The essay reads Schnitzler’s Liebelei and Wedekind’s Frühlings Erwachen as examples of fin-de-siècle responses to the Schillerian concept of pathos and shows how these responses expressed a changing attitude toward love and the mind-body dichotomy. It discusses how the spiritualization and glorification of youth and romantic love became untenable at the end of the nineteenth century, when sexuality was recognized as an instinctual force and bourgeois morality was unmasked as a smokescreen that served to conceal sexual instincts. Reading the late-nineteenth-century dramas as a response to some of Schiller’s aesthetic assumptions reveals that Wedekind’s and Schnitzler’s modernist rebellion against the idealization of youth and nature was also accompanied by a melancholy over the loss of ideals.


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pp. 1-22
Launched on MUSE
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