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Desire and Delusion

Three Novellas

Arthur Schnitzler and Schaefer Margret

"Life," Arthur Schnitzler famously said, "is what happens between love and death." This second collection of Schnitzler's prose fiction follows on Night Games, Margret Schaefer's earlier translation of the Viennese writer's tales, which won acclaim in the New Yorker and among critics generally. In Desire and Delusion, Ms. Schaefer has translated three of Schnitzler's greatest novellas—Dying, Flight into Darkness, and Fräulein Else. They reveal the depths of his psychological and moral understanding of life as well as the masterful storytelling techniques that immerse the reader into the very center of his characters' thoughts and emotions. Acknowledged masterpieces all, these novellas span Schnitzler's entire career from 1895 to 1931. They testify to his stature as depth psychologist, a doctor-writer fascinated by illness and very much at home in what Susan Sontag has called "the country of the sick." In all these novellas, Schnitzler uses point of view, interior monologue, and stream of consciousness in a radically modern way reminiscent of Joyce and Proust, only earlier. « less more »
Ivan R. Dee
Pages: 288Size: 6 1/4 x 9 1/4
978-1-56663-542-4 • Hardback • September 2003 • $28.50 • (£18.95) - Currently out of stock. Copies will arrive soon.
978-1-56663-603-2 • Paperback • June 2004 • $16.95 • (£10.95)
Arthur Schnitzler (1862–1931), Austrian physician, dramatist, and novelist, was among the most sophisticated writers of his time. Margret Schaefer, who has taught at the University of California, Berkeley, and the University of Illinois, Chicago, has written on Wilde, von Kleist, and Kafka as well as on the history of psychoanalysis and psychology. She lives in Berkeley, California. Her translation of Arthur Schnitzler's Night Games won the 2002 Bay Area Book Reviewers' Award for a book of translations published by a Northern California author.
The tales of Arthur Schnitzler—especially as rendered in Margret Schaefer's clear, uncluttered translations—are many suggestive, allusive, and dreamlike things. But they are most certainly not the work of a period writer.
Chris Lehmann; The Instrumentalist

This extraordinary portrayal of psychic shock and disintegration is, simply, one of the greatest modern short novels.

In Margret Schaefer's superb translations Arthur Schnitzler re-emerges as a riveting storyteller.
Sandra M. Gilbert

These three dark novellas show Schnitzler's mastery as a guide to the neurotic, death-obsessed world of fin-de-siècle Vienna.
Robert Alter

Schnitzler and Schaefer–a perfect marriage, made in Vienna.
Frederick Crews, University of California, Berkeley

One reads the stories with suspense, pleasure, amusement.... [Schnitzler] can be read with pleasure and ease.
The New York Times

She is readable, relaxed and on the whole the best guide for English readers to the nondramatic works of the man whom Freud admired and held in awe as his literary doppelganger.
Peter Heinegg; America: The Jesuit Review of Faith & Culture

Translator Margret Schaefer [offers a] concise and informative introduction.... Schnitzler's characters—abrim with sensibility, but devoid of common sense—seem so contemporary.
New Haven Register

Beautifully translated. Each novella offers rich examples of the darkly introspective and self-destructive stream of consciousness Schnitzler employed.
E. Wickersham, Villanova University; CHOICE

Clear and accessible versions of these haunting, riveting stories.
Toronto Globe and Mail

Fresh translations from the acclaimed translator of Night Games.