Earlg Works of Arthur Schnitzler
Magdalena.“ And the French influence is most obvious in the
Anatol scenes. According to Arnold“ these forerunners of
Schnitzler are the Frenchmen Lavedan, Donnay, Marni and the
Italian Bracco. In the nineties Gyp (Sibylie Gabrielle Marie
Antoinette Riqueti de Mirabeau, Comtesse de Martel de Jan¬
ville) was frequently mentioned as one of the author’s models.
Specht also maintains“ that the sketch Mein Freund Vpsilon
and the novelettes" Reichtum'’ and Der Sohn'’ indicate that
not only Maupassant but Dostojevski and Tolstoi as well have
had a share in shaping the early literary products of this Aus¬
As regards Anatol, we need have no misgivings in establishing
Schnitzler’s literary indebtedness, for we can summon our own
author as a witness. To Carl Marilaun he stated in an inter¬
view “ that, without any intention of contributing anything of
value to the comedy literature of his native country, he wrote
a scene which to himself seemed quite unimportant, naming
the chief character Anatol in recollection of agreeable Parisian
comedies. In those days, he added, he did not know that an
author was obliged to have an original note of his own.“ Der
Einakter, dem ich dann noch einige folgen ließ,“ he is quoted
as saying, war nichts weiter als eine Lesefrucht. Heute weiß
ich, daß er von der Menge französischer Novellen und Komödien,
die ich damals las und sah, in gerader Linie abstammte.
Schnitzler seems excessively modest on this score and
perhaps exaggerates the actual influence, for certainly a work
that now for almost forty years has retained its charm and
freshness cannot be mere slavish imitation, but must have some
vital qualities of its own. If Anatol, however, was thus even
partially patterned after other models, we may take it for
granted that this holds equally true of the lesser works of this
period. This, of course, is not meant to imply a reproach or to
detract from the significance of these products. Every author,
even the most original, must begin by experimenting with
established forms until he has mastered the technique and
8 Cf. Act II, Scene 5.
e Das moderne Drama, Straßburg, 1912, p. 237.
6 Op. cit., 1161.
& Cf. Leipziger Abendpost, Nov. 20, 1925.