Traumnovelle[BOOKS] ⚣ Traumnovelle ⚡ Arthur Schnitzler – 'Her fragrant body and burning red lips'A married couple reveal their darkest sexual fantasies to each other in this erotic psychodrama of infidelity transgression and decadence in early twentieth cen 'Her fragrant body and burning red lips'A married couple reveal their darkest sexual fantasies to each other in this erotic psychodrama of infidelity transgression and decadence in early twentieth century ViennaTen new titles in the colourful small format portable new Pocket Penguins series. “Am I sure? Only as sure as I am that the reality of one night let alone that of a whole lifetime can ever be the whole truth” The Bride 1918 by KlimtIt all begins with a confession of sorts as his wife Albertine tells him of a fantasy she had involving a man that she saw on their vacation Fridolin also confesses that he had desired a young woman on the beach It seems fairly harmless after all When we marry we don’t go numb from the waist down and the neck up We continue to notice attractive people and continue to be titillated by charming and intelligent ones as well It could be a ruggedly handsome waiter in a restaurant or a pretty pearl wearing bartender or a French beret wearing poet or a saucy librarian with libidinous thoughts There are a host of emotions that are involved with noticing that our spouse is interested in some other person If it is one sided it can just be amusing or mildly annoying If the interest is reciprocated then it can unleash a torrent of reactions from fear to pride to jealousy to finding your spouse that much alluring because someone else recognized those ualities that you may have started to take for granted Flirtations or mild crushes in most cases just adds a bit of spice to life For Fridolin this confession of his wife even though his confession is very similar unmoors him It is as if the possibilities of his life are suddenly opening up to him and women whom he met every day suddenly take on the glow of possibility Soon after the dream confessions Fridolin who is a doctor is called out to a client in dire health Unfortunately his trip is for naught as the man has passed when he arrives Thus begins one of the strangest evenings an odyssey really of Fridolin’s life By the end of the night he has met a series of women all women who are interested in sleeping with him and all whom he would like to sleep with In thinking about which he would prefer he canot decide ”To the little Pierrette? Or to the little trollop in the Buchfeldgasse? Or to Marianne the daughter of the dead Court Counsellor?” It does not matter for they are all about to be replaced by a woman he is on the verge of meeting in precarious circumstances ”Fridolin was intoxicated and not merely by her presence her fragrant body and burning red lips nor by the atmosphere of the room and the aura of lascivious secrets that surrounded him; he was at once thirsty and delirious made so by all the adventures of the night none of which had led to anything by his own audacity and by the sea change he felt within himself He stretched out and touched the veil covering her head as though intended to remove it”He has fallen into a secret sex club with the help of his piano playing friend Nachtigall He isn’t supposed to be there He was never supposed to meet this woman with the burning red lips He is supposed to be home with his wife and daughter Though it is an evening fraught with sexual possibilities he is like a man walking through a museum admiring the intriguing paintings but touching none of them His wife has dreams to confess Look at all that hair the young Arthur Schnitzler hadArthur Schnitzler’s work was considered filth by Adolf Hitler Anything that upsets that goose stepping stiff necked little pipsueak should be read by the rest of the civilized world with reverence Schnitzler was born in 1862 and died in Vienna in 1931 If he had lived long enough the Nazis would have most certainly beaten him and had him thrown in some damp hole for being the Viennese Henry Miller a few decades before Miller knew he was Miller If his writing was not enough of an incentive to bring him to the attention of the Third Reich certainly his Jewish ethnicity would have condemned him just as uickly Schnitzler had numerous affairs sometimes with several women at the same time He kept a Journal for most of his life and dutifully recorded not only every assignation but every orgasm A bit OCD about the adventures of his willie wouldn’t you say? The venerated Viennese doctor of psychology Sigmund Freud said in a letter to Schnitzler I have gained the impression that you have learned through intuition – although actually as a result of sensitive introspection – everything that I have had to unearth by laborious work on other persons Was there a bit of Freudian jealousy in that observation? Does Freud need some time on his own couch? Fridolin may have thought about making conuests of women but Schnitzler turned thought into deed Nicole Kidman in Eyes Wide Shut Is it just me or do those wire rimmed glasses make her look very naughtyStanley Kubrick directed a film based on this novel called Eyes Wide Shut 1999 starring the then married Nicole Kidman and Tom Cruise I know I watched the film but I don’t remember a bloody thing about it I must have been plastered or snogging or both when I watched it so I must apologize for not being able to make at the very least some pithy remarks comparing the film to the book I have a feeling the two may have very little to do with each other but I’m sure out there in GR land there are several people who can weigh in on whether the film conveyed Schnitzler’s thoughts or was just a jumping off place for KubrickKidmanCruise to explore their own ideas A uick read with some fascinating observations about relationships the brain and our naturalunnatural attractions to the people we come into contact with If you wish to see of my most recent book and movie reviews visit also have a Facebook blogger page at The big shock and surprise for me about this story was that it written in 1926 it feels like something that belongs to an era twenty or thirty years earlier perhaps that is part of the pointIn a cafe by chance the main character Doctor Fridolin meets his old friend Nightingale Nightingale has a wife and four children back in Lemburg who he supports by playing the piano badly in various shady establishments The thing is that in 1926 Lemburg wasn't Lemburg it was Lwow and had been for a few years this type of thing can happen to you if you are a city you sit around minding your own business then suddenly somebody imposes a change of identity on you or maybe they reveal your true identity or allow the potential for a new identity to emerge Something that seems at first very absolute and stable literally a fact on the ground turns out to be insubstantial and provisional and indeed a little while down the road the city would be L'vov and then L'viv Is one name one identity real correct or did they all co exist in reality just that mostly only one is on display at anyone time? Yet the city is a fact It does exist it did exist it will exist just what it is called changes and each name implies a radically different reality without the reorientation of a single street or even the remodelling of a modest house To me that is what the story is about hello city are you Lemburg or Lwow or really L'viv? Or do I perceive a certain L'vovness about your cafes and restaurants? Are all these names just masks? Does the mask hide does it protect or project?This is a geographical story with clearly marked zones and spaces The Fridolin at the beginning of the story has a safe space within this space are himself his wife and their daughter however nothing happens and as a result of that his space is revealed in fact to be polluted In the cafe hard working Fridolin flicks through the newspapers he is reassured and settled by what he reads people are dying horribly in foreign places which he didn't even know existed He talks to Nightingale Weird potentially depraved things happen he asserts in Romanian castles view spoiler well obviously Dracula electoral fraud financial insider dealing Vlad the innumerate bookkeeper take your pick hide spoiler “ A game of gallantry seduction resistance and fulfilment” with “ a whiff of freedom danger and adventure” That’s the intention anyway Many editions have one of Klimt’s golden paintings on the cover a mystical sexual enticement that seems to fit the dreamy steamy story At first But recreate those pictures with real people as above and they become disturbing in a way that is far appropriate to the full dark arc of the story This novella takes place over barely 48 hours It opens with an idyllic family scene and fond reference to the frisson of flirting at a masked ball the night before But masks rarely symbolise anything benign especially not black masks Fidelity Temptation and Truth If we promise and expect fidelity we’re usually thinking of sexual exclusivity but the word also means truth in the sense of a full and accurate recreation or reportage • Where does honest confession of sexual infidelity real or imagined fit? • Is relishing the fantasy of betrayal as bad as committing it in the flesh as the Bible says? • Is seeking temptation but not submitting to it dishonourable dangerous or brave? • Is true love unconditional or is that an impossibility? Love of one’s child would probably survive their deliberate harm of one’s partner but would the converse be true?• What if both partners get a thrill from an admission of infidelity? • What if that flower of arousal then ripens into the toxic fruit of jealousy? Truth and Dare? “ Neither the reality of a single night nor even of a person’s entire life can be euated with the full truth about his innermost being” Deep honest and freuent communication is oft cited as the key to a happy long term relationship including sharing though not necessarily carrying out fantasies“ With self tormenting anxiety and sordid curiosity each sought to coax admissions from the other”Such truths can be exciting and arousing but are risky too As Algy says in Wilde’s The Importance of Being Earnest see my review HERE “The truth is rarely pure and never simple” Fridolin is unexpectedly disoriented by Albertine’s fairly innocuous fantasy despite his encouraging her to share it He embarks on a night of costumes passwords clandestine encounters secret societies rituals dire warnings confusion revenge and redemption When he returns he finds Albertine laughing in a dream and when she awakes he implores her to describe the dream Just a dream But such a dream It changes everything and what has been said cannot be unsaid Fridolin is unmoored and rudderless as he sets sail on unfamiliar choppy waters for another voyage of strange encounters and enuiries destination unknown Dreams may not be “real” but their effects can be The Reality of Dreams “No dream is altogether a dream” The pages are suffused with the vocabulary of doubt about reality and free will melancholy enchantment; secrets; magically infused illusions; masks; dreams; brooding menace; intoxication; mysterious people events and places; soporific atmospheres; being enveloped by a sultry fragrance and surrendering to a swelling melody as if under compulsion The dark disorienting surreal sexualised mood reminded me of scenes from Kafka“ Everything was becoming increasingly unreal His very identity” This confusion is not so strange Boundaries between dreams and reality can be uncomfortably hard to discern When my mother in law recently came round from a week of heavy post op sedation she recounted bizarre events as real A fortnight later she began to realise they were drug induced dreams even though they still felt too real to be dismissed as such And when reading this I had a couple of nights of vivid and memorable dreams – to the extent that during one dream I remembered the dream from the previous night and wondered if I was dreaming that imagined world again The veil is thin; we are easily confused How much licence does that give us to explore and experiment in mind and maybe body? Fridolin’s adventures appear to be real in vengeful response to Albertine’s imagined and dreamed exploits But readers cannot be certain and I’m not sure the protagonists are either Fridolin a doctor uestions whether he is hallucinating and later plans to recount what he thinks are real events as if they were dreams but neither point is definitive That is the intoxicating essence of the story uotes • Real people “had all withdrawn into the realm of ghosts” • “Those trivial encounters became magically and painfully interfused with the treacherous illusion of missed opportunities” • “In every woman with whom I thought I was in love it was always you that I was searching for” • “He uickened his pace as if to escape all forms of responsibility and temptation” • “Her blood red mouth glistened beneath her black lace mask” • “The torment of unsatisfied longing for the mysterious woman’s body whose fragrance still caressed him” • “Fridolin’s eyes roved hungrily from sensuous to slender figures from budding figures to figures in glorious full bloom; and the fact that each of these naked beauties still remained a mystery transformed his indescribably strong urge to watch into an almost intolerable torment of desire” • “Fridolin was intoxicated and not merely by her presence her fragrant body and burning red lips nor by the atmosphere of the room and the aura of lascivious secrets that surrounded him; he was at once thirsty and delirious” • “The breeze even warmer and springlike seemed to bring with it a mild fragrance from the distant wakening woods” • “The treacherous warm air pregnant with dangers” • “A triumphant sunbeam coming in between the curtains” The culmination of many allusions to thawing spring and liberation Notes • This story was filmed by Stanley Kubrik as Eyes Wide Shut starring Tom Cruise and Nicole Kidman I’ve reviewed and compared the film via the screenplay HERE but in summary the plot is very similar but the atmosphere is very different • A year before Eyes Wide Shut was released Kidman starred in the premiere of David Hare’s play The Blue Room which is based on Schnitzler’s La Ronde Daily Telegraph theatre critic Charles Spencer coined the phrase “theatrical Viagra” for the production• It seems appropriate that I reread this around the time Oxford Dictionaries announced “post truth” as their Word of the Year 2016 albeit from its use in global political rather than inter personal contexts • I read this in 2008 and in November 2016 This review replaces my two sentence one from 2008 • The image at the top is Inge Prader’s recreation of Klimt’s The Beethoven Frieze See But now that the day work was done – the child had gone to bed and no disturbance was likely – the shadowy forms of the masuerade the melancholy stranger and the red dominoes rose again into reality And all at once those insignificant events were imbued magically and painfully with the deceptive glow of neglected opportunities Fridolin and Albertina – names that seem destined to be part of a commedia del arte show – are a young and happily married couple in pre war Vienna that city that was the very symbol of the belle epoue era a hub of scientific research and of elegantly wasting your life to the tune of a Strauss waltz They are living their happy ever after dream life raising a child taking care of a private doctor's practice basking in the warmth of their shared feelings for each other But they are both wearing masks even after returning home from a fashionable evening at a bal masue Behind the conventional picture of marital happiness lurks the shadowy urges of the subconscious They spoke of those mysterious regions of which they were hardly conscious but toward which the incomprehensible wind of fate might some day drive them even if only in their dreams For though they were united in thought and feeling they knew that the preceding day had not been the first time that the spirit of adventure freedom and danger had beckoned them I read somewhere that Sigmund Freud congratulated Schnitzler on the story remarking how extraordinary it is for an artist to feel and to describe instinctively what he has spent hundreds of hour analyzing in his patients We are creatures of secret and sometimes irrepressible urges desires that we may or may not acknowledge in the light of day Night time is the time to let our dreams run wild against the background of our conventional daily routine Fridolin surprised to discover through conversations with Albertine that she is capable of virtual infidelity and of harbouring sexual fantasies about strangers sets out to roam the dark streets of Vienna in search of answers to his divided loyalty how can he be so jealous of things he is also guilty of? Does he love her less or now that he discovered she is his eual also in this virtual dance? he was moving farther and farther away from his everyday existence into some strange and distant world The imagery of bourgeois complaisance night time revels and masuerades makes it very tempting to draw parallels between Dream Story and Steppenwolf which I read earlier this year and with Belle de Jour from last year All three novels are coming from the same prewar period challenge accepted social norms and announce sexual emancipation I believe they are still relevant today due to the talent of their respective writers and to their instinctive grasp of human nature I know that it's dangerous Perhaps that's the very thing that tempts me The whole adventure might be nothing than a figment of Fridolin imagination of his repressed desires and yearning for freedom and adventure even while happily married Wasn't he feverish? Perhaps at this moment he was lying at home in bed – and everything he thought he had experienced was merely delirium? also Then the idea occurred to him – not deliberately but as a flash across his mind – to drive to some station take a train no matter where and to disappear leaving everyone behind He could then turn up again somewhere abroad and start a new life as a different personality What is important though are not the spicy details of Fridolin's gloomy and ambiguous revels or the form of Albertine's sexual fantasies but the acknowledgement that we are all wearing masks and that granting others the same benefit of the doubt and the same freedoms we give ourselves is the start on the road to acceptance and understandingGreat stuff here in an elegant and concise package Recommendedlater I forgot to mention I did the see the movie version when it first came out but I can't remember a thing from it rather boring but then I'm not a fan of Tom Cruise What a read Before sticking my nose into this I had no idea how faithful Eyes Wide Shut is to this novella almost scene for scene but as usual the book outdoes the movie; though unfortunately I could not rid my mind of the movie's images as I was reading I actually like Tom Cruise but I don't want him and his brilliant white choppers in my head when I'm reading Begone shorty There's something very reminiscent of Chekhov in Schnitzler's writing a kind of styleless style wedded to superb storytelling with an emphasis on mundane details that manage to bore deep into the characters' psyches Literary pragmatism if you will Maybe these similarities have something to do with both being doctors roughly around the same time? But Schnitzler is infected in a darkly deliciously sinister way with a viral sexuality that manifests as suppurating boil after boil in sentence after sentence in the dream narrative of this novella This is a masterpiece unpeeling layer after layer of reality to show that there is no core reality besides sex and death maybe only illusion after illusionSomething that helps create the dream atmosphere of this book are the inconseuential details that Schnitzler includes such as when Fridolin Tom Cruise comments to himself on the smell of the costume as he's putting it on There's no other mention of this but it's just this kind of detail in one's own dreams that seems so pregnant with unspecified meaning and significance and it works in the same way in the bookThe one thing I liked better about the movie was Nicole Kidman's line at the end And on a side note I've come to think that most novels are simply too long and involved if they're good to adapt to movies that short stories and novellas are appropriate and Dream Story helped prove this to me Of course one remembers some dreams but there must be others one completely forgets of which nothing remains but a mysterious mood a curious numbnessAtmospheric and haunting Schnitzler's novella is a perfect Dream or dream like Story He doesn't create the kind of dream world that is engineered by hanging two moons from the ceiling His world only consists of realistic things and events and yet it is shadowed by something intangible and unsettling He simply colors the world his characters inhabit with a hypnotic uality that seduces the reader into the dream scape And how subtly he does that Little details one elusive gesture one innocent looking piece of the setting one fleeting thought all come together beautifully to create the atmosphere The novella explores the intimate life of a married couple Schnitzler digs into the psyche of his characters by gently leading them to a space where their hidden thoughts desires and anxieties find the freedom to manifest themselves He lets the characters assess what constitutes truth and reality for them And once the spell breaks they can go back to continue living the illusion of real life they create for themselves 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 Freud in a letter to Schnitzler WikipediaWhether the events in the novella happen for real or was Schnitzler only staging an illusion I will leave that for you to decide through your own reading Perhaps it won't even matterJust as sure as I am that the reality of one night let alone that of a whole lifetime is not the whole truthAnd no dream he said with a slight sigh is entirely a dream Best read in a sitting or two Until last week I was enjoying three things from AustriaWolfgang Amadeus Mozart's musicArnold Schwarzenegger's films andVienna's Apple StrudelNow there is a fourth thing I enjoy from Austria LiteratureI loved Stefan Zweig's novella Chess Story when I read it back in 2015 and I enjoyed this small novella called Dream Story Traumnovelle by Arthur Schnitzer; a name that looks very similar to Schnitzel one thing originating from Austria I bought this book mainly because I want to read all the books Stanley Kubrick adapted into film I read 6 out of 11 and by the end of the month I'll raise the number to 7Even though I've only seen the trailer of this novella's adaptation aka Eyes Wide Shut I know it's loosely based and there was fantasy than reality in this bookThere is also a lot of Freudian psychology in this book Freud another Austrian and Schnitzler knew each otherWe see a couple confessing to each otherDoctor Fridolin and his wife Albertina it reminds me of the word libertine a person who freely indulges in sensual pleasures without regard to moral principles She confesses her sexual fantasies with probably a hung military officer from Denmark she saw while they were on vacation thereThen the doctor admits he had also been attracted to a young girl during that same vacationThen we see Fridolin's wanderings through the streets of Vienna to pursue his own personal fantasiesHe encounters a secret society's orgy he meets with a prostitute at a brothel and comes in contact with a woman's corpse in the morgue among other experiencesOf course the whole novella leaves many things unsaidWere Fridoli's experiences a dream or not How many of them were real and how many of them trueIn other words reality and dream are indistinguishable The interesting thing is that in German dream and trauma are almost identical words DreamTraum TraumaTraumaSo maybe the author choose this word Traum intentionally to show that dreams Träumen can carry traumas Traumen as wellSchnitzler's works were called Jewish filth by Adolf Hitler and were banned by the Nazis in Austria and GermanySo that's one reason to read this novellaWhatever angereds the Nazis is good to be enjoyed to the fullestThis edition includes an introduction by Frederic Raphael who co wrote Eyes Wide Shut with Stanley KubrickAlso the cover is a detail of a beautiful painting called The Bride by Gustav Klimt yet another Austrian a painterI'm not sure if my review is enlightening or endarkening you opinion whether you should read this book or not but I can only say as a conclusion that I enjoyed Schnitzler's writing and I hope I'll enjoy Kubrick's adaptationRating 7510 A brilliant work Schnitzler explores the psychological and sexual tensions that exist in a marriageOn the surface the couple Albertine and Fridolin seem to be leading a normalhappy almost uneventful lifeThey have a child whom they both dote onHowever both of them have certain deep physical and emotional desires which torment them ceaselesslyOne night after returning from a party they muster the courage to be candid and start to narrate their fantasies to each otherBoth of them desire other peopleWhat starts of as an honest confession triggers a wave of sexual jealousySchnitzler beautifully captures these changes of moodThe language is sublime as some of the scenes he describes seem almost dream likeThere is a constant tension in the prose between fantasy and realityThis book is one of the best I have read on the theme of marital relations The inspiration for Stanley Kubrick's Eyes Wide Shut this delicious little novella weaves —unravels— an enchanting story of love's disintegration Mesmerising and beguiling; twisted and intricate; deceptive and illuminating – a scrumptious read It's fascinating to see how Kubrick interpreted this visually too Fridolin and Albertine are married with a child One evening Albertine confesses to Fridolin that she had sexual phantasies involving a man she had seen during their vacation That sets off Fridolin on an exploration into his life his wishes and desiresIn 1926 when this was originally published it was probably a pretty scandalous book My thoughts were along the lines of oh another guy exploring his midlife crisis Which is probably really shallow of me Eroticism is only one aspect of this novella It looks at our dreams our wants and how we deal with them Go read some of the other reviews they looked at this properly and made an effort to give you a well rounded and educated idea about this famous pieceThe movie Eyes Wide Shut is based on this novella but I have never watched it so I can't say how it comparesThe delivery of the German audiobook I listened to was pretty wooden

Paperback  ✓ Traumnovelle PDF ¼
  • Paperback
  • 96 pages
  • Traumnovelle
  • Arthur Schnitzler
  • 24 October 2015
  • 9780241284483