First published for private circulation in Vienna in 1900, Arthur Schnitzler's famous play looks at the sexual morality and class ideology of his day through a series of sexual encounters between pairs of characters. When published publicly in 1903, it became an immediate best-seller, scandalized Viennese society, and a year later was censored. Schnitzler was accused of pornography and worse. In 1922 Freud wrote to him that "you have learned through intuition-though actually as a result of sensitive introspection-everything that I have had to unearth by laborious work on other persons." By choosing characters across the social spectrum, La Ronde offers a powerful view of how sexual contact transgresses boundaries of class. Nicholas Rudall's new translation sensitively captures the language distinctions of the representative characters in the play while providing a remarkably playable script. New in the Plays for Performance series.
Arthur Schnitzler (1862-1931), Austrian physician, dramatist, and novelist, was among the most sophisticated writers of his time. Nicholas Rudall is renowned for his translations, especially of Ibsen and the Greek classics. He is emeritus professor of classics at the University of Chicago and former artistic director of the Court Theater there. He lives in Chicago.