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books that they lack
Early Works of Arthur Schnitzler
187
kt this early stage his
father suddenly remembers where he had hidden the money,
ntributed a full-fledged
under the bridge, near the edge of the water. The son finds the
ousand words, entitled
entire sum intact, but when he returns his father has already
ly the most perfect of
passed away. Now at last the son is enebled to obtain that
oll through an outlying
true inspiration which comes from actual experience. He takes
pin at a plain-looking
part in the game at the club, but loses his entir fortune at one
sengaged in a game of
session. The shock is so great that it drives him insane.
ount Treuen places his
It does not seem necessary here to search for some symbolic
ers who had lost all his
meaning or to inquire what message the author wished to
and in fifteen minutes
convey. To be sure, one might expatiate on the unaccountable
The first gambler now
whims of fate, or the malign influence of money. Or one might
Karl Weldein, a married
contrast the lives of the two classes of people here represented
formerly an artist but
and show that fundamentally they experience the same human
ain acting on a sudden
emotions, quoting Count Treuen’s words with reference to the
ldein accompany thein
group of players in the modest café:
dhold good there also.
Empfinden diese da nicht dasselbe, wenn sie lieben, wie wir?
es him with evening
Haben sie nicht das Gefühl der Sättigung nach ihrem einfachen
from San Francisco.
Mahle, wie wir nach unseren ausgesuchten Gerichten? Be¬
enomenal and in little
rauschen sie sich nicht an Schnaps, wie wir an Champagner,
bank with a fortune in
lieben uns unsere Maitressen anders, als diese da ihre Dirnen?
Und wenn sie sich zu den Karten setzen, derselbe Wahnsinn,
iberally of champagne
der uns packt; freilich sind wir gewohnt, mitten in diesem
Sy, hurries him to the
Wahnsinn die Kaltblütigen zu spielen. Und wo wäre der Reiz
nd him. Weldein can
der Karten, wenn wir wirklich ruhig wären.
t conceal the money,
Körner’s statement *7 that this is another illustration of the
orning, however, he is
puppet player toying with human lives, using his fellow-man as
days and weeks he
a means rather than as an end, seems somewhat far-fetched.
ning, so far as he can
We may simply take the story at its face-value, as a series of
e course of years his
unusual events skillfully related. The suspense is kept up
rdisplays considerable
throughout and the pace is considerably enlivened by the
hking scenes. One of
liberal use of dialog. It is our author’s first major attempt at
tion of Count Treuen
straightforward narration and as such foreshadows the perfection
by the latter at the
to which he was to attain in his later novelettes.55 We are
g, but as an observer
inevitably reminded of the gambling scenes in Das Spiel im
On his deathbed the
* Op. cil., 162.
ppeared on May 15, 1891,
58 On the occasion of Schnitzler’s sixtieth birthday, Hugo von Hofmannsthal
singled this story out for especial commendation, calling it“eine in ihrer Art voll¬
kommen reife und meisterhafte Erzählung“ (Die neue Rundschau, XXXIII. Jahr¬
gang der freien Bühne, May, 1922, p. 505).
Wrshenen
94