‘Dream Story’ by Arthur Schnitzler

Nightmarish, hallucinatory, unsettling – I love this exploration of the subterranean underbelly of cities and of the psyche, of the crossing of sexual and religious thresholds, set in early twentieth-century Vienna. Freud was, unsurprisingly, a great admirer of Schnitzler. Kubrick was too, and his 1999 Eyes Wide Shut is a terrific and uncanny adaptation of the story, transferred to a New York that is both well-heeled and seedy.

Published in 1926 as Traumnovelle, and in Penguin Books, 1999, translated by J.M.Q Davis

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