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Depicting the evolution of a moral dilemma in dazzling stream-of-consciousness narrative, Arthur Schnitzler’s Fräulein Else is a darkly witty exploration of Viennese social mores.
Fräulein Else is the story of a young woman who, while staying with her aunt at a fashionable spa, receives a telegram from her mother begging her to save her father from debtor’s jail by approaching an elderly acquaintance in order to borrow money from him. Forced by the exigencies of her family into the reality of a world entirely at odds with her romantic imagination, we are brought unremittingly to the horrific consequences of Else’s realisation that her world is one in which everything has a price and where the veneer of morality is as brittle and transparent as glass.
Translated from the German by F.H. Lyon, Arthur Schnitzler’s modernist novella Fräulein Else is published by Pushkin Press.
Arthur Schnitzler (b.1862) was born in Vienna, the son of a prominent Jewish doctor, and studied medicine at the University of Vienna. In later years he devoted his life to writing and was successful as a novelist, dramatist and short story writer. Schnitzler’s work shows a remarkable ability to create atmosphere and a profound understanding of human motives.