Flowers (Schnitzler)

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Cover of the first edition, 1898

Flowers is a novel by Arthur Schnitzler , which appeared on August 1, 1894 in the magazine "Neue Revue" in Vienna and was subsequently included in the volume of novels, Die Frau des Wisen , published by S. Fischer Verlag in 1898.


The first-person narrator, a Viennese, describes his deep pain at a woman who betrayed him and left him, in all its dimensions. When she later falls ill, however, the consolation in Schnitzler's first-person narrator takes over and even turns into a blessing: "That she had to suffer herself." He is also shocked when he receives the news of the young woman's death. The former great love had never completely forgotten him, which was mainly shown by the fact that she sent him flowers every month after the separation. The disturbing and almost eerie twist of the novella is that the box of carnations and violets continues to be delivered after the woman's death. Of course, the first-person narrator also thinks of the possibility of a standing order from the flower shop, but he also recognizes desperately that he is more powerful than the people outside, than the spring outside the window and even more powerful than the sun. Because he can lock out all three - people, spring and sun - by closing the window and lowering the curtains. Only memory is more powerful than himself. He cannot banish it from his memory on his own.

Gretel, the young, very beautiful girl, frees the first-person narrator from his torment. The new lover throws the withering carnations and violets out onto the street and brings fresh, fragrant lilacs.


"The dead come back as long as we don't forget them."


“A novel of particular delicacy. A certain sentimentality doesn't bother much. "


  • Feelings of guilt: The flower greetings from the realm of the dead caused a " dissociation process " in the first-person narrator . The optimistic conclusion is not typical for Schnitzler.
  • The mannered combined with the psychologizing make the text interesting.

Web links


First printing
  • Flowers. By Arthur Schnitzler. In: Neue Revue (Wiener Literatur-Zeitung), vol. 5, no. 33 (August 1, 1894), pp. 151–157.
First edition
Further editions
  • Arthur Schnitzler: Flowers . Historical-critical edition. Edited by Isabella Schwentner. Berlin, Boston: De Gruyter 2018 (works in historical-critical editions, ed. Konstanze Fliedl ), ISBN 978-3-11-056087-9 . Open access access
  • Flowers . In: Arthur Schnitzler: Collected works in two departments . Berlin: S. Fischer 1912. First section: Narrative writings. 3 volumes, Volume 1: Novellas, pp. 118–129.
  • Arthur Schnitzler: Flowers. P. 98-107 in Heinz Ludwig Arnold (Ed.): Arthur Schnitzler: Leutnant Gustl. Stories 1892 - 1907. With an afterword by Michael Scheffel . S. Fischer, Frankfurt am Main 1961 (2004 edition). 525 pages, ISBN 3-10-073552-8
Secondary literature
  • Michaela L. Perlmann: Arthur Schnitzler. Metzler Collection, Vol. 239. Stuttgart 1987. 195 pages, ISBN 3-476-10239-4
  • Giuseppe Farese: Arthur Schnitzler. A life in Vienna. 1862-1931 . Translated from the Italian by Karin Krieger . CH Beck Munich 1999. 360 pages, ISBN 3-406-45292-2 . Original: Arthur Schnitzler. Una vita a Vienna. 1862 - 1931. Mondadori Milan 1997
  • Gero von Wilpert : Lexicon of world literature. German Authors A - Z . S. 555, 2nd column, 24. Zvu Stuttgart 2004. 698 pages, ISBN 3-520-83704-8

Individual evidence

  1. Arthur Schnitzler: Self-criticism on the occasion of the correction of the collected works . Unpublished typescript, Arthur Schnitzler Archive, Freiburg, Folder 20, Sheet 5, quoted from: Flowers. Historical-critical edition. Edited by Isabella Schwentner. Berlin, Boston: De Gruyter 2018, p. 12.
  2. Perlmann, p. 128, 5th Zvu to p. 129, 7th Zvo
  3. Farese, p. 78, 3rd Zvu to p. 79, 14th Zvo