Dream Story – Arthur Schnitzler

Jul 05

Dream Story – Arthur Schnitzler

This classical piece of Viennese literature is by Arthur Schnitzler. Schnitzler was a doctor. He gave that up with a quickness when he found success as a writer. Doctors and medicine often play a role in his stories. In Dream Story (original German title: Traumnovelle) we meet a married couple who seem to have it all. Fridolin is a successful doctor. His beautiful wife Albertine stays home and raises their lovely daughter. The book follows Fridolin one fateful night, and bit by bit picks the marriage apart. On that eventful evening, the couple discusses a time when they both thought about cheating. With this discussion rolling around in his mind, Fridolin meets up with the daughter of a patient who is in love with him, a prostitute, the world’s creepiest costume rental guy, and an old friend from medical school who sneaks him in to a highly disturbing sex party. If this all sounds familiar, that is due to the fact that it was (roughly 70 years later) made into Stanley Kubrick’s Eyes Wide Shut.
I am not a big fan of married folks harboring lascivious, unfaithful thoughts. That type of scenario is scary to the newly-wed. Schnitzler is a wonderful writer and weaves the story like a master, I am just not a proponent of the topic.

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