astranger. After two wecks of
marriage she forsakes him, and he — already accustomed tothethoughtof
losing her — bequeaths his last possessions to her and commits suicide.
Tragic as this plot may scem, the author has depicted the megalomania
of these two creatures with such a subtle irony that the story produces a
comic effect.
Andrew Thameyer’s Last Letter' is directed to the public. It has
been written before his suicide in order to prove to the world that his wife
has not been guilty of infidelity, although the facts that it presents would
convict her before the most stupid jury. These five stories are more or
less in the style of Poe. The mystical, hypnotic, and fatalistic elements
are treated with less seriousness. The skeptical irony of the man of science
hovers over them and relieves them of every tinge of somberness.
From these short stories the poet turned to a formidable work in The
Path to the Open’ (°08). This five-hundred-page novel, in some respects,
is the most ambitious work which he has undertaken. It is the account
of George, a young baron, who after the flirtations customary for Viennese