box 36/6
The Germanic Reviem
publication, but in the Munchner freier Landesbote. Strangely
enough, the fate of so many of Schnitzler’s later works is here
foreshadowed. A prophet is not without honor, save in his
own country.“ With but a few exceptions his books have
been published in Berlin (by S. Fischer), and a considerable
number of his plays also had their premières in the north
German city.
The actual contents of this article, comprising only about
eight hundred words, can be given briefly. The narrator,
calling on his philosopher-friend Balduin in the latter’s attic¬
room, is surprised to find him absorbed in the political editorial
of a newspaper. Balduin, however, is not interested in the
political contents of the article. The word patriotism had
attracted his attention and caused him to reflect about the
meaning of this word. He comes to the conclusion that patri¬
otism is a prejudice and synonymous with egotism. The
narrator takes issue with him and contends that it is merely
modesty and resignation. When an idealist, he argues, filled
with noble ideas of cosmopolitanism and love of humanity,
and desirous of making all peoples equally great and happy,
discovers the great difficulties in the way of realizing his ideals,
he contents himself with doing his bit for the welfare and
happiness of the country in which he was born. Balduin
counters with the remark that then the idealists have become
egotists from modesty and that thus they have merely returned
to their starting-point.
There is nothing particularly characteristic of the later
Schnitzler here in form, or even in style and diction. What
interests us here, however, is the method of approach in dealing
with traditional ideas. He is not satisfied with the usual
procedure which Balduin characterizes as follows: Es ist uns
zur Gewohnheit geworden, gewisse Ausdrücke einfach zur
Kenntnis zu nehmen, sie mit dem Begriffe von irgend etwas
Edlem oder Unedlem zu verbinden; damit glauben wir, sie
abgetan zu haben, und sind mit unserer geistigen Arbeit zu¬
frieden.''? He takes a hallowed concept, in this case patriotism,
7 For similar statements see Traumnovelle (Berlin, 1926, p. 113): Wie man
doch immer wieder, durch Worte verführt, Straßen, Schicksale, Menschen in träger
#R 8
Early W
dissects and analyses i
again clearly expressed
was wir unsere schönst
wir ihnen mit der Schär
suchen. Here this y0
the same critical attitu
later led to that phase
d“ deb
parlance is