NEO-ROMANTIC AND AUSTRIAN DRAMATISTS 237
were students together at the conservatoire, and she is hunted by
the titillation of her senses into his arms; but to him she is just a
\voman who calls and is done with. * Verlangende Weiblichkeif, she
discovers, is an illusion. Der Weg ins Freie (1908), Schnitzler's
longest novel, is his weakest work. Apart from the reasoned re-
jection of the Verbaltnis there is endless discussion of the Viennese
Jew problem, and a crowded canvas of not very edifying Jews.
Tberese (1928), the 'chronicle of a woman's life', is a sordid and
dreary novel. Therese, the daughter of an insane officer in Salz-
burg, is cast off by a doctor and a lieutenant, and has to earn her
living in Vienna as a servant. She has a series of love affairs, and
she dies when her illegitimate son, for whom she has worn herself
to the bone - he is a thief and Zuhalter by trade - gags her while
he breaks her box open.
To the school of Schnitzler belong FELIX SALTEN (1869-1945)
and RAOUL AUERNHEIMER (1876-1947), Salten, born in Budapest
but resident in Vienna, wrote one-act plays in Schnitzler's manner
(Vom anderen Ufer, 1907); Auernheimer, in addition to comedies
(Die grosse Leidenschaft, 1904), wrote such short stories as Casanova
in Wlen, in which the hero, staying with his Philistine brother in
Vienna, at a time when Maria Theresa was forcing the Viennese
to be good, is tempted to be good too, but is saved from this fate
by an order of expulsion.
The once almost hectic reputation of twTo of the neo-rornantic
poets, Gustav Vollmoeller and Ernst Hardt, has faded rapidly.
Time was when Vollmoeller dazzled London and Ernst Hardt
was devoured like chocolates. VOLLMOELLER (1878-1948) began
with Georgean verse (Parcival: Diefruben Garten, 1903) and made his
reputation with the revenge drama Catharina, Grdfin von Armagnac
(1903). This play, in highly decorative verse with prose passages,
provided a macabre thrill: the lady's husband comes into the room
with the head of her poet lover and stands it on the mantelpiece.
He leaves it there, and Catharina addresses it in melting verse,
kisses the bloody chops, recalls their hours of dalliance, and then
jumps out of the window with it into the river. For Max Reinhardt
Vollmoeller wrote wordless plays: Mirakel (1911), and Venecia-
niscbe Abenteuer (1912), the former a symbolic handling of the
legend (familiar from Gottfried Keller's tale, John Davidson's
ballad, and Maeterlinck's play S&ur Beatrice) of the runaway nun
whose place as doorkeeper of the convent is taken by the Virgin