box 36/4
Penchlets, offorints
The power of this tragedy, however, lies not so much in the
actual plot or even in the marvellous delineation of Beatrice,
gracefully and innocently childish in the very irresponsibility of
her fated sin, as in the rich tints of the picture and the gorgeous
frame in which the picture is set. All the multi-coloured elements
of the Renaissance take their place in the vivid scheme—poets,
sculptors, courtiers, courtesans, soldiers, and populace. Anni¬
hilation and vitality grow each more grandiose from their mutual
juxtaposition, and the red blood of life flows but the quicker and
the warmer beneath the black shadow of doom. Few more
eloquent tragedies have been written on the great twin themes:
*In the midst of life we are in death; in the midst of death we
are in lise.
Reverting back to prose, we come to Der Einsame Weg (The
Lonely Way, 1903). If, however, the tendency to import the
methods of the short story and the long novel were apparent in
Liebelei and Vermachtniss, it is even more marked in this play.
Ason, finding assire in the shape of the middle-aged lover of
his now dead mother, repudiates the natural for the putative
father; a neurotic and over-sexed young girl, finding that her
lover, unknown to himself, is suffering from an incurable disease,
dies by her own act. These are the two motifs knit together by
no shred of logical connection that form the threads on which
the drama is hung. Tet if here we have Schnitzler at his worst,
the many excellences even of this play attest by implication the
merits of Schnitzler at his best. The scene between father and
son is a sheer masterpiece. How delicately does the father inti¬
mate that“ mothers also have their destinies like other women.?'
And how complete is his rejection.
Juniay. It is now absolutely impossible for you to forget that you are
my son.
Fruxx. Your son—it is nothing but a word—it is a mere empty sound—1
know it, but I don't realise it.
Juniay. Felix!
FErix. You are further away from me since I know it.
Interesting again is the Nietzschean sanction for intrigue:
* One has the right to exploit to the completest extent all one’s
life with all the ecstasy and all the shame which is involved.?
Far superior, however, to Der Einsame Weg, with its heavy
Ibsenite atmosphere, is Ziischenspiel (1905), where that problem
of the quadrangle, compared to which that of the triangle is from
the more advanced standpoint but vieur jeu, is treated with the
most delicate and biting raillery. Victor Amadeus, the pianist,
and his wife Cecilie, the singer, love each other with as much
genuine constancy as can be expected from normal persons of the