Wednesday, January 30, 2008

Peter Altenberg

Pictures form this site.

"I never, never, never should feel a woman, unless I want to feel her. My name is Altenberg after all, not Strindberg.”

“Even good books never stink, they are the distillation of all the malodorous sins one has committed of which one had finally managed to extract a drop of fragrant humanity!”

“I was nothing, I am nothing, I will be nothing. But I will live out my life in freedom and let noble and considerate souls share in the experiences of this free inner life, by putting them out in the most concentrated form on paper.” -from Telegrams of the Soul

From Wiki:

Peter Altenberg (March 9, 1859 - January 8, 1919) was a writer and poet from Vienna, Austria. He was key to the genesis of early modernism in the city.

Although he grew up in a middle class Jewish family, Altenberg eventually separated himself from his family of origin by dropping out of both law and medical school, and embracing Bohemianism as a permanent lifestyle choice. He cultivated a feminine appearance and feminine handwriting, wore a cape, sandals and a broad-brimmed hat, and despised 'macho' masculinity.

At the fin de si├Ęcle, when Vienna was a major crucible and center for modern arts and culture, Altenberg was a very influential part of a literary and artistic movement known as Jung Wien or "Young Vienna." Altenberg was a contemporary of Karl Kraus, Gustav Mahler, Arthur Schnitzler, Gustav Klimt, and Adolf Loos, with whom he had a very close relationship. He was somewhat older, in his early 30s, than the others. In addition to being a poet and prolific letter writer, he was an accomplished short story writer, prose writer, and essayist.