The Arthur Schnitzler project "Arthur Schnitzler – Kritische Edition (Frühwerk) IV" is dedicated to the creation and (digital) publication of a historical-critical edition of the early literary works of Austrian writer Arthur Schnitzler (1862–1931). The hybrid edition builds on earlier FWF-funded projects, "Arthur Schnitzler – Kritische Edition (Frühwerk) I–III" (Leitung: Konstanze Fliedl). Besides the print edition published by De Gruyter, a digital edition is being created at the ACDH–CH. The project aims at making Schnitzler’s manuscripts and the results from several earlier projects publicly available and securing their open access position.

While Arthur Schnitzler’s works are a canonical part of modern Austrian literature, it took until 2010 that scholars under the direction of Konstanze Fliedl first embraced the project of a historical-critical edition of his works. The fact that a documentation of his writing process through all surviving manuscripts and text versions had not been attempted earlier is, in part, due to his largely illegible handwriting and in part due to the complicated situation of his estate: In 1938, when Austria was annexed by Nazi Germany, all of Schnitzler’s documents had been carried away and secured in Cambridge. While Schnitzler’s son later left the ‘private’ papers – the diary and his correspondence – to the German Literary Archives in Marbach, a large part of Schnitzlers manuscripts are still at the Cambridge University Library. Other parts of the estate are located in Exeter, Geneva, Jerusalem and other places, which makes it difficult to process them all. Nevertheless, the publication of a historical-critical edition remained a desideratum, especially since the reading texts published by Fischer-Verlag are very unreliable due to earlier proofreading and editing processes.

The three prior projects (Arthur Schnitzler – Kritische Edition (Frühwerk) I, 2010–2014, II, 2014–2018, III, 2018–2021) tackled Schnitzler’s early work, which, unlike later works, survives mainly in handwritten form and not in type scripts. The first step was to create guidelines for the transcription of the manuscripts. In the edition, all surviving manuscripts are presented as facsimiles in original size next to these transcripts. The volumes also contain the print version of the respective text, usually based on the first edition of the work, as well as a variant apparatus cataloguing all deviations up to the last reissue still overseen by Schnitzler himself. Besides an introduction with information about the creation and publication history of the work, the volumes also contain a commentary that elucidates cultural and historical peculiarities, circumstances specific to Austria or dialect expressions.

So far, the following works have been published at de Gruyter:

From the beginning of second project phase onwards, all data were also processed according to TEI guidelines in order to make them digitally available beyond the print edition and eBooks. The fourth project is dedicated to the editions of the volumes Der Witwer/Die Gefährtin and Der einsame Weg (already prepared) and furthermore to eight novellas that have been collected in Schnitzler’s anthologies Die griechische Tänzerin (1905) and Dämmerseelen (1907). These will complete the edition of all Schnitzler’s early prose works published in book form during his lifetime.


Project duration

01 June 2021 – 31 May 2024

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