hits counter Dream Story - Ebook PDF Online
Hot Best Seller

Dream Story

Availability: Ready to download

This wonderful translation of Dream Story will allow a fresh generation of readers to enjoy this beautiful, heartless and baffling novella. Dream Story tells how through a simple sexual admission a husband and wife are driven apart into rival worlds of erotic intrigue and revenge.


Compare

This wonderful translation of Dream Story will allow a fresh generation of readers to enjoy this beautiful, heartless and baffling novella. Dream Story tells how through a simple sexual admission a husband and wife are driven apart into rival worlds of erotic intrigue and revenge.

30 review for Dream Story

  1. 4 out of 5

    Jeffrey Keeten

    “Am I sure? Only as sure as I am that the reality of one night, let alone that of a whole lifetime, can ever be the whole truth.” The Bride (1918) by Klimt It all begins with a confession of sorts as his wife Albertine tells him of a fantasy she had involving a man that she saw on their vacation. Fridolin also confesses that he had desired a young woman on the beach. It seems fairly harmless after all. When we marry, we don’t go numb from the waist down and the neck up. We continue to notice “Am I sure? Only as sure as I am that the reality of one night, let alone that of a whole lifetime, can ever be the whole truth.” The Bride (1918) by Klimt It all begins with a confession of sorts as his wife Albertine tells him of a fantasy she had involving a man that she saw on their vacation. Fridolin also confesses that he had desired a young woman on the beach. It seems fairly harmless after all. When we marry, we don’t go numb from the waist down and the neck up. We continue to notice attractive people and continue to be titillated by charming and intelligent ones, as well. It could be a ruggedly handsome waiter in a restaurant or a pretty pearl wearing bartender or a French beret wearing poet or a saucy librarian with libidinous thoughts. There are a host of emotions that are involved with noticing that our spouse is interested in some other person. If it is one sided, it can just be amusing or mildly annoying. If the interest is reciprocated, then it can unleash a torrent of reactions from fear to pride to jealousy to finding your spouse that much more alluring because someone else recognized those qualities that you may have started to take for granted. Flirtations or mild crushes, in most cases, just adds a bit of spice to life. For Fridolin, this confession of his wife, even though his confession is very similar, unmoors him. It is as if the possibilities of his life are suddenly opening up to him, and women whom he met every day suddenly take on the glow of possibility. Soon after the dream confessions, Fridolin, who is a doctor,, is called out to a client in dire health. Unfortunately, his trip is for naught as the man has passed when he arrives. Thus begins one of the strangest evenings, an odyssey really, of Fridolin’s life. By the end of the night, he has met a series of women, all women who are interested in sleeping with him and all whom he would like to sleep with. In thinking about which he would prefer, he canot decide. ”To the little Pierrette? Or to the little trollop in the Buchfeldgasse? Or to Marianne, the daughter of the dead Court Counsellor?” It does not matter for they are all about to be replaced by a woman he is on the verge of meeting in precarious circumstances. ”Fridolin was intoxicated, and not merely by her presence, her fragrant body and burning red lips, nor by the atmosphere of the room and the aura of lascivious secrets that surrounded him; he was at once thirsty and delirious, made so by all the adventures of the night, none of which had led to anything, by his own audacity, and by the sea-change he felt within himself. He stretched out and touched the veil covering her head, as though intended to remove it.” He has fallen into a secret sex club with the help of his piano playing friend Nachtigall. He isn’t supposed to be there. He was never supposed to meet this woman with the burning red lips. He is supposed to be home with his wife and daughter. Though it is an evening fraught with sexual possibilities, he is like a man walking through a museum admiring the intriguing paintings, but touching none of them. His wife has more dreams to confess. Look at all that hair the young Arthur Schnitzler had. Arthur Schnitzler’s work was considered filth by Adolf Hitler. Anything that upsets that goose stepping, stiff necked, little pipsqueak should be read by the rest of the civilized world with reverence. Schnitzler was born in 1862 and died in Vienna in 1931. If he had lived long enough, the Nazis would have most certainly beaten him and had him thrown in some damp hole for being the Viennese Henry Miller, a few decades before Miller knew he was Miller. If his writing was not enough of an incentive to bring him to the attention of the Third Reich, certainly his Jewish ethnicity would have condemned him just as quickly. Schnitzler had numerous affairs, sometimes with several women at the same time. He kept a Journal for most of his life and dutifully recorded not only every assignation, but every orgasm. A bit OCD about the adventures of his willie, wouldn’t you say? The venerated Viennese doctor of psychology Sigmund Freud said in a letter to Schnitzler, "I have gained the impression that you have learned through intuition – although actually as a result of sensitive introspection – everything that I have had to unearth by laborious work on other persons." Was there a bit of Freudian jealousy in that observation? Does Freud need some time on his own couch? Fridolin may have thought about making conquests of women, but Schnitzler turned thought into deed. Nicole Kidman in Eyes Wide Shut. Is it just me or do those wire rimmed glasses make her look very naughty! Stanley Kubrick directed a film based on this novel called Eyes Wide Shut, (1999) starring the then married Nicole Kidman and Tom Cruise. I know I watched the film, but I don’t remember a bloody thing about it. I must have been plastered or snogging or both when I watched it, so I must apologize for not being able to make at the very least some pithy remarks comparing the film to the book. I have a feeling the two may have very little to do with each other, but I’m sure out there in GR land, there are several people who can weigh in on whether the film conveyed Schnitzler’s thoughts or was just a jumping off place for Kubrick/Kidman/Cruise to explore their own ideas. A quick read with some fascinating observations about relationships, the brain, and our natural/unnatural attractions to the people we come into contact with. If you wish to see more of my most recent book and movie reviews, visit http://www.jeffreykeeten.com I also have a Facebook blogger page at:https://www.facebook.com/JeffreyKeeten

  2. 5 out of 5

    Jan-Maat

    The big shock and surprise for me about this story was that it written in 1926, it feels like something that belongs to an era twenty or thirty years earlier, perhaps that is part of the point. In a cafe by chance the main character Doctor Fridolin, meets his old friend Nightingale, Nightingale has a wife and four children back in Lemburg who he supports by playing the piano badly in various shady establishments. The thing is that in 1926 Lemburg wasn't Lemburg, it was Lwow and had been for a few The big shock and surprise for me about this story was that it written in 1926, it feels like something that belongs to an era twenty or thirty years earlier, perhaps that is part of the point. In a cafe by chance the main character Doctor Fridolin, meets his old friend Nightingale, Nightingale has a wife and four children back in Lemburg who he supports by playing the piano badly in various shady establishments. The thing is that in 1926 Lemburg wasn't Lemburg, it was Lwow and had been for a few years - this type of thing can happen to you if you are a city, you sit around minding your own business then suddenly somebody imposes a change of identity on you - or maybe they reveal your true identity, or allow the potential for a new identity to emerge. Something that seems at first very absolute and stable - literally a fact on the ground, turns out to be insubstantial and provisional and indeed a little while down the road the city would be L'vov, and then L'viv. Is one name, one identity more real, more correct, or did they all co-exist in reality, just that mostly only one is on display at anyone time? Yet the city is a fact. It does exist, it did exist, it will exist, just what it is called changes and each name implies a radically different reality without the reorientation of a single street or even the remodelling of a modest house. To me, that is what the story is about, hello city, are you Lemburg, or Lwow or really L'viv? Or do I perceive a certain L'vovness about your cafes and restaurants? Are all these names just masks? Does the mask hide, does it protect or project? This is a geographical story, with clearly marked zones and spaces. The Fridolin at the beginning of the story has a safe space, within this space are himself, his wife and their daughter, however nothing happens and as a result of that his space is revealed in fact to be polluted. In the cafe, hard-working Fridolin flicks through the newspapers, he is reassured and settled by what he reads - people are dying horribly in foreign places which he didn't even know existed. He talks to Nightingale. Weird, potentially depraved things happen he asserts, in Romanian castles (view spoiler)[ well obviously, Dracula, electoral fraud, financial insider dealing, Vlad the innumerate bookkeeper - take your pick (hide spoiler)] (out there, a definite place but beyond Fridolin's territory) . In Lemburg there is the wife and child zone, Vienna is the work zone and in the wallet is some money that belongs correctly to Fridolin, a debt is repaid, however Nightingale asserts that Vienna is not what Fridolin is familiar with, no, weird things happen, secret societies, masked faces, naked bodies - everything smells of sex. Fridolin decides he wants in to transition from safe space to a danger zone. Later Fridolin visits the mortuary, the mortuary we can read as the underworld, traditionally there the hero is given certain and precise guidance. This mortuary is presided over by Doctor Eagle, Fridolin is neither an eagle nor a nightingale, but each attracts him (non-sexually) as representing a certain attitude towards life, science versus sensuality. In a modern world we can read the mortuary as a place of science, definite, precise, analytic. Fridolin looks at a woman. Is she a woman who may have protected him, or not? All he can see is that this woman is dead, the woman he knew was alive, he moves through a space of secret knowledge but within himself finds only doubt and uncertainty. Fridolin and his wife exchange almost erotic memories, once, says Fridolin, I saw a naked teenaged girl walking down a gangplank early one morning, just as the sun was rising by the seaside. But we look at this and how difficult it is for Fridolin - is she a girl or a woman? Is this virginal innocence or a sexual display that is, frankly whorish? Is this a family holiday and therefore a safe zone, or is it out there in dangerous Denmark? The answer I feel is, Hello Dr. Freud, also geographic, specifically in that particular zone between the ears, above the tongue and below the scalp. Is there something weird happening out there on the mean streets of Vienna, ought he be frightened that his daughter's bedtime story spills over into his wife's erotic dream, should he fear the removal of the mask? He is bumped against by a member of a student fraternity - harmless accident or evidence of hostility on the street, he turn he suspects both. Can he cope with himself without the constant projection of his own lust on to others? In the end maybe a naked juvenile of the female variety enjoying the privacy of the early morning by the seaside is just that, as a Doctor we might think his duty was to warn her of the dangers of sunburn as a man we know he is doing a not so good a job of repressing his sexuality because it pops up everywhere and troubles him. It is though a very cold story, oddly enough for a exploration of a man in a certain psychological state - wanting to have sex with all the women but when specific opportunities come his way he turns away, believing with some fierceness that everybody around him is busily having sex almost whereever he goes - and to me it felt like a Freudian word association game- hearse? Death. Death? Sex. Sex? Danger. Danger? Exposure. Blargh what a lot I've written about a story that didn't even impress me so much, I might eventually learn to be concise. I think Jewishness and Vienna are essential here, Vienna was both a relatively safe space for Jews in the twilight of the Austro-Hungarian empire, but also a city in which anti-Semitism had become fused into main-stream politics. You might want to pass unnoticed, being exposed, unmasked, might be dangerous. Also, hello Dr. Freud, come in, sit down - I would offer you a cigar but I see you already have one, this the city of the discovery of the unconscious, most of us are too unlike turn of the century Viennese to find Freud congenial any more I guess, but we are considering a culture both interested in atypical human psychological states and in the realisation that what we see isn't what we get, we see the mask that is presented to the world, but beneath the L'viv, is the L'vov, and under that the Lwow, which covers the Lemberg, the mask projects - I am a German city, I am a Polish city, I am a Soviet city, I am a Ukrainian city, but also hides, and hides we might feel, quite reasonably, to protect itself - help, I am confused, I'm not sure who I am, or if I like who I am, or if any of this is real, yet I seem to be substantial - I have streets and schools and public transport. Whose dream is this story? Fridolin's, his wife's? Vienna's? Ours?

  3. 5 out of 5

    Cecily

    “A game of gallantry, seduction, resistance and fulfilment” with “a whiff of freedom, danger, and adventure”. That’s the intention, anyway. Many editions have one of Klimt’s golden paintings on the cover: a mystical, sexual enticement that seems to fit the dreamy, steamy story. At first. But recreate those pictures with real people, as above, and they become disturbing in a way that is far more appropriate to the full dark arc of the story. This novella takes place over barely 48 hours. It ope “A game of gallantry, seduction, resistance and fulfilment” with “a whiff of freedom, danger, and adventure”. That’s the intention, anyway. Many editions have one of Klimt’s golden paintings on the cover: a mystical, sexual enticement that seems to fit the dreamy, steamy story. At first. But recreate those pictures with real people, as above, and they become disturbing in a way that is far more appropriate to the full dark arc of the story. This novella takes place over barely 48 hours. It opens with an idyllic family scene and fond reference to the frisson of flirting at a masked ball the night before. But masks rarely symbolise anything benign, especially not black masks... Fidelity, Temptation, and Truth If we promise and expect fidelity, we’re usually thinking of sexual exclusivity, but the word also means truth, in the sense of a full and accurate recreation or reportage. • Where does honest confession of sexual infidelity - real or imagined - fit? • Is relishing the fantasy of betrayal as bad as committing it in the flesh, as the Bible says? • Is seeking temptation, but not submitting to it, dishonourable, dangerous, or brave? • Is true love unconditional, or is that an impossibility? Love of one’s child would probably survive their deliberate harm of one’s partner, but would the converse be true? • What if both partners get a thrill from an admission of infidelity? • What if that flower of arousal then ripens into the toxic fruit of jealousy? Truth… and Dare? “Neither the reality of a single night nor even of a person’s entire life can be equated with the full truth about his innermost being.” Deep, honest, and frequent communication is oft cited as the key to a happy long-term relationship, including sharing (though not necessarily carrying out) fantasies. “With self-tormenting anxiety and sordid curiosity, each sought to coax admissions from the other.” Such truths can be exciting and arousing, but are risky too. As Algy says in Wilde’s The Importance of Being Earnest (see my review HERE), “The truth is rarely pure, and never simple”. Fridolin is unexpectedly disoriented by Albertine’s fairly innocuous fantasy, despite his encouraging her to share it. He embarks on a night of costumes, passwords, clandestine encounters, secret societies, rituals, dire warnings, confusion, revenge, and redemption. When he returns, he finds Albertine laughing in a dream, and when she awakes, he implores her to describe the dream. Just a dream. But such a dream. It changes everything, and what has been said cannot be unsaid. Fridolin is unmoored and rudderless, as he sets sail on unfamiliar, choppy waters, for another voyage of strange encounters and enquiries, destination unknown. Dreams may not be “real”, but their effects can be. The Reality of Dreams “No dream… is altogether a dream.” The pages are suffused with the vocabulary of doubt about reality and free will: melancholy enchantment; secrets; magically infused illusions; masks; dreams; brooding menace; intoxication; mysterious people, events, and places; soporific atmospheres; being enveloped by a sultry fragrance, and surrendering to a swelling melody, as if under compulsion. The dark, disorienting, surreal, sexualised mood reminded me of scenes from Kafka. “Everything was becoming increasingly unreal… His very identity”. This confusion is not so strange. Boundaries between dreams and reality can be uncomfortably hard to discern. When my mother-in-law recently came round from a week of heavy post-op sedation, she recounted bizarre events as real. A fortnight later, she began to realise they were drug-induced dreams, even though they still felt too real to be dismissed as such. And when reading this, I had a couple of nights of vivid and memorable dreams – to the extent that during one dream, I remembered the dream from the previous night, and wondered if I was dreaming that imagined world again. The veil is thin; we are easily confused. How much licence does that give us to explore and experiment, in mind - and maybe body? Fridolin’s adventures appear to be real, in vengeful response to Albertine’s imagined and dreamed exploits. But readers cannot be certain, and I’m not sure the protagonists are either. (Fridolin, a doctor, questions whether he is hallucinating, and later plans to recount what he thinks are real events as if they were dreams, but neither point is definitive.) That is the intoxicating essence of the story. Quotes • Real people “had all withdrawn into the realm of ghosts”. • “Those trivial encounters became magically and painfully interfused with the treacherous illusion of missed opportunities.” • “In every woman with whom I thought I was in love, it was always you that I was searching for.” • “He quickened his pace, as if to escape all forms of responsibility and temptation.” • “Her blood-red mouth glistened beneath her black lace mask.” • “The torment of unsatisfied longing for the mysterious woman’s body, whose fragrance still caressed him.” • “Fridolin’s eyes roved hungrily from sensuous to slender figures, from budding figures to figures in glorious full bloom; and the fact that each of these naked beauties still remained a mystery… transformed his indescribably strong urge to watch into an almost intolerable torment of desire.” • “Fridolin was intoxicated, and not merely by her presence, her fragrant body and burning red lips, nor by the atmosphere of the room and the aura of lascivious secrets that surrounded him; he was at once thirsty and delirious.” • “The breeze… even warmer and more springlike, seemed to bring with it a mild fragrance from the distant wakening woods.” • “The treacherous warm air, pregnant with dangers.” • “A triumphant sunbeam coming in between the curtains”. The culmination of many allusions to thawing, spring, and liberation. Notes • This story was filmed by Stanley Kubrik as Eyes Wide Shut, starring Tom Cruise and Nicole Kidman. I’ve reviewed and compared the film, via the screenplay HERE, but in summary, the plot is very similar, but the atmosphere is very different. • A year before Eyes Wide Shut was released, Kidman starred in the premiere of David Hare’s play, The Blue Room, which is based on Schnitzler’s La Ronde. Daily Telegraph theatre critic, Charles Spencer, coined the phrase “theatrical Viagra” for the production. • It seems appropriate that I reread this around the time Oxford Dictionaries announced “post-truth” as their Word of the Year 2016, albeit from its use in global-political, rather than inter-personal contexts. • I read this in 2008 and in November 2016. This review replaces my two-sentence one from 2008. • The image at the top is Inge Prader’s recreation of Klimt’s The Beethoven Frieze. See: http://flavorwire.com/543239/gustav-k...

  4. 4 out of 5

    Algernon (Darth Anyan)

    But now that the day work was done – the child had gone to bed and no disturbance was likely – the shadowy forms of the masquerade, the melancholy stranger and the red dominoes, rose again into reality. And all at once those insignificant events were imbued, magically and painfully, with the deceptive glow of neglected opportunities. Fridolin and Albertina – names that seem destined to be part of a commedia del arte show – are a young and happily married couple in pre-war Vienna, that city that But now that the day work was done – the child had gone to bed and no disturbance was likely – the shadowy forms of the masquerade, the melancholy stranger and the red dominoes, rose again into reality. And all at once those insignificant events were imbued, magically and painfully, with the deceptive glow of neglected opportunities. Fridolin and Albertina – names that seem destined to be part of a commedia del arte show – are a young and happily married couple in pre-war Vienna, that city that was the very symbol of the belle epoque era, a hub of scientific research and of elegantly wasting your life to the tune of a Strauss waltz. They are living their happy-ever-after dream life, raising a child, taking care of a private doctor's practice, basking in the warmth of their shared feelings for each other. But they are both wearing masks, even after returning home from a fashionable evening at a bal masque. Behind the conventional picture of marital happiness lurks the shadowy urges of the subconscious. They spoke of those mysterious regions of which they were hardly conscious but toward which the incomprehensible wind of fate might some day drive them, even if only in their dreams. For though they were united in thought and feeling, they knew that the preceding day had not been the first time that the spirit of adventure, freedom and danger had beckoned them. I read somewhere that Sigmund Freud congratulated Schnitzler on the story, remarking how extraordinary it is for an artist to feel and to describe instinctively what he has spent hundreds of hour analyzing in his patients. We are creatures of secret and sometimes irrepressible urges, desires that we may or may not acknowledge in the light of day. Night time is the time to let our dreams run wild against the background of our conventional daily routine. Fridolin, surprised to discover through conversations with Albertine that she is capable of virtual infidelity and of harbouring sexual fantasies about strangers, sets out to roam the dark streets of Vienna in search of answers to his divided loyalty: how can he be so jealous of things he is also guilty of? Does he love her less or more now that he discovered she is his equal also in this virtual dance? ... he was moving farther and farther away from his everyday existence into some strange and distant world. The imagery of bourgeois complaisance, night time revels and masquerades makes it very tempting to draw parallels between "Dream Story" and "Steppenwolf", which I read earlier this year and with "Belle de Jour" from last year. All three novels are coming from the same prewar period, challenge accepted social norms and announce sexual emancipation. I believe they are still relevant today due to the talent of their respective writers and to their instinctive grasp of human nature. I know that it's dangerous. Perhaps that's the very thing that tempts me. The whole adventure might be nothing more than a figment of Fridolin imagination, of his repressed desires and yearning for freedom and adventure even while happily married. Wasn't he feverish? Perhaps at this moment he was lying at home in bed – and everything he thought he had experienced was merely delirium? also, Then the idea occurred to him – not deliberately but as a flash across his mind – to drive to some station, take a train, no matter where, and to disappear, leaving everyone behind. He could then turn up again, somewhere abroad, and start a new life, as a different personality. What is important though are not the spicy details of Fridolin's gloomy and ambiguous revels or the form of Albertine's sexual fantasies, but the acknowledgement that we are all wearing masks and that granting others the same benefit of the doubt and the same freedoms we give ourselves is the start on the road to acceptance and understanding. Great stuff here in an elegant and concise package. Recommended! later: I forgot to mention I did the see the movie version when it first came out, but I can't remember a thing from it. rather boring, but then I'm not a fan of Tom Cruise.

  5. 5 out of 5

    Eddie Watkins

    What a read! Before sticking my nose into this I had no idea how faithful Eyes Wide Shut is to this novella, almost scene for scene, but as usual the book outdoes the movie; though unfortunately I could not rid my mind of the movie's images as I was reading. I actually like Tom Cruise but I don't want him and his brilliant white choppers in my head when I'm reading. Begone shorty! There's something very reminiscent of Chekhov in Schnitzler's writing - a kind of styleless style wedded to superb s What a read! Before sticking my nose into this I had no idea how faithful Eyes Wide Shut is to this novella, almost scene for scene, but as usual the book outdoes the movie; though unfortunately I could not rid my mind of the movie's images as I was reading. I actually like Tom Cruise but I don't want him and his brilliant white choppers in my head when I'm reading. Begone shorty! There's something very reminiscent of Chekhov in Schnitzler's writing - a kind of styleless style wedded to superb storytelling with an emphasis on mundane details that manage to bore deep into the characters' psyches. Literary pragmatism if you will. (Maybe these similarities have something to do with both being doctors roughly around the same time?) But Schnitzler is infected (in a darkly deliciously sinister way) with a viral sexuality that manifests as suppurating boil after boil in sentence after sentence in the dream narrative of this novella. This is a masterpiece unpeeling layer after layer of reality to show that there is no "core" reality (besides sex and death maybe), only illusion after illusion. Something that helps create the dream atmosphere of this book are the inconsequential details that Schnitzler includes, such as when Fridolin (Tom Cruise) comments to himself on the smell of the costume as he's putting it on. There's no other mention of this, but it's just this kind of detail in one's own dreams that seems so pregnant with unspecified meaning and significance, and it works in the same way in the book. The one thing I liked better about the movie was Nicole Kidman's line at the end. And on a side note - I've come to think that most novels are simply too long and involved (if they're good) to adapt to movies, that short stories and novellas are more appropriate, and Dream Story helped prove this to me.

  6. 4 out of 5

    Megha

    "Of course, one remembers some dreams, but there must be others one completely forgets, of which nothing remains but a mysterious mood, a curious numbness."Atmospheric and haunting! Schnitzler's novella is a perfect Dream (or dream-like) Story. He doesn't create the kind of dream world that is engineered by hanging two moons from the ceiling. His world only consists of realistic things and events and yet it is shadowed by something intangible and unsettling. He simply colors the world his charac "Of course, one remembers some dreams, but there must be others one completely forgets, of which nothing remains but a mysterious mood, a curious numbness."Atmospheric and haunting! Schnitzler's novella is a perfect Dream (or dream-like) Story. He doesn't create the kind of dream world that is engineered by hanging two moons from the ceiling. His world only consists of realistic things and events and yet it is shadowed by something intangible and unsettling. He simply colors the world his characters inhabit with a hypnotic quality that seduces the reader into the dream-scape. And how subtly he does that! Little details - one elusive gesture, one innocent-looking piece of the setting, one fleeting thought - all come together beautifully to create the atmosphere. The novella explores the intimate life of a married couple. Schnitzler digs into the psyche of his characters by gently leading them to a space where their hidden thoughts, desires and anxieties find the freedom to manifest themselves. He lets the characters assess what constitutes truth and reality for them. And once the spell breaks, they can go back to continue living the illusion of real life they create for themselves. "I have gained the impression that you have learned through intuition — though actually as a result of sensitive introspection — everything that I have had to unearth by laborious work on other persons." - Freud in a letter to Schnitzler (Wikipedia).Whether the events in the novella happen for real or was Schnitzler only staging an illusion - I will leave that for you to decide through your own reading. Perhaps it won't even matter. "Just as sure as I am that the reality of one night, let alone that of a whole lifetime, is not the whole truth." "And no dream," he said with a slight sigh, "is entirely a dream." Best read in a sitting or two.

  7. 4 out of 5

    Violeta

    What is this beautiful novella?? A mesmerizing fairy tale for adults dealing with the two eternal themes: Sex & Death. A hypnotic journey into the subconscious. An alluring allegory. A psychological thriller. A story inspired by Freud’s theories that were the new thing at the time it was written. An unmasking of the depravity lurking beneath the surface of civilized society. A study of marriage and infidelity. More likely a "Dream Story” that contains all of the above and lets its readers decide What is this beautiful novella?? A mesmerizing fairy tale for adults dealing with the two eternal themes: Sex & Death. A hypnotic journey into the subconscious. An alluring allegory. A psychological thriller. A story inspired by Freud’s theories that were the new thing at the time it was written. An unmasking of the depravity lurking beneath the surface of civilized society. A study of marriage and infidelity. More likely a "Dream Story” that contains all of the above and lets its readers decide for themselves. It was also the inspiration for Kubrick’s last film, Eyes Wide Shut; although I love Kubrick, I can safely say that it’s way more engrossing than that mediocre film. Plus, it won’t take up too much of your time and it will have your imagination work at full speed. What more could a reader ask? The plot: a happily-married couple spice-up their love life by confessing to each other their erotic fantasies. Risky business! The confessions set in motion a series of conscious and subconscious reactions and feelings that find an outlet in their dreams. Or was that happening in real life? That is the question at the heart of the story. Poor husband has the added “benefit” of coming face-to-face with death (him being a doctor and being summoned to treat a patient who is already dead when he arrives) and that, combined with the confessions of his wife (that don’t work miracles on his confidence), throws him in deep existential agony that finds a variety of ways to manifest itself. Thus, his escapade (or his dream) begins… It sounds cryptic and it is, same as our thoughts are sometimes obscure even to ourselves. Arthur Schnitzler, the author, a bon-viveur and a doctor himself, a conformist rebel who was Freud’s contemporary, was deeply influenced by the latter’s progressive theories. As Anne, my reading buddy for this book, said early on: “Freud is all over the story.” I was very fortunate to read this with her; not only it made the experience more pleasant but her informed opinions served as a guiding light in the maze of allusions to the psychoanalytic theories this book is full of. Not that one needs a psychotherapist like Anne to handle this but our different approaches made it very interesting and I’m grateful for our discussions. The ending put a big smile on my face; I thought it was splendid and hopeful. I went away from this story thinking that we are our secrets and contradictions as much as we are our straightforward selves. We contain multiple realities, our awoken ones and those that exist solely in our dreams. Perhaps we shouldn’t complain too much about our lives being boring and uneventful; all we have to do is go to sleep and a whole new world of adventure is ready to welcome us. Which world feels more…real is up to us to decide… …neither the reality of a single night nor even of a person’s entire life can be equated with the full truth about his innermost being.

  8. 4 out of 5

    Kyriakos Sorokkou

    Until last week I was enjoying three things from Austria: Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart's music Arnold Schwarzenegger's films and Vienna's Apple Strudel. Now there is a fourth thing I enjoy from Austria: Literature. I loved Stefan Zweig's novella Chess Story when I read it back in 2015, and I enjoyed this small novella called Dream Story / Traumnovelle by Arthur Schnitzer; a name that looks very similar to Schnitzel (one more thing originating from Austria). I bought this book mainly because I want to read Until last week I was enjoying three things from Austria: Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart's music Arnold Schwarzenegger's films and Vienna's Apple Strudel. Now there is a fourth thing I enjoy from Austria: Literature. I loved Stefan Zweig's novella Chess Story when I read it back in 2015, and I enjoyed this small novella called Dream Story / Traumnovelle by Arthur Schnitzer; a name that looks very similar to Schnitzel (one more thing originating from Austria). I bought this book mainly because I want to read all the books Stanley Kubrick adapted into film. I read 6 out of 11 and by the end of the month I'll raise the number to 7. Even though I've only seen the trailer of this novella's adaptation a.k.a. "Eyes Wide Shut" I know it's loosely based and there was more fantasy than reality in this book. There is also a lot of Freudian psychology in this book (Freud (another Austrian) and Schnitzler knew each other) We see a couple confessing to each other. Doctor Fridolin and his wife Albertina (it reminds me of the word libertine (a person, who freely indulges in sensual pleasures without regard to moral principles) ). She confesses her sexual fantasies with (probably) a hung military officer from Denmark she saw while they were on vacation there. Then the doctor admits he had also been attracted to a young girl during that same vacation. Then we see Fridolin's wanderings through the streets of Vienna to pursue his own personal fantasies. He encounters a secret society's orgy, he meets with a prostitute at a brothel, and comes in contact with a woman's corpse in the morgue among other experiences. Of course the whole novella leaves many things unsaid. Were Fridoli's experiences a dream or not. How many of them were real and how many of them true. In other words reality and dream are indistinguishable. The interesting thing is that in German dream and trauma are almost identical words: (Dream=Traum) (Trauma=Trauma) So maybe the author choose this word (Traum) intentionally to show that dreams (Träumen) can carry traumas (Traumen) as well. Schnitzler's works were called "Jewish filth" by Adolf Hitler and were banned by the Nazis in Austria and Germany. So that's one more reason to read this novella. Whatever anger(ed)s the Nazis is good to be enjoyed to the fullest. This edition includes an introduction by Frederic Raphael who co-wrote "Eyes Wide Shut" with Stanley Kubrick. Also, the cover is a detail of a beautiful painting called "The Bride" by Gustav Klimt, yet another Austrian, a painter. I'm not sure if my review is enlightening or endarkening you opinion whether you should read this book or not but I can only say as a conclusion that I enjoyed Schnitzler's writing and I hope I'll enjoy Kubrick's adaptation. Rating: 7.5/10

  9. 4 out of 5

    Arvind Radhakrishnan

    A brilliant work! Schnitzler explores the psychological and sexual tensions that exist in a marriage.On the surface the couple-Albertine and Fridolin seem to be leading a normal,happy almost uneventful life.They have a child whom they both dote on.However both of them have certain deep physical and emotional desires which torment them ceaselessly.One night after returning from a party they muster the courage to be candid and start to narrate their fantasies to each other.Both of them desire othe A brilliant work! Schnitzler explores the psychological and sexual tensions that exist in a marriage.On the surface the couple-Albertine and Fridolin seem to be leading a normal,happy almost uneventful life.They have a child whom they both dote on.However both of them have certain deep physical and emotional desires which torment them ceaselessly.One night after returning from a party they muster the courage to be candid and start to narrate their fantasies to each other.Both of them desire other people.What starts of as an honest confession triggers a wave of sexual jealousy.Schnitzler beautifully captures these changes of mood.The language is sublime as some of the scenes he describes seem almost dream like.There is a constant tension in the prose between fantasy and reality.This book is one of the best I have read on the theme of marital relations.

  10. 4 out of 5

    Luís

    Dream Story appears as an initiatory journey into the heart of all temptations. The reader follows Fridolin through his nocturnal wanderings, his fantasies and his encounters with enigmatic women, expressed in the form of interior monologues. It poses as a backdrop the question of the importance of communication within the couple - do we have to tell each other everything, abolish any form of the secret garden at the risk of hurting the other and endangering the couple? - like that of the faculty Dream Story appears as an initiatory journey into the heart of all temptations. The reader follows Fridolin through his nocturnal wanderings, his fantasies and his encounters with enigmatic women, expressed in the form of interior monologues. It poses as a backdrop the question of the importance of communication within the couple - do we have to tell each other everything, abolish any form of the secret garden at the risk of hurting the other and endangering the couple? - like that of the faculty of two beings to be able to exist freely outside the conjugal sphere.

  11. 5 out of 5

    Nick Craske

    The inspiration for Stanley Kubrick's Eyes Wide Shut, this delicious little novella weaves —unravels— an enchanting story of love's disintegration. Mesmerising and beguiling; twisted and intricate; deceptive and illuminating – a scrumptious read. It's fascinating to see how Kubrick interpreted this visually too. The inspiration for Stanley Kubrick's Eyes Wide Shut, this delicious little novella weaves —unravels— an enchanting story of love's disintegration. Mesmerising and beguiling; twisted and intricate; deceptive and illuminating – a scrumptious read. It's fascinating to see how Kubrick interpreted this visually too.

  12. 5 out of 5

    Cathy

    Fridolin and Albertine are married with a child. One evening Albertine confesses to Fridolin that she had sexual phantasies involving a man she had seen during their vacation. That sets off Fridolin on an exploration into his life, his wishes and desires. In 1926, when this was originally published, it was probably a pretty scandalous book. My thoughts were more along the lines of "oh, another guy exploring his midlife crisis!" Which is probably really shallow of me. Eroticism is only one aspect Fridolin and Albertine are married with a child. One evening Albertine confesses to Fridolin that she had sexual phantasies involving a man she had seen during their vacation. That sets off Fridolin on an exploration into his life, his wishes and desires. In 1926, when this was originally published, it was probably a pretty scandalous book. My thoughts were more along the lines of "oh, another guy exploring his midlife crisis!" Which is probably really shallow of me. Eroticism is only one aspect of this novella. It looks at our dreams, our wants and how we deal with them. Go read some of the other reviews, they looked at this properly and made an effort to give you a well rounded and educated idea about this famous piece. The movie Eyes Wide Shut is based on this novella, but I have never watched it, so I can't say how it compares. The delivery of the German audiobook I listened to was pretty wooden.

  13. 4 out of 5

    Lee Klein

    Made a sound like pshaw when I finished it a few seconds ago. I'm a rare fan of Kubrick's "Eyes Wide Shut" and so I looked forward to this, but found it too close to the film and yet nowhere near as vivid. A cool thing in the movie is the color scheme -- red, blue, and purple. Blue-inflected scenes represent fidelity, domesticity. Red scenes represent temptation, fantasy. Purple scenes are a mix, a conflict of the fidelity and fantasy. Once you pick up on this, you see that every scene is themat Made a sound like pshaw when I finished it a few seconds ago. I'm a rare fan of Kubrick's "Eyes Wide Shut" and so I looked forward to this, but found it too close to the film and yet nowhere near as vivid. A cool thing in the movie is the color scheme -- red, blue, and purple. Blue-inflected scenes represent fidelity, domesticity. Red scenes represent temptation, fantasy. Purple scenes are a mix, a conflict of the fidelity and fantasy. Once you pick up on this, you see that every scene is thematically coded. The novella has its moments but seemed to me muddied by the translated prose and superimposition of the film. The password in the book is Denmark instead of Fidelio, but otherwise things generally proceed along the same lines. Glad I've read it but in general it was a little bit better than meh, for me at least.

  14. 4 out of 5

    Stela

    In 1933, Joseph Goebbels orchestrated a Fahrenheit 451 avant la lettre, by putting on fire, in some major cities of Germany, all those books that Hitler had identified as "Jewish filth", for they were written by nonentities such as Einstein, Marx, Kafka, Freud, Stefan Zweig and Arthur Schnitzler. The last one is the least known among them and it is a pity, because his work was fresh and daring both in ideas and style for his time (the beginning of the 20th century). Indeed, on one hand he did no In 1933, Joseph Goebbels orchestrated a Fahrenheit 451 avant la lettre, by putting on fire, in some major cities of Germany, all those books that Hitler had identified as "Jewish filth", for they were written by nonentities such as Einstein, Marx, Kafka, Freud, Stefan Zweig and Arthur Schnitzler. The last one is the least known among them and it is a pity, because his work was fresh and daring both in ideas and style for his time (the beginning of the 20th century). Indeed, on one hand he did not hesitate to approach controversial themes like sexuality, nudity, or anti-Semitism and because of a play that would become one of his most famous, Reigen (better known under its French name, La ronde), he was labelled as a pornographer; on the other hand, he introduced the psychological analysis and the stream of consciousness to the German reader (he corresponded with Freud, exchanging information about the subconscious and the significance of dreams). One of his most accomplished works remains Dream Story, a novella published in 1926, and written mostly in free indirect style. Its main theme, the dreamlike quality of life, seems inspired by Romanticism, but he develops it with Modernist means (such as introspection and subjectivity) adding also a Surrealistic touch by cleverly blurring the border between illusion and reality. Therefore, although the question whether we dream our lives or we truly lives them is by no means new, haunting both thinkers and artists from the beginning of time, it is however beautifully reinterpreted by the author, who mixes psychological and artistic knowledge to imagine a world just in between the two notions: He was in a narrow street in which only a few doubtful-looking women were strolling about in a pitiful attempt to bag their game. It's phantomlike, he thought. And in retrospect the students, too, with their blue caps, suddenly seemed unreal. The same was true of Marianne, her fiancé, her uncle and aunt, all of whom he pictured standing hand in hand around the deathbed of the old Councilor. Albertina, too, whom he could see in his mind's eye soundly sleeping, her arms folded under her head—even his child lying in the narrow white brass bed, rolled up in a heap, and the red-cheeked governess with the mole on her left temple—all of them seemed to belong to another world. Although this idea made him shudder a bit, it also reassured him, for it seemed to free him from all responsibility, and to loosen all the bonds of human relationship. Fridolin, the narrative “he”, is a young doctor who, in two days, rebuilds the world around him to look how he would like it to look, thus offering him all the excitement it otherwise lacks. In this world, he wanders the streets all night long, paying a last visit to a deceased patient whose daughter is in love with him, resisting the temptation offered by a young prostitute and ending in a house he entered by deception, where masked men and women perform strange sexual rituals and from where he escapes only because a woman he does not know but is attracted to, sacrifices herself for him. Meanwhile, his wife Albertina has a vivid dream also with sexual connotations, in which she leaves him for another man and assists impassive to the execution of her husband who preferred to die than to cheat on her, donquixotism that amuses her so much that she wakes up laughing just when Fridolin comes to bed. There are several themes and motifs in this tiny book that could offer some reading keys: the cathartic role of the storytelling which could explain the cruel confessions (husband and wife both like to talk about their fantasies and dreams not only to relive them but also because they know they are hurtful for the other); the omnipresence of death (either explicit – news about suicides, death of patients, or implicit – the “mourning-coach” that shows the hero the way to the mysterious house), the reckless wandering (on the street, in dreams), the eternal feminine the hero searches in every alluring female (the patient daughter, the young prostitute, the naked girl on the seashore in Denmark, the masked nun in the house and of course Albertina) and the most powerful of all, the world as a stage (there is a discussion about a masquerade ball in the first pages of the novella, Fridolin disguises himself as a monk to enter the house, Albertina leaves a mask on his pillow). The description of the fancy dress store is masterfully synaesthesic, discreetly blending colours, odours, movements until the costumes become alive: There was an odor of silk, velvet, perfume, dust and withered flowers, and a glitter of silver and red out of the indistinct darkness. A number of little electric bulbs suddenly shone between the open cabinets of a long, narrow passage, the end of which was enveloped in darkness. There were all kinds of costumes hanging to the right and to the left. On one side knights, squires, peasants, hunters, scholars, Orientals and clowns; on the other, ladies-at-court, baronesses, peasant women, lady's maids, queens of the night. The corresponding head-dresses were on a shelf above the costumes. Fridolin felt as though he were walking through a gallery of hanged people who were on the point of asking each other to dance. Therefore, not only the line between dream and reality is blurred, but also between fiction and reality, and ultimately between life and death. No wonder the most fascinating thing to interpret is the behaviour of the couple, in which the critics saw a satire of the bourgeois family, whose hypocrisy reveals the contrast between appearance and essence: the novella opens and ends with a postcard-like image of the happy family: the voice of the little daughter reading a story in the beginning and the same voice laughing loudly behind closed doors at the end. This image of innocence is in sharp contrast with the events/ dreams of the adults in between, that betray the boredom of the parents with their life that make them take refuge in sexual fantasies which do not include the other, on the contrary, from which each one try to eliminate the other, either by cheating or by letting die. Thus Fridolin and Albertina become a parody of the eternal couple, of the androgyne, because they only seem to unify the other antinomies: day/ night, dream/ reality, truth/ lie. In fact, the last dialogue suggests that the future will draw the couple even further apart, and they will be unable (and reluctant) to fight against it: What shall we do now, Albertina?" She smiled, and after a minute, replied: "I think we ought to be grateful that we have come unharmed out of all our adventures, whether they were real or only a dream." He was on the point of saying, "Forever," but before he could speak, she laid her finger on his lips and whispered, as if to herself: "Never inquire into the future. In 1999, Dream Story was made into a film which I have not seen, but which has, in my opinion, a very inspired title: Eyes Wide Shut. I think I will look for it. P.S. At one time, one of the characters of the story, with a musical name, Nachtigall (I could speak about the sonority and significance of names but as do not know German I cannot truly say whether this one has a connection with the nightingale), declares: “I've seen a great deal in my time. It's unbelievable what one sees in such small towns, especially in Roumania…" Being Romanian myself I wondered how my country would have looked then, and what could have been seen at the beginning of the 20th century, in Romania’s towns. Unfortunately, the question is not answered, but I hope not vampires. ☺

  15. 5 out of 5

    Anne

    Thoughts soon.

  16. 5 out of 5

    Blumenfeld

    Traumnovelle is a haunting book and I find its original version a tad more complicated in its choice of words than English translation. It is beautifully ambiguous, hazy and concerns sexual matters, jealousy (do not overshare with your partner!), sensibility and a lot more. Well, it may be read like one of your dirty&scary dreams. Anyone who calls it soft porn must be a hell of a prude, sorry! Either that or he/she is too easily impressed with such words as 'breasts' or 'naked'. Yes, women in thi Traumnovelle is a haunting book and I find its original version a tad more complicated in its choice of words than English translation. It is beautifully ambiguous, hazy and concerns sexual matters, jealousy (do not overshare with your partner!), sensibility and a lot more. Well, it may be read like one of your dirty&scary dreams. Anyone who calls it soft porn must be a hell of a prude, sorry! Either that or he/she is too easily impressed with such words as 'breasts' or 'naked'. Yes, women in this book have some sexual appetite, so does the protagonist who is the male. I see it can make someone feel uncomfortable. But if you consider that the story flows mainly from Fridolin's pov...There is one prostitute in the book, the rest is pure speculation. I do think that the couple (Fridolin and Albertina) is sexually frustrated, though. The book isn't explicit and, frankly speaking, it has turned out milder and not exactly what I expected. Anyway, I find it beautiful. I could have given it four stars, perhaps, but I'm not going to. I think its current rating on goodreads is too low and I somehow care about this one, for it hits all of my soft spots at once. And I'll leave Freud alone here. Freud is like a Viennese ghost of some sort.

  17. 4 out of 5

    Alangreen

    I have registered with GoodReads simply so that I can comment that this is one of the worst books I have ever read. It is middle-brow soft-porn of the most banal sort. I should perhaps say that I only read it because it is a set text on a university course I am doing. I realise that I am reading it in translation, but the language is so remarkably cliche-ridden and trite. We are supposed to be reading about deep, disturbing experiences and for me it all comes over as if the central character is o I have registered with GoodReads simply so that I can comment that this is one of the worst books I have ever read. It is middle-brow soft-porn of the most banal sort. I should perhaps say that I only read it because it is a set text on a university course I am doing. I realise that I am reading it in translation, but the language is so remarkably cliche-ridden and trite. We are supposed to be reading about deep, disturbing experiences and for me it all comes over as if the central character is on a trip through a shopping mall of would-be bizarre consumer events. I was very shocked when I went to ' Eyes wide shut ' and thought that a director I really admire had made one of the most boring films ever. I now realise that this was entirely because of the text on which the film was based. I suppose the shocking thing is that Kubrick chose to make a film of it. The erotic may be one of the most difficult areas of human experience to render in art and Schnitzler should clearly never have tried.

  18. 5 out of 5

    Dean

    For some reason my first thought after reading this was that Jeremy Irons would have been a far better choice to play the Fridolin character rather than Tom Cruise in the movie 'Eyes Wide Shut', which is based on this short story. It is a thought-provoking exploration of fantasy and jealousy within a marriage set against the backdrop of upper class Vienna and its seedy underbelly lurking beneath. For some reason my first thought after reading this was that Jeremy Irons would have been a far better choice to play the Fridolin character rather than Tom Cruise in the movie 'Eyes Wide Shut', which is based on this short story. It is a thought-provoking exploration of fantasy and jealousy within a marriage set against the backdrop of upper class Vienna and its seedy underbelly lurking beneath.

  19. 5 out of 5

    Steven Godin

    Read from Night Games and other stories which I reviewed.

  20. 4 out of 5

    Noel

    “‘And no dream,’ he sighed quietly, ‘is altogether a dream.’” This pre-Freudian, not-so-erotic novella was the basis for Kubrick’s swan song, Eyes Wide Shut. After a man’s ego is shattered by a sexual confession from his wife, he goes on a nocturnal odyssey through decadent Vienna and finds himself swept into a nightmarish sexual underworld. A prostitute, a secret society, masked men garbed in robes. There’s a lot to like about this book. It’s a bit tedious and feels much longer than it needs to “‘And no dream,’ he sighed quietly, ‘is altogether a dream.’” This pre-Freudian, not-so-erotic novella was the basis for Kubrick’s swan song, Eyes Wide Shut. After a man’s ego is shattered by a sexual confession from his wife, he goes on a nocturnal odyssey through decadent Vienna and finds himself swept into a nightmarish sexual underworld. A prostitute, a secret society, masked men garbed in robes. There’s a lot to like about this book. It’s a bit tedious and feels much longer than it needs to be, and it’s very much style over substance, but that’s more than made up for by its hypnotic atmosphere and the famous, intoxicating scene at the middle, which I’ll leave a mystery for anyone who doesn’t know it. I recommend it, especially if you’re a fan of the film.

  21. 4 out of 5

    Sketchbook

    The translation of my edition, titled "Rhapsody : A Dream Novel," via Otto P. Schinnerer, is tedious and colorless. (I read it 2xs). I fully understand what Schnitz is up to, but I prefer the Freudian landscape of D H Lawrence. Kubrick's mishap has vaporized for me, though I recall his orgy sequence as being by someone who'd never risked this diversion. As Schnitz felt, however, illusion is more desirable than truth. The translation of my edition, titled "Rhapsody : A Dream Novel," via Otto P. Schinnerer, is tedious and colorless. (I read it 2xs). I fully understand what Schnitz is up to, but I prefer the Freudian landscape of D H Lawrence. Kubrick's mishap has vaporized for me, though I recall his orgy sequence as being by someone who'd never risked this diversion. As Schnitz felt, however, illusion is more desirable than truth.

  22. 5 out of 5

    Travis McClain

    Originally published in 1926, Dream Story (originally Traumnovelle) was the basis for Stanley Kubrick's final film, 1999's Eyes Wide Shut. The premise is simple enough: Following a masquerade ball, Albertina confides in her husband, Fridolin, the lust she felt for Danish sailor she encountered on a previous vacation. Still digesting this bubble-bursting confession, he is called away because one of his patients, a Councilor, has suffered a heart attack. By the time Fridolin arrives, the Councilor Originally published in 1926, Dream Story (originally Traumnovelle) was the basis for Stanley Kubrick's final film, 1999's Eyes Wide Shut. The premise is simple enough: Following a masquerade ball, Albertina confides in her husband, Fridolin, the lust she felt for Danish sailor she encountered on a previous vacation. Still digesting this bubble-bursting confession, he is called away because one of his patients, a Councilor, has suffered a heart attack. By the time Fridolin arrives, the Councilor has died. Rather than return home, less inviting with each passing moment of reflection, Fridolin goes out in the middle of the night. The whole publication runs 143 pages in a book that measures 6" x 4.3" and has margins that measure an inch or more. The benefit of this brevity is that the story can easily be read in one setting, and it was certainly intended for that purpose. Not only does this lend itself to a quick nighttime reading, but multiple readings. How much of the story is real, and how much is imagined? That's just the first question left for the reader. Schnitzler delves into the subject of sexuality--from lust to revulsion; trust to jealousy; intimacy to baseness. Because the story is so brief, and its pace so sharp, there is a large sense of urgency lent to these ponderings. This is not soft erotica, but rather a sociological examination. If there is a knock on how this story has aged, it is in the dialogue. Statements made betwixt characters are often of the stilted, "In the future let's always tell each other such things at once" variety. The narration, though, is very absorbing and flows so perfectly that the length of the paragraphs--many of which consume nearly an entire page--scarcely registers even in the mind's eye. I sincerely wish I had read this story--or, ideally, in the original German, were I capable of comprehending it--prior to seeing Eyes Wide Shut. I kept recalling the film version of specific scenes whilst reading, and futilely trying to use one version to analyze the other. Furthermore, of course, I kept picturing the imagery of Kubrick's film which would certainly have been disappointing had that film not been so visually striking. Younger readers will identify more with the story's curiosity and lust; older readers, who've built deeper relationships will be struck by Fridolin's sense of betrayal by Albertina. This is perhaps what makes this so brilliant a story--at every stage of a reader's relationship, there is some angle of Dream Story likely to resonate strongly. With a $12.95 cover price, though, it's very hard to outright recommend Dream Story as a new purchase. I happened to have some rewards points accumulated that I redeemed for Borders Bucks, so I didn't actually pay for my copy. I would advise curious readers to seek this out via their local library, or failing that to hunt for it used. And, if you've not yet seen Eyes Wide Shut, read the original story beforehand.

  23. 4 out of 5

    Andrew

    It's German and decadent. I should have read it ages ago. In fact I intended to, but then when I was 18 or 19, right after I'd bought a copy, my sister-in-law absconded with it. So... An appropriate title. The entire pace of the novel is dreamlike, and fits well with the music of another Austrian luminary of the period, Arnold Schoenberg. The plot itself is relatively simple, and while it is unfortunate that it is known to my generation as the Eyes Wide Shut plot (good luck finding a single review It's German and decadent. I should have read it ages ago. In fact I intended to, but then when I was 18 or 19, right after I'd bought a copy, my sister-in-law absconded with it. So... An appropriate title. The entire pace of the novel is dreamlike, and fits well with the music of another Austrian luminary of the period, Arnold Schoenberg. The plot itself is relatively simple, and while it is unfortunate that it is known to my generation as the Eyes Wide Shut plot (good luck finding a single review of this that doesn't namecheck the film in some way) I can see why it would be tempting to make a film out of it.

  24. 4 out of 5

    Joseph DiFrancesco

    I loved this novella. Very compelling storyline that hauntingly explores human sexuality and the dark psychological compulsions found in all of us. My only gripe is that I wish secret society element was delved into more, and Albertine's dreams, less. Still, the nighttime walks in Vienna were darkly captivating and provoked a myriad of emotions and wonder. I loved this novella. Very compelling storyline that hauntingly explores human sexuality and the dark psychological compulsions found in all of us. My only gripe is that I wish secret society element was delved into more, and Albertine's dreams, less. Still, the nighttime walks in Vienna were darkly captivating and provoked a myriad of emotions and wonder.

  25. 5 out of 5

    Chez Abaa

    Brilliant.

  26. 5 out of 5

    Tamsien West (Babbling Books)

    Translated from German 'Dream Story' is a short story about a couple who reveal their secret desires to eachother, & then struggle with the consequences. The language is quite dream-like, befitting the title but there wasn't much else to recommend. As you might expect given it was written at over 100 years ago the way women are represented just doesn't align with modern standards, & I was frustrated with it by the end. Translated from German 'Dream Story' is a short story about a couple who reveal their secret desires to eachother, & then struggle with the consequences. The language is quite dream-like, befitting the title but there wasn't much else to recommend. As you might expect given it was written at over 100 years ago the way women are represented just doesn't align with modern standards, & I was frustrated with it by the end.

  27. 4 out of 5

    Rene Bard

    A wonderfully ambiguous novella about vulnerability and illicit desires within a marriage. It can be read faster than I can type a review about it.

  28. 4 out of 5

    Nadia Costa

    4.5 stars for this book where the complex and intricated nature of desire is summoned at the end wih the most subtle, meaningful and yet simplest conclusion.

  29. 5 out of 5

    Jelena

    “Traumnovelle” is a very good paradigm of an era. When considering the elements of the Viennese fin du siècle it is very much à la mode. The story about a doctor’s unconventional nightly encounter and his relationship to his wife is based on go-to components of turn-of-the-century literature: the Freudian importance of dreams and their projection onto reality, the (again Freudian) sublimated or repressed erotic desires, the question of illusion and reality, a decadent upper class. But even witho “Traumnovelle” is a very good paradigm of an era. When considering the elements of the Viennese fin du siècle it is very much à la mode. The story about a doctor’s unconventional nightly encounter and his relationship to his wife is based on go-to components of turn-of-the-century literature: the Freudian importance of dreams and their projection onto reality, the (again Freudian) sublimated or repressed erotic desires, the question of illusion and reality, a decadent upper class. But even without that connection it is an interesting read. The supporting characters are all convincingly designed and have their place in the whole of the plot, so that each of them helps create the puzzle of social conditions, while the protagonist shows the depths of the individual human soul (his inconsistency and detachment from reality are especially interesting). It is noteworthy how little attention the wife’s character receives, given the circumstance that their marital crises is a major topic and that I would expect her to be at least the second protagonist in row. I find it hard to think about Schnitzler outside of his time frame, since he usually offers an artistic approach to topics that are in the same time covered by other (scientific mainly) disciplines and has a lot of the general sensuality and inwardness of the Viennese modernism to him. If it were not for that and although I do not enjoy his language particularly, I would still love him for his ability to portrait the dark well of human emotions so rich and in detail that you feel almost as if it were you going through the protagonist’s ordeal (especially in „Leutnant Gustl“), without ever losing the string of structure. “Traumnovelle” is also a good example of a timeless piece of art created within formal boundaries. If ever in need to show or explain what a novella is, then this would be one of the best examples.

  30. 4 out of 5

    Shannon

    The title Dream Story perfectly encompasses the feeling Schnitzler accomplishes as he takes his readers on an otherworldly journey along with his protagonist, Fridolin. In the end, the question remains: Are these real events or is this a story of Fridolin’s dream and an inquiry into the human mind including our underlying impulses, desires, and fears. I am inclined towards the latter opinion. The events unfold randomly in what seems to be distorted time. It seems Schnitzler is bringing to light q The title Dream Story perfectly encompasses the feeling Schnitzler accomplishes as he takes his readers on an otherworldly journey along with his protagonist, Fridolin. In the end, the question remains: Are these real events or is this a story of Fridolin’s dream and an inquiry into the human mind including our underlying impulses, desires, and fears. I am inclined towards the latter opinion. The events unfold randomly in what seems to be distorted time. It seems Schnitzler is bringing to light questions regarding desire human beings often keep to themselves, and sometimes, from themselves. Does the nature of marriage and fidelity demand deception, or in the very least, omission? Albertina tells her husband of her fantasy on their past vacation including her willingness in the moment to give up her marriage, her child, her future for one night with a stranger. In turn, Fridolin confesses he also had a strong attraction and desire for a young woman on the same vacation. These confessions actually seem to bring the couple closer and they express desire to not keep secrets from one another anymore and to share such things at once with one another. But when Albertina tells Fridolin of her dream in which he remains faithful to her and is sentenced to death as a result, all while she is cheating on him and laughing at him and his faithfulness, he then becomes angry and hurt. He becomes determined to be unfaithful to his wife in life just as she was in to him in her dream. Does Albertina’s honesty to her husband bring about more harm to their relationship than omission would? It seems to me to be necessary to keep some aspects of your thoughts and desires for only yourself. There is a fine line indeed between honesty and consideration for your relationship and partner. Often, we want to be able to give all of the above...but is it possible?

Add a review

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Loading...
We use cookies to give you the best online experience. By using our website you agree to our use of cookies in accordance with our cookie policy.