Research

Honor & Dueling (268w x 397h, 15 KB)

Schnitzler (150w x 220h, 10 KB) Arthur Schnitzler and the Discourse of Honor and Dueling (Peter Lang, 1996)

At the turn of the twentieth century, dueling was required of officers and gentlemen in Austria. This study examines the importance of honor to the Viennese playwright Arthur Schnitzler (1862-1931) and to his society. It shows the extent to which discourses of class, gender, and race sustained dueling. It also identifies the sociological factors that transformed those discourses and thus helped to abolish dueling in post-war Austria and Germany.

Here's the text of a talk on dueling that I gave at the Austrian Cultural Institute in NYC in February 2003: Dueling talk

Arthur Schnitzler and Twentieth-Century Criticism (Camden House, 2004)

Twentieth-Century Crit (200w x 303h, 8 KB) Schnitzler, one of the most prolific Austrian writers of the 20th century, ruthlessly dissected his society's erotic posturing and phobias about sex and death. His most penetrating analyses include Lieutenant Gustl, the first stream-of-consciousness novella in German; Reigen, a devastating cycle of one-acts mapping the social limits of a sexual daisy-chain; and Der Weg ins Freie, a novel that combines a love story with a discussion of the roadblocks facing Austria's Jews. Today, his popularity is reflected by new editions and translations and by adaptations for theater, television, and film by artists such as Tom Stoppard and Stanley Kubrick. This book examines Schnitzler reception up to 2000, beginning with the journalistic reception of the early plays. Before being suspended by a decade of Nazism, criticism in the 1920s and 30s emphasized Schnitzler's determinism and decadence. Not until the early sixties was humanist scholarship able to challenge this verdict by pointing out Schnitzler's ethical indictment of impressionism in the late novellas. During the same period, Schnitzler, whom Freud considered his literary "Doppelgänger," was often subjected to Freudian psychoanalytical criticism; but by the eighties, scholarship was citing his own thoroughgoing objections to such categories. Since the seventies, Schnitzler's remonstrance toward the Austrian establishment has been examined by social historians and feminist critics alike, and the recently completed ten-volume edition of Schnitzler's diary has met with vibrant interest.