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The Road to the Open

The Road to the Open

By Arthur Schnitzler
Foreword by William M. Johnston

"Dangerous omens abound in this brilliant study of a sophisticated urban intelligentsia in thrall to a genially intricate anti-Semitism that Schnitzler's pioneering use of interior monologue lays bare, and its picture of the many nuances of bigotry--including the tragic complicity of its victims--says much about the ethnically fragmented America of today."—Chicago Tribune

"His style is always finished and graceful; his method in this work is delicate but probing; his is the hand of a physician of sophisticated minds and hearts."—Literary Digest International Book Review

The story follows George von Wergenthin, an aristocrat and musician, in his encounters with intellectuals and artists in Vienna's middle class. A gentile, von Wergenthin finds his world populated by Jewish doctors, thinkers, friends, and mistresses. Through the interior monologue—a device pioneered by Schnitzler—von Wergenthin reveals his discomfort and the tensions that pervade the community around him. Von Wergenthin's acquaintances embody larger responses by Vienna's Jews to their uncomfortable place in the city. Sigmund Freud, impressed by Schnitzler's deep understanding of psychological processes, described the writer as his own doppelgänger. Beneath the major themes lie Schnitzler's subtle handling of artistic frustration, conflict between fathers sons, and an air of impassable distance between his characters' psyches. 

Paperback
416 pages 
Northwestern University Press, 1991
Original published in 1908
5.1 x 1 x 7.8 inches
ISBN 9780810109964    
Psychological Fiction

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