Arthur Schnitzler (1862–1931) was born in Vienna to a well-to-do Austrian Jewish family. His father was a prominent laryngologist, and Arthur followed him into the profession, obtaining his doctorate of medicine and working at Vienna’s General Hospital until he stopped practicing to pursue writing full time. His first play, Anatol
(1893), was a success. Other early works include Reigen
(1897), which was adapted into Max Ophüls’s 1950 film, La Ronde; and Lieutenant Gustl
(1900), a military satire denounced by anti-Semites who successfully lobbied for Schnitzler to be discharged from his position as a reserve officer in the medical corps of the Austro-Hungarian army. In 1903, he married Olga Gussmann, and the couple had a son and a daughter. Schnitzler wrote dozens of novels, novellas, and plays, including The Road into the Open
(1908); Fräulein Else
(1924); and Traumnovelle
(1926), which Stanley Kubrick adapted into Eyes Wide Shut
. Schnitzler and Gussmann were divorced in 1921. In 1928, their daughter, Lili, committed suicide; Schnitzler died following a stroke three years later.