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“Arthur Schnitzler—Being Jewish”

URL: http://www.jewishjournal.com/community_calendar/item/arthur_schnitzlerbeing_jewish_20120828

A staged reading of Arthur Schnitzler—Being Jewish, commemorating the 150th anniversary of Schnitzler’s birth, premieres at the Getty Center in conjunction with the Getty exhibition Gustav Klimt: The Magic of Line.

Based on Schnitzler’s journals and correspondence, which portray a man who is not afraid to ask difficult questions, the reading exposes Schnitzler’s conflicted feelings about being a Jew. Following the performance, a panel discussion situates Schnitzler and his contemporaries, including Gustav Klimt, in the cultural and political context of 19th- and early-20th-century Vienna.

A renowned Austrian writer and dramatist, Arthur Schnitzler (1862–1931) chronicled turn-of-the-century Vienna. He was famous for his frank treatment of sexual and psychological themes as well as his outspoken stance against anti-Semitism. His works were called “Jewish filth” by Adolf Hitler and were banned by the Nazis in Austria and Germany.

Schnitzler’s masterful stories and plays impressed Sigmund Freud (who famously called him his “double”) and were admired by his contemporaries Thomas Mann and Henrik Ibsen. His writing continues to inspire creative artists; Tom Stoppard adapted several works by Schnitzler, and Stanley Kubrick based the film Eyes Wide Shut (1999) on Schnitzler’s 1926 novella Dream Story.

Arthur Schnitzler—Being Jewish was created by literary historian and Schnitzler expert Lorenzo Bellettini in collaboration with documentary filmmaker Peter Schnitzler, Arthur Schnitzler’s grandson. English translations of the original German texts are by Barbara Zeisl-Schoenberg, Michael Heim, Lorenzo Bellettini, and Peter Schnitzler. The reading will be performed by Annabelle Gurwitch, who has appeared in many stage plays, films, and television shows, and Sam Tsoutsouvas, who starred in the 2012 Marvell Repertory Theatre production of Schnitzler’s Professor Bernhardi (1912).

Panelists include:

Philipp Blom, Getty Research Institute scholar
Peter Schnitzler, documentary filmmaker, writer, and painter
Lorenzo Bellettini, independent scholar based in Vienna
Kenneth Reinhard, associate professor of English and comparative literature at the University of California, Los Angeles
Ruth Kluger, professor emerita of German at the University of California, Irvine

This event was organized by the Getty Research Institute and the J. Paul Getty Museum with the support of the Austrian Consulate General in Los Angeles, the Austrian-American Council West, and the Austrian Cultural Forum New York.

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