Arthur Schnitzler


Dr. Arthur Schnitzler (May 15, 1862, Leopoldstadt, Vienna - October 21, 1931, Vienna) was an Austrian author and dramatist. Arthur Schnitzler, son of a prominent Hungarian-Jewish laryngologist Johann Schnitzler and Luise Markbreiter (a daughter of the Viennese doctor Philipp Markbreiter), was born in Praterstraße 16, Leopoldstadt, Vienna, in the Austro-Hungarian Empire, and began studying medicine at the University of Vienna in 1879. He received his doctorate of medicine in 1885 and worked at the Vienna's General Hospital (German: Allgemeines Krankenhaus der Stadt Wien, AKH), but ultimately abandoned medicine in favour of writing. His works were often controversial, both for their frank description of sexuality (Sigmund Freud, in a letter to Schnitzler, confessed I have gained the impression that you have learned through intuition — though actually as a result of sensitive introspection — everything that I have had to unearth by laborious work on other persons) and for their strong stand against anti-Semitism, represented by works such as his play Professor Bernhardi and the novel Der Weg ins Freie. However, though Schnitzler was himself Jewish, Professor Bernhardi and Fräulein Else are among the few clearly identified Jewish protagonists in his work. Schnitzler was branded as a pornographer after the release of his play Reigen, in which ten pairs of characters are shown before and after the sexual act, leading and ending with a prostitute. The furor following this pla...

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