Vol. 9 (2020)
CONDIZIONI DI POSSIBILITÀ – Tra rito e mito: il Carnevale nella cultura europea

Il "Carnaval" di Schumann in "Fräulein Else" di Schnitzler: le maschere come specchio dei ruoli sociali

Published December 31, 2020

Abstract

This contribution aims to investigate the meaning of Carnival in the work Fräulein Else by Arthur Schnitzler. Published in 1924, it was strongly influenced by the cultural context of the fin de siècle in which distrust of verbal language spread, thus causing an increasing interest in new forms of expression and in the creation of innovative models of Gesamtkunstwerk. One of the results of this crisis was the revival of the Commedia dell’arte, in which masks are the most important elements. In Fräulein Else, Schnitzler quotes two passages from Schumann’s Carnival, in which masks play a relevant role and reveal the true nature of the relation between Else and Dorsday. In a paradoxical game, Carnival is not an overturn of social conventions but rather its mirror, in which masks, instrument of disguise, become a revealing one.

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