The Viennese

Paul Hofmann, Author
Paul Hofmann, Author Doubleday Books $22.5 (346p) ISBN 978-0-385-23974-5
Reviewed on: 09/01/1988
Release date: 09/01/1988
Hofmann, who served as New York Times bureau chief in his native Vienna, writes of the city with the ambivalence he tells us is typical of the Viennese, who have always had a love/hate relationship with their home. The splendid city of Mozart, Beethoven, Schubert, Freud and Kokoschka harbors a tortured souleven Johann Strauss was not the happy man his gay waltzes would lead us to believe. Vienna's popular image as a genial place of coffeehouses and Gemutlichkeit is deceptive, Hofmann shows us; the city that inspired so many artists, musicians and intellectuals is also the city that gave Hitler a hero's welcome in 1938 and is now the seat of Waldheim's government. Today, the Austrian capital seems mired in depression and decline. Although the author does not delve deeply into the psychology of the Viennese neurosis, he describes candidly the people of this city from the golden days of the Baroque era to the present. ( October )
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