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Lieutenant Gustl (Green Integer) [Paperback]

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Item description for Lieutenant Gustl (Green Integer) by Arthur Schnitzler...

With Peter Altenberg and Hugo von Hofmansthal, Arthur Schnitzler was a major modernist of the period of Viennese intellectual activity from 1890 to 1930. Born in 1862 and trained as a physician, Schnitzler increasingly came to be influenced by the psychoanalysis centered around Sigmund Freud. Ultimately he gave up medicine to devote himself to writing brilliant psychological portraits of the Viennese bourgeois and upper classes of the fin de siecle.
Schnitzler's most famous works include his dramas. Anatol (1893), Liebelei (1896), and The Green Cockatoo (1899), and the fictions The Lonely Way (1904), The Road Into the Open (1908), Casanova's Homecoming (1918), and Dream Story (1926). Lieutenant Gustl, published in 1901, is among Schnitzler's major short works, and is important as one of the first examples in this century of "stream of consciousness" narration. James Joyce has admitted to have been influenced by this book in writing Ulysses.
A tour de force of modernist point-of-view, Lieutenant Gustl is highly critical of Austria's militarism, and resulted in anti-Semitic attacks to Schnitzler when it was first published.

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Item Specifications...

Pages   56
Est. Packaging Dimensions:   Length: 0.25" Width: 4.25" Height: 6"
Weight:   0.12 lbs.
Binding  Softcover
Release Date   May 1, 2003
Publisher   Green Integer
ISBN  1931243468  
ISBN13  9781931243469  

Availability  0 units.

More About Arthur Schnitzler

Register your artisan biography and upload your photo! Arthur Schnitzler (1862-1931) is one of the best-known Austrian playwrights and novelists. Performances of his play "Roundelay "("La Ronde") provoked riots and led to the author's being tried on obscenity charges. He was acquitted, but he banned the play from being performed in his lifetime. His works include N"ight Games: And Other Stories and Novellas" (Ivan R. Dee, 2001), T"he Lonely Way" (Lightning Source, 2001), "The Road to the Open" (Northwestern, 1991), and "Dream Story" (Penguin U.K., 1999), the basis of the film "Eyes Wide Shut,"
William Cunningham is a professor of German in the Classical and Modern Languages Department at the University of Louisville. He is also the author of "Martin Opitz: Poems of Consolation in Adversities of War "(Bouvier, 1974).
David Palmer was a professor in the Theatre Arts Department at the University of Louisville. He died in Spring 2000.

Arthur Schnitzler was born in 1862 and died in 1931.

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Product Categories

1Books > Subjects > Literature & Fiction > General > Contemporary
2Books > Subjects > Literature & Fiction > General > Literary
3Books > Subjects > Reference > Writing > General

Reviews - What do customers think about Lieutenant Gustl (Green Integer)?

Intriguing Early Example of Stream of Consciousness  Oct 8, 2003
Written in 1901, twenty years before James Joyce's "Ulysses", this is a very early example of the literary stream of consciousness technique. Indeed, Joyce acknowledged his debt to this story. It is an indictment of Austrian militarism, as the book explores the mind of the young Viennese officer, Lieutenant Gustl. Gustl ruminates upon whether to take his own life, after suffering what he believes to be an insult to his honor, while retrieving his coat at the cloakroom after a concert he is attending. His thoughts flit from one thing to another, and the reader is given a look at the shallow and arrogant nature of Austrian society during the fin de siecle period.
Great knowledge of human psyche  Aug 18, 2001
Schnitzler is known as a representative of the fin-de-siècle generation of Viennese intellectuals, and his name is often mentioned alongside Freud's because of his profound interest in the workings of the human mind. He was, indeed, a trained psychiatrist who seemed to revel in the darker corners of the psyche, all that beneath the shiny surface of "decency."

"Lieutenant Gustl" is presented in the form of the eponymous soldier's stream of consciousness, so there is much skipping among subjects which at the same time reveals a great deal about Gustl's personality, the Austrian society of the time, as well as makes one smile. The narrative begins at a concert where an oratorio is being performed, and Gustl seems to be terribly bored with it, cursing his friend, Kopetzky, for giving him the free ticket. Parallel to that though, he is enjoying the fleeting glances of young women in the audience, and on top of that, he appreciates the fact that he is attending an event that has an ascribed cultural value to it--something respectable, decent and going with his image.

At the same time, he is preparing for a duel with a doctor the next day, the cause for which have been some utterings by the latter insulting to Gustl's sense of patriotism. This is another theme throughout the work: the Austrian militarism as well as its opponents, a dose of anti-Semitism, the belligerence of a "good Austrian."

However, the plot following the concert focuses on an incident in the cloakroom. Gustl becomes restless with a large man blocking his way to retrieving his coat, and that irritates him to the extent of cursing at the large man. He turns out to be the baker who is also a regular at Gustl's coffee-shop, but to our hero's chagrin, he turns out to be stronger than Gustl. The baker grabs Gustl's sabre and whispers into his ear to straighten out or the sword would suffer, with all the disciplinary consequences.

This upsets Gustl so much that he gets launched into lengthy ponderings over whether what he has just experienced was a dream or real. After weighing a number of options to stop any further damage to his reputation (what if the baker tells somebody about the incident?), he resolves to commit suicide at the break of dawn. Until the very end of the story, matters from philosophical of universal scale down to prosaic and technical such as how best to say good-bye to his prostitute-friend preoccupy his mind. I am sure many readers would recognise the pattern in which Gustl's mind keeps jumping from topic to topic--Schnitzler has captured the process of thinking so well.

The ending is very abrupt, just like that which the mainstream consumer of popular culture might have experienced when viewing Kubrick's "Eyes Wide Shut." I will not give it away, but it is an easy little read that won't take too long for anybody to reach the denouement.


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