by Arthur Schnitzler, translation from the German by Alexander Starritt
An NYRB Classics Original
One seemingly ordinary evening, Eduard Saxberger arrives home to find the fulfillment of a long-forgotten wish in his sitting room: A visitor has come to tell him that the youth of Vienna have discovered his poetic genius. Saxberger has written nothing for thirty years, yet he now realizes that he is more than merely an Unremarkable Civil Servant after all: He’s a Venerable Poet for whom Late Fame is inevitable—if, that is, his new acolytes are to be believed.
Arthur Schnitzler was one of the most admired, provocative European writers of the twentieth century. The Nazis attempted to burn all of his work, but his archive was miraculously saved, and with it, Late Fame. Never published before, it is a treasure, a perfect satire of literary self-regard and charlatanism.
Schnitzler is worth revisiting because of his wit, his insight into men and women, and his grasp of the way sex, love, and hate intersect.
As a writer, Schnitzler has two somewhat contradictory principal gifts: he is very methodical, and he loves to surprise...couched in terse, powerful sentences.
—Michael Hofmann, The New York Times
[Schnitzler] had an uncanny ear for dialogue, a gratifying wit, a talent for spinning out tales of adultery in almost infinite variations, a keen psychological eye even if it did not match that of Freud.
—Peter Gay, The New York Times