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faultless plasticity

November 6, 2009

[TLS] Here is Arthur Schnitzler evoking his impression of a reading Hofmannsthal gave in 1892, at the age of eighteen:  “After a few minutes we riveted our attention on him, and exchanged astonished, almost frightened glances. We had never heard such verses of perfection, such faultless plasticity, such musical feeling, from any living being, nor had we thought them possible after Goethe. But more wondrous than this unique mastery of form (which has never since been achieved in the German language) was his knowledge of the world, which could only have come from a magical intuition in a youth whose days were spent sitting on the school bench.” (read)

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