Der Perfidie hoher Preis zur Casanovafigur in der Literatur der Jahrhundertwende
Master of Arts
The historic Casanova embodied the opposing aspects of vitality and decadence. Thus, he reflected the feeling of "gay apocalypse" which prevailed during the fin-de-siecle. In the case of Schnitzler and Hofmannsthal, their literary treatment of the erotic adventurer "par excellence” revealed their attitude towards the world around them as well as their personal dilemma of trying to reconcile the demands of life and art. In three plays about Ninon de Lenclos, the legendary beauty of the seventeenth Century, the ruthless egoism of an adventurous existence is exposed. The knowledge of the ephemerality of life and happiness enhanced the enjoyment of the moment. Yet, the pursuit of life as adventure -- without any consideration of consequences -- exacted a high price. The price of perfidy was usually paid by others.