Arthur Schnitzler

1862 – 1931

A doctor by training, Arthur Schnitzler became a major figure in Viennese Modernity (Wiener Moderne) at the turn of the 19th and 20th centuries, alongside writers such as Hermann Bahr (1863-1934), Richard Beer-Hofmann (1866-1945) and the young Hugo von Hofmannsthal (1874-1929). Schnitzler, who wrote his first essays for the theater in the late 1880s, soon established himself as one of the most important Austrian playwrights. Between 1901 and 1904, he composed a cycle of three one-act plays entitled Marionetten. All three relate to puppets, although the first one, Der Puppenspieler, was actually designed for actors: the figure of the puppeteer must be understood in a metaphorical sense. This is not the case with the other two plays, Der tapfere Cassian and Zum großen Wurstel, in which the author uses the medium of puppet theater to break with the dramatic illusion that he had already undermined in 1899 in his play Der grüne Kakadu [The Green Cockatoo].


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