Vienna's Literature around 1900 and its Cinematic Reception

Wynfrid KrieglederFebruary 5 - 164 ECTS


Around 1900 the literary scene in Vienna was highly complex. An especially interesting group of writers was the "Young Vienna" school, who embraced modern developments like psychoanalysis and dealt with formerly taboo topics like human sexuality. The course will concentrate on these authors.

We will chiefly deal with Arthur Schnitzler, who wrote theater plays and stories, but we will also spend time talking about other writers like Hugo von Hofmannsthal. Besides, we will talk about the issues discussed in Vienna around 1900: the ideas of Sigmund Freud, questions of national and sexual identity, antisemitism, the social situation in the Austro-Hungarian Empire before and after the First World War.

Participants will have to read and discuss a few literary texts (which will be provided to the participants in an English translation), for instance Der Reigen (La Ronde) or Traumnovelle (Dream Story) by Arthur Schnitzler.

Furthermore, we will watch and discuss some film adaptions from different eras and countries, including Stanley Kubrick‘s Eyes Wide Shut (1999), which was based on the Dream Story, or versions of La Ronde, which was filmed a total of six times between 1950 and 2013. We will compare the films to the original texts.


Requirements: Attendance and participation in class discussion constitute 30%, reading the required literary texts and short presentations 30% and a written final (essay-type) 40% of the grade.