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Object #54 / Maurice Maeterlinck: Foliage of the Heart

Translated into German by K. L. Ammer and Friedrich von Oppeln-Bronikowski
Jena, 1906

Arnold Schönberg Center, Wien

Maurice Maeterlinck was the youngest holder of the Nobel Prize in Literature when he was awarded it in 1911. As early as the 1890s he was held in high esteem in Germany, regarded as a supposed conqueror of naturalism and as an intermediary between French symbolism and the German Romantic tradition. He was one of the literary figures who provided the most important early inspiration for Schönberg.

“There was no compulsion to renounce the demands of the intellectually minded. Though there were always those works which satisfied the whole of a nation, or even of the entire world, like Mickey Mouse, or some of the films of Charlie Chaplin, Harold Lloyd, and the Marx Brothers; like some operas of Rossini, operettas of Offenbach and Johann Strauss, and plays by popular poets, like Raimund and Nestroy; or popular music of Strauss, Offenbach, Foster, Gershwin, and many jazz composers; though there existed works which had the same appeal to the more highly educated as to the average citizen, there still remained unsatisfied those minds whose desires were served by the religious spirits of a Calderon, a Tolstoy, or by a mass of Bach or Schubert; or by Maeterlinck’s, Jacob Boehme’s or Swedenborg’s mysticism, or by Ibsen’s social and Strindberg’s matrimonial problems.” (Arnold Schönberg: Art and the moving pictures, 1940)

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