box 36/6
1. Panphlets offorints
Earlo Works of Arthur Schnitzler
nineties as one of the clique of coffeehouse poets who did not
deserve serious consideration. It is true, as a young man of
the world, he was often in the habit of frequenting cafés in the
company of his literary friends. But that Schnitzler always
maintained his distance and clearly saw through the foibles of
his fellow authors is strikingly evidenced by the sketch just
synopsized. In his later work this same scornful attitude is
frequently displayed, reaching its classic perfection in the one¬
act comedy Literatur. The deep gulf separating the genuine
artist from the mere practitioner of the art is again clearly
demonstrated in the diagrams and explanatory comments of
Der Geist im Wort und der Geist in der Tat.
Until 1880 works by our author had appeared only sporadi¬
cally, but from this year onward he became a more or less
regular contributor to a number of periodicals, chiefly to An
der schönen blauen Donau, later also to the Freie Bühne and
its successor the Neue Deutsche Rundschau, the Moderne Rund¬
schau and others, until a standard market for his bocks was
assured. An der schönen blauen Donau bears the subtitle
Unterhaltungsblatt für die Familie.“ It seems amusing that
this middle-class family journal should have played such a
relatively important part in introducing young Schnitzler tothe
reading public. Here we find, as Reik has already remarked,
poems and novelettes by Schnitzler alternating with illustrations
of Austrian archduchesses, songs of spring, riddles and questions
of social etiquette for young girls before their first ball.
Schnitzler’s first contribution was a novelette entitled Mein
Freund Ypsilon. Aus den Papieren eines Arztes. In real
life Ypsilon was a studiosus philologiae, named Martin Brand,
who had published a few poems signed“V'’ in provincial
newspapers. His creative gifts were quite mediocre; neverthe¬
less he was a great poet by virtue of his magnificent imagination.
The creations of his poetic fancy take on real life, lead an
independent existence, so that he loses control of them and
they dominate his life. Thus he utterly neglects his chorus-girl
friend because he has fallen in love with Türkisa, a lovely
maiden living on an island in the Indian Ocean:
16 Arthur Schnitzler vor dem Anatol,“ op. cit., 890.