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A Nervous Splendor: Vienna 1888-1889: Vienna, 1888-89 (Englisch) Taschenbuch – 30. Oktober 1980

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  • Taschenbuch: 352 Seiten
  • Verlag: Penguin Books; Auflage: New edition (30. Oktober 1980)
  • Sprache: Englisch
  • ISBN-10: 014005667X
  • ISBN-13: 978-0140056679
  • Vom Hersteller empfohlenes Alter: Ab 18 Jahren
  • Größe und/oder Gewicht: 19,7 x 13 x 1,7 cm
  • Durchschnittliche Kundenbewertung: 4.7 von 5 Sternen  Alle Rezensionen anzeigen (3 Kundenrezensionen)
  • Amazon Bestseller-Rang: Nr. 111.942 in Fremdsprachige Bücher (Siehe Top 100 in Fremdsprachige Bücher)

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On Friday, July 6, 1888, the price of sugar went up from forty to forty-two kreuzers a kilo in Imperial Vienna. Lesen Sie die erste Seite
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3 von 3 Kunden fanden die folgende Rezension hilfreich Von Ein Kunde on 11. Juli 1997
Format: Taschenbuch
Vienna poised at the end of the 19th century. A striking mix of political ferment, intellectual creativity, gaiety and despair. Resident are an astonishing collection of people whose work would later touch not only Vienna, but resound world-wide: Freud in psychiatry, Mahler in music, Hertzl with the Zionist movement and Klimt in art. And at the center of political and social life of the city is its bright hope for the coming new century - Crown Prince Rudolf. Through 1888 the pace in the city builds to a fever pitch as Vienna begins its season of Carnival.
The other side of Vienna - hopeless poverty. A repressive regime. Catholic Vienna is rich in suicides - more per capita than other European cities. And not just simple suicides, but bizarre suicides staged with flair... The tightrope walker who leapt from a window with a rope attached to his neck, his note explaining "The rope was my life and the rope is my death." Morton tells us "he left a diary which consisted of paper scraps artfully tied together by a miniature rope."
On January 30th, Vienna's bright hope faded when the Crown Prince Rudolf capped the suicide season by killing his mistress, Mary Vetsera, and then himself at his hunting lodge, Mayerling. The hopes for the new century were gone. And then, just four months later, on April 20th, 1889 the harbinger of the new century, Adolf Hitler, was born. And none of us were the same again
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Format: Taschenbuch
Part narrative, part drama/adventure, and part history lesson, Morton keeps the reader interested with vivid accounts of everyday life at the end of the Hapsburg reign. One receives a glimpse into the lives of the working class and elite, as they struggle with everything from the rising price of sugar to keeping up with the latest fashions. Most interesting was the exploration into the lives of famous Vienese such as Franz Joseph, Prince Rudolph, Klimt, Freud, Bruckner, and Wolf.s
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Von Ein Kunde on 21. August 1998
Format: Taschenbuch
A mesmerizing cover-to-cover experience that places the reader firmly in 19th-century Vienna. Cuts across rigid social strata, varieties of local peoples' experiences, current events and controversies, and human foibles in illuminating life and thought in a vibrant city over a century ago.
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58 von 59 Kunden fanden die folgende Rezension hilfreich
A slice of life, a foreshadowing of death. 30. März 2001
Von Mary Whipple - Veröffentlicht auf
Format: Taschenbuch
Concentrating on just ten months of Viennese history between July, 1888, and May, 1889, Morton dissects the life of Vienna vertically, revealing its brilliance and its contrasts--its magnificence but ineffable sadness, its political gamesmanship but resistance to social change, its "correctness" of behavior but its anti-Semitism, and its patronage of the arts and sciences but its refusal to acknowledge true originality. He carefully selects details with which the modern reader can identify to create a full picture, both of the historical characters and the constricted settings in which they try to live and breathe.

Focusing on Crown Prince Rudolf as romantic hero, liberal thinker, and sensitive social reformer, Morton selects details which show Rudolf's resentment of his figurehead position, his lack of power to effect change, and his fears for the future of the monarchy. He is presented as a modern man trying to live within a fusty and stultifying environment. Also chafing against limitations on their creativity are artist Gustave Klimt, writers Arthur Schnitzler and Theodor Herzl, musicians Arnold Schonberg, Gustav Mahler, and Anton Bruckner, and psychiatrist Dr. Sigmund Freud, whose detailed stories of frustration run parallel with that of the Crown Prince and enhance it. Only Baroness Mary Vetsera, age 17 and full of life, is able to escape the bonds of Viennese "correctness," attracting Rudolf, having a brief affair with him, and eventually succumbing with him in a suicide pact at Mayerling.

Morton's scholarship and care for detail are obvious throughout, but he goes far beyond most other historians in his ability to involve the reader and make him empathize with the long-dead people in his book. In his hands the events at Mayerling become understandable--though no less sad. One can only wonder how history might have changed if Rudolf had been a partner with his father, Emperor Franz Joseph, rather than a powerless figurehead. Mary Whipple
24 von 24 Kunden fanden die folgende Rezension hilfreich
The birth of "angst" 14. April 2001
Von Peter S. Roland - Veröffentlicht auf
Format: Taschenbuch
Morton finds the earliest cultural roots of twentieth century "angst" in early Fin-de-Siecle Vienna. He transects a single 9 month period which offers a cross sectional view of the nascent stems of an organism which will grow into liberalism & communism and which will leaf out as the artistic "revolutions" of german expressionim, atonal music (the "second" Vienesse school), the architectural theories of Loos and the Bauhaus, the theater of Beckett & Brecht, and the philosophy of Wittgenstein and Mach.
Morton focuses his analysis around the death by suicide pact of Kronprinz Rudolph, heir to the Hapsburg empire. The event is intrinsically intriging; Rudolph's suicide and it's aftermath cover an emotional landscape that ranges from the tragic to the bizarre and goulish.
Vignettes in the life of important cultural figures, including Freud, Herzl, Klimt, Brahms, Bruckner, Schnitzler and Mahler, dramatize the trend toward the dissolution of conservatism and the collapse of upper classs domination.
A NERVOUS SPLENDOR is entertaining, informative and well written. Morton's style of writting is sophisticated, elegant and, yet, in a sense that is hard to define, unusual and piquant.
22 von 22 Kunden fanden die folgende Rezension hilfreich
Fun, gossipy cultural history 22. Januar 2001
Von Jay Dickson - Veröffentlicht auf
Format: Taschenbuch
This is an extremely readable and enjoyable account of one of the most portentous years in Austrian history: its central story concerns the murder/suicide of the Crown Prince Rudolf and Mary Vetsera at the prince's Mayerling hunting lodge, while orbiting around this are mini-narratives concerning Freud, Klimt, Herzl, Schnitzler, Bruckner, etc.
This is highly recommended for people who have enjoyed similar works such as Roger Shattuck's THE BANQUET YEARS. While Morton's narrative genuinely suffers from the perfect 20/20 hindsight take on history (not only, in his account, is the Empire doomed, but even the Emperor knows at the back of his mind that the Empire is doomed, which seems highly unlikely), and his overwillingness to tell us exactly what famous people were thinking at given moments (when there is no way he could know), the book is informative, exciting, and intelligent.
18 von 20 Kunden fanden die folgende Rezension hilfreich
An engrossing, enticing snapshot 28. Oktober 2003
Von Andrew S. Rogers - Veröffentlicht auf
Format: Taschenbuch
The history of Austria from 1848 to about 1945 is an almost endlessly fascinating topic. As Frederic Morton makes clear, many of the strains that wove together to create the modern world -- in science, medicine, politics, and art -- have their roots in this time and place. In choosing just a few months in the period 1888-1889, Morton isolates a time when the cracks in the Habsburg edifice are beginning to show. It's a fascinating portrait that, in the clichéd reviewer's phrase, reads like a novel.
Morton's narrative does require the reader to have a bit of context about Austrian, and broader European, history. But even for the reader without this grounding, there's much here to appreciate. While he does seem to take author's liberties sometimes -- how can we really know all Crown Prince Rudolf was thinking in his final days? -- the image he paints of a crumbling society held together by gilt and glitter is remarkable. So too are the individual portraits: Rudolf, his father the Emperor, Freud, Klimt, Mahler, Brahms, and many more. There were many strains of genius at work in Vienna in 1889, building a new world under the looming threat of the old world's collapse, and Frederic Morton captures them.
The late Austrian author Erik von Kuehnelt-Leddihn once noted that World Wars I and II could properly be termed the second War of Austrian Succession, and that the most important long-term consequence of the First World War was the destruction of the Austro-Hungarian Empire. Churchill, too, argued that it was the collapse of the Central European thrones that allowed the "Hitlerite monster" -- an Austrian monster Morton foreshadows in this book -- to crawl to power in the 1930s. In more ways than most of us appreciate, we still live in a world with deep roots in Old Vienna. Frederic Morton's interesting and insightful portrait of a key moment in that city's history illuminates both that era and ours in a fascinating new way. It's a book that will reward more than one reading.
10 von 10 Kunden fanden die folgende Rezension hilfreich
Time travel does exist... 30. Dezember 2003
Von Robert G. Barksdale - Veröffentlicht auf
Format: Taschenbuch
...and it takes the form of Frederic Morton's "A Nervous Splendor." Morton takes the reader on a trip through a long-vanished Vienna -- the Carnival season and the drudgery of day-to-day life in the city's slums; the glory of sun-splashed and colorful parades and the spiritual desperation manifested in a municipal epidemic of suicides; the stullifying atmosphere of the Habsburg court and the creativity of the intellectual/artistic community.
The book is a snapshot of a year in the life of an imperial city as lived by disparate Viennese (including Freud, Klimt, Bruckner, Brahms, as well as Mary Vestera, "The Bird King," and the disturbed Crown Prince Rudolph).
Morton focuses heavily on Rudolph's frustrated life and its bizarre end in the murder/suicide pact with the beautiful socialite, Mary Vestera. Rudolph is a frustrated liberal confined to carrying out increasingly meaningless imperial functions -- making the rounds at receptions, smiling for official portraits, and otherwise participating in the empty pageantry that is life in the Habsburg Court and aristocratic Vienna. His democratic leanings are thwarted by his father, the omnipresent Emperor Franz Joseph, and his father's retinue. To make matters worse, Rudolph is trapped in a loveless marriage. Enter Mary Vestera, the beautiful Baronness who has set her sights on Rudolph. Her slavish devotion to the Crown Prince, and his desperate frustration with life, culminated in a gruesome(and scandalous) end at Rudolph's hunting lodge, Mayerling. The author portrays this sad story as a reflection of the malaise that infected the imperial city as the Austro-Hungarian Empire moved unknowingly toward its own demise.
"A Nervous Splendor" is one of those histories that reads like a novel. Frederic Morton utilizes firsthand accounts, anecdotal stories and wonderfully descriptive writing to bring to life a society long gone.
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