Hugo Von Hofmannsthal

Hugo Von Hofmannsthal

Hugo Von Hofmannsthal

Hugo Von Hofmannsthal

Excerpt

By one of those terrible over-simplifications and misreadings of history to which the recent past appears to be more liable than remoter periods, Imperial Vienna seems for ever cast in the musical comedy part of gaiety and romance, of dazzling uniforms and carefree music, of gentlemen and ladies of the old school in exquisite period clothes dancing, courting, flirting to the tune of Lanner's and Strauss's waltzes. Whether or not the Viennese themselves are responsible for this fable, or whether it was imposed upon Vienna from without by foreign visitors determined not to look behind the facade of nevernever-land, to those who experienced the closing half century of the Austro-Hungarian Empire at first hand a much more ambiguous picture presented itself. The gaiety of course was there, and so was the easy splendour of the Imperial Court, the flow of high spirits and happy inconsequence of the beau monde where it became essential to keep up appearances at any price, and pleasant ones at that.

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