The Road into the Open / Edition 1

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Overview


A finely drawn portrayal of the disintegration of Austrian liberal society under the impact of nationalism and anti-semitism, The Road into the Open (Der Weg ins Freie, 1908) is a remarkable novel by a major Austrian writer of the early twentieth century. Set in fin-de-siècle Austria—the cafés, salons, and musical concerts frequented by the Viennese elite—Schnitzler's perceptive exploration of the creative process and the private lives and public aspirations of urban Jewish intellectuals ranks with the highest achievements of Karl Kraus and Robert Musil.

The novel's central character, Baron Georg von Wergenthin, is a handsome young composer whose troubled relations with women, musical collaborators, and representatives of the old social order make Schnitzler's book a revealing investigation of individual psychology and social allegory. In his comprehensive introduction, Russell Berman situates the book within the literary and political history of Central Europe and analyzes its relation to psychoanalysis, Marxism, musical aesthetics, and the legacy of European modernism.

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Editorial Reviews

New York Times Book Review
Of [Schnitzler's] many extraordinary novels and novellas, I recommend The Road into the Open. The reader is struck by the emotional clarity with which Schnitzler treats autobiograhical material, for the callous, philandering Georg is an aristocratic, de-Semiticized version of himself.
Library Journal
This fascinating novel by one of the most important authors of early modernism in Vienna tells the story of Baron Georg von Wergenthin, an almost decent, almost talented young composer, and his relationship with Anna Rosner, a middle-class girl who bears his child out of wedlock. Georg's half-hearted attempts to fill the empty vessel of his personality with his new responsibilities are portrayed against the background of his social circle, mostly young Jews from good families who all suffer in their own personal ways under the turn of the century's rising anti-Semitism. This insider's view of the decline of the tolerance fostered by 19th-century Austrian liberalism under the onslaught of one of the 20th century's most twisted passions belongs in any fiction collection.-- Michael T. O'Pecko, Towson State Univ., Md.
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780520077744
  • Publisher: University of California Press
  • Publication date: 12/19/1991
  • Edition description: New Edition
  • Edition number: 1
  • Pages: 314
  • Sales rank: 839,637
  • Product dimensions: 6.00 (w) x 9.00 (h) x 0.88 (d)

Meet the Author


Arthur Schnitzler (1862-1931), an Austrian physician, wrote novels, short stories, and plays, one of which, La Ronde, was the basis of a successful film. Roger Byers is an independent scholar and translator in Bradenton, Florida. Russell A. Berman is Professor of German and Comparative Literature at Stanford University.
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