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Schnitzler, Arthur, 1862-1931 (author)



Arthur Schnitzler (1862-1931), Austrian playwright and novelist, was born in was born in Praterstra├če 16, Leopoldstadt, Vienna, in the Austro-Hungarian Empire. He was a son of a prominent Hungarian laryngologist Johann Schnitzler (1835-1893) and Luise Markbreiter. His parents were both from Jewish families. He began studying medicine at the University of Vienna in 1879 and received his doctorate of medicine in 1885. He then worked at Vienna's General Hospital (German: Allgemeines Krankenhaus der Stadt Wien, AKH), but ultimately abandoned medicine in favour of writing. In his works he dissected, and rarely without mercy, the ailing body of Viennese society of which he was a very active part, with his eyes and mind trained on meticulous medical detail. He specialized in shorter works like novellas and one-act plays. This impressively rich period of Austrian cultural history has often been explained by the unique multinational, multilingual environment of the Austro-Hungarian Empire in its final stages. Schnitzler was a major figure in this outburst of creativity in the arts and sciences. He interacted with key figures, such as Hermann Bahr, Sigmund Freud, Gustav Mahler, Hugo von Hofmannsthal, Theodor Herzl, Karl Kraus, Anton Bruckner, Richard Strauss, Johannes Brahms, Richard Beer-Hofmann, Alma Mahler-Werfel and many others. Unsurprisingly, Schnitzler's works were banned by the Nazis in Austria and Germany. In addition to his plays and fiction, Schnitzler meticulously kept a diary from the age of 17 until two days before his death. Schnitzler was a very acute and sensitive observer. The manuscript, which runs to almost 8,000 pages, is a vivid portrayal of his times and pursuits. Collections of Schnitzler's letters have also been published. On 26 August 1903, Schnitzler married 21-year old aspiring actress and singer Olga Gussmann (1882-1970) who came from a Jewish middle class family. They had a son together, Heinrich (1902-1982), who was born on 9 August 1902. In 1909 they had a daughter, Lili (1909-1928). The Schnitzlers separated in 1921. Schnitzler died on 21 October 1931, in Vienna, of a brain haemorrhage.

Found in 1 Collection or Record:


Arthur Schnitzler papers

Reference Code: GBR/0012/MS Schnitzler
Scope and Contents

The collection contains sketches, first drafts and variants of the most important of Schnitzler's literary manuscripts and part of his correspondence (mainly that which Schnitzler personally filed in folders). Correspondents include Hermann Bahr, Richard Beer-Hofmann, Otto Brahm, Georg Brandes, Hugo von Hofmannsthal, Max Reinhardt, Felix Salten, Gustav Schwarzkopf and Jakob Wassermann.

Dates: 1885-1937 (circa)
Conditions Governing Access: Unless restrictions apply, the collection is open for consultation by researchers using the Manuscripts Reading Room at Cambridge University Library. For further details on conditions governing access please contact Information about opening hours and obtaining a Cambridge University Library reader's ticket is available from the Library's website (