Amidst a short spat between a married couple, the husband, a doctor, is summoned to the bedside of a dying man. So begins a series of involvements throughout the night in increasingly dangerous and deviant sexual adventures for Fridolin, who taken by a friend to a "secret" party, is forced to make choices that seem beyond his control. The dream-like events are made more frighteningly real by Schnitzler's powerfully detailed descriptions, as little by little Fridolin gives in to the demands of the secret celebrants.Order may be restored, but the desperation, the depravity of the human mind remains just below the surface of the conscious willing of good.
A doctor himself and close friend of Sigmund Freud, Arthur Schnitzler was one of the most important playwrights and novelists of early 20th-century Austrian literature.
The extraordinary Viennese writer Arthur Schnitzler (1862-19310) was born in Vienna, the son of a prominent Jewish laryngologist, Schnitzler studies medicine at Vienna University but soon abandoned medicine for writing. From 1895 he attracted public attention as a dramatist. Concentrating on sex and death, his work shows a remarkable capacity to create atmosphere and to pursue profound, ruthless and often Freudian analysis of human motives.