Department or Program


Second Department or Program

German and Russian Studies


The Wiener Moderne, the modernist movement that took place in Vienna between roughly 1890 and 1910, is unique in its contributions to modern thought. The imperial capital produced Sigmund Freud and psychoanalysis; the artist Gustav Klimt; the writers Arthur Schnitzler, Hugo von Hofmannsthal, and Karl Kraus; the philosophers Ludwig Wittgenstein and Karl Popper; the composers Gustav Mahler and Arnold Schoenberg; and the politics of Zionism, anti-Semitism, and Austro-Marxism. Many of these intellectuals and artists demonstrated a close correspondence in thought across disciplines. Scholars explain these similarities with the expression, “the ideas were in the air.” Unsatisfied with such a terse write-off, this thesis looks to Sigmund Freud and Arthur Schnitzler for answers. The two men never met in person; in a letter to Schnitzler, Freud confided that he avoided a meeting out of fear of facing his own doppelgänger (Doppelgängerscheu)––an expression of their extraordinary intellectual alignment. Both were Jewish, at least by heritage, and both were neurologists, at least by training. Though Freud wrote as psychoanalyst and Schnitzler as playwright, in their respective works they each explored questions about hysteria, dreams, free association, repressed (or perhaps in Schnitzler’s case, unrepressed) sexuality, and Jewish identity. By examining Freud and Schnitzler’s stances on these questions, as well as their biographies, this thesis aims to ground the air-borne ideas and identify some of the characteristics of Viennese modernism at the turn of the century.

Level of Access

Open Access

Date of Graduation

Spring 5-2012

Degree Name

Bachelor of Arts

Number of Pages


Components of Thesis

1 pdf file

Open Access

Available to all.