HUGO VOX HOFMANNSTHAL 225 direst poverty and humiliation, and thus he is doubly entitled to be the leader of a proletarian revolution whose aim is the estab- lishment of that order in the state which shall give the subjects of the state freedom to live their lives to the full Olivier, the upstart leader, following his brute instincts, would have replaced tyranny by tyranny, while Sigismund's policy is to re-establish authority on the basis of spiritual values. Whether, of course, a Habsburg prince transfigured by adversity or a spiritualized Hohenzollern might, rather than some dog-eyed proletarian with the problem- atic education of Olivier, have given German poets and scholars peace and order to fulfil themselves in is pure speculation. But even as a vision of post-War conditions the play does not grip: what interest there is lies in the weary throw-back to the pseudo- Spanish manner - in creeping prose, however, not in singing trochees. Hofmannsthal as a librettist is not quite so submerged by music as that other Viennese poet, Schikaneder, was by Mozart; but to the generality he is known only as purveyor to Richard Strauss. DerHLosenkavalier (1911) has the moral unwholesomeness of rococo libertinage; the other libretti - Ariadne aufNaxos (1912), Die Frau ohne Schatten (1920; a dramatization of the novel by the author); Die dgpptiscbe Helens (1928); Josepbslegende (1914; in collaboration with Graf Harry Kessler) - fulfil their purpose. Hofmannsthal's comedies are experiments which fail because of their lack of clear-cut character-drawing. Cristinas Heimrehe (1908) and its variant Florindo (1923) dramatize an early episode of Casanova's memoirs; wThat holds the reader Is the Venetian mood. Der Schmerige (1921) almost belies this poet, who In his person and his moods is the very embodiment of Vienna, by having its scene in his native city. But it is post-war Vienna; and in this period of depression and frustration his moods were changing and his weary mind was turning churchwards. The critical hero is said to be critical self-portraiture. Arabella (1933) was his last attempt in this field. As a prose writer Hofmannsthal has great distinction, but more as a suggestive and stimulating if not always convincing critic than as a writer of stories, into which he spins too much meta- physical speculation. Die Frau ohne Schatten (1919), in very fluid Marchenstil (sentences joined by comma after comma), has for its main theme the brutality of sex relations in childless marriages.