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Novellas and Stories

Arther Schnitzler - Translated by Margret Schaefer

Scarcely anyone understands the psychology of men's relationship with women—in all its complexity, ambivalence, and frequent perversity—better than the turn-of-the-century Viennese writer and dramatist Arthur Schnitzler. Like Vienna itself, birthplace of much of twentieth-century thought in art, philosophy, and psychology, Schnitzler's sensibility is profoundly modern, even postmodern. He probes and records the illusions and delusions, the dreams and desires, the split between the social self and the inner self that are characteristic of the self-alienated man of his time—and ours. In Margret Schaefer's third collection of newly translated fiction from Schnitzler, we find him focusing a clear and unforgiving eye on the minds of men who desire, fantasize about, and try to relate to women. Young or old, they are all bachelors—a young officer (Lieutenant Gustl), a socially desirable lawyer (The Murderer), a middle-aged physician (Doctor Graesler), an aging roué (Casanova's Homecoming). All are looking for women. Yet these are not love stories. Although Schnitzler's topic is relationships, his theme here as elsewhere is isolation—and the losses, fears, self-doubts, and self-absorption that make it inescapable. For no matter how much social and erotic contact the men in these tales have with women, in the end they cannot escape their own terrifying aloneness. « less more »
Ivan R. Dee
Pages: 272Size: 6 1/4 x 9 1/4
978-1-56663-611-7 • Hardback • August 2006 • $27.50 • (£18.95)
Schaefer's prizewinning earlier translations of Arthur Schnitzler's novellas and stories, in Night Games and Desire and Delusion (both published by Ivan R. Dee), were widely praised ("Superlative fiction."—Kirkus Reviews). She lives in Berkeley, California.
An undervalued genius.
John Simon

In Margret Schaefer's superb translations, Arthur Schnitzler reemerges as a riveting storyteller.
Sandra M. Gilbert

Schnitzler really can see into souls and give voice to the chaos he finds there.
Leo Carey; The New Yorker

The tales of Arthur Schnitzler—especially as rendered in Schaefer's clear, uncluttered translations—are many suggestive, allusive, and dreamlike things.
Chris Lehmann; The Instrumentalist

A fine selection of a crucial body of work, well worth rediscovering: humane, satirical, and magnificent.
Village Voice

Each piece is as clear as a bell...in its penetrating analysis of male ambiguities, perversities, and psychology....An excellent collection.
Midwest Book Review

Psychologically fascinating.
Publishers Weekly

Some of Schnitzler's most finely drawn portraits of men at loose ends