Lieutenant Gustl (1900) is a novella written byAustrian impressionist author Arthur Schnitzler.
The impressionist writer described in this novella a young officer at the time of Austrian-UngarianMonarchy. The technique of innermonologue used in this novella was the beginning of the employmentof such device in the German literature. The minute presentation of a negative"hero" in this work has much in common with that of the naturalism.The major difference of this impressionist work from a naturalist one is that the subject of description is the internal life or the streamof consciousness of the "hero" instead of the external living environmentof the "hero". The novella is strongly influenced by SiegmondFreud's Psycho-analysis.
Lieutenant Gustl leaves a concert with a bad feeling of being hurtby a baker. He is overwhelmed by the imaginary necessity to commitsuicide in order to restore his honor. When he hears that the baker isdead of a heart attack he feels released from the necessity. As soon asthe novella was published by the Fischer Verlag in Berlin, it became ascandal. ArthurSchnitzler was charged of assaulting the prestige of the monarchicarmy.
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