Jeffrey Keeten's Reviews > Dream Story

Dream Story by Arthur Schnitzler
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“Am I sure? Only as sure as I am that the reality of one night, let alone that of a whole lifetime, can ever be the whole truth.”

 photo The-Bride20Klimt_zpsagvssd9o.jpg
The Bride (1918) by Klimt

It all begins with a confession of sorts as his wife Albertine tells him of a fantasy she had involving a man that she saw on their vacation. Fridolin also confesses that he had desired a young woman on the beach.

It seems fairly harmless after all.

When we marry, we don’t go numb from the waist down and the neck up. We continue to notice attractive people and continue to be titillated by charming and intelligent ones, as well. It could be a ruggedly handsome waiter in a restaurant or a pretty pearl wearing bartender or a French beret wearing poet or a saucy librarian with libidinous thoughts. There are a host of emotions that are involved with noticing that our spouse is interested in some other person. If it is one sided, it can just be amusing or mildly annoying. If the interest is reciprocated, then it can unleash a torrent of reactions from fear to pride to jealousy to finding your spouse that much more alluring because someone else recognized those qualities that you may have started to take for granted.

Flirtations or mild crushes, in most cases, just adds a bit of spice to life.

For Fridolin, this confession of his wife, even though his confession is very similar, unmoors him. It is as if the possibilities of his life are suddenly opening up to him, and women whom he met every day suddenly take on the glow of possibility. Soon after the dream confessions, Fridolin, who is a doctor,, is called out to a client in dire health. Unfortunately, his trip is for naught as the man has passed when he arrives.

Thus begins one of the strangest evenings, an odyssey really, of Fridolin’s life. By the end of the night, he has met a series of women, all women who are interested in sleeping with him and all whom he would like to sleep with. In thinking about which he would prefer, he canot decide. ”To the little Pierrette? Or to the little trollop in the Buchfeldgasse? Or to Marianne, the daughter of the dead Court Counsellor?” It does not matter for they are all about to be replaced by a woman he is on the verge of meeting in precarious circumstances.

”Fridolin was intoxicated, and not merely by her presence, her fragrant body and burning red lips, nor by the atmosphere of the room and the aura of lascivious secrets that surrounded him; he was at once thirsty and delirious, made so by all the adventures of the night, none of which had led to anything, by his own audacity, and by the sea-change he felt within himself. He stretched out and touched the veil covering her head, as though intended to remove it.”

He has fallen into a secret sex club with the help of his piano playing friend Nachtigall. He isn’t supposed to be there. He was never supposed to meet this woman with the burning red lips. He is supposed to be home with his wife and daughter.

Though it is an evening fraught with sexual possibilities, he is like a man walking through a museum admiring the intriguing paintings, but touching none of them.

His wife has more dreams to confess.

 photo arthur-schnitzler_zpss6f74utp.jpg
Look at all that hair the young Arthur Schnitzler had.

Arthur Schnitzler’s work was considered filth by Adolf Hitler. Anything that upsets that goose stepping, stiff necked, little pipsqueak should be read by the rest of the civilized world with reverence. Schnitzler was born in 1862 and died in Vienna in 1931. If he had lived long enough, the Nazis would have most certainly beaten him and had him thrown in some damp hole for being the Viennese Henry Miller, a few decades before Miller knew he was Miller. If his writing was not enough of an incentive to bring him to the attention of the Third Reich, certainly his Jewish ethnicity would have condemned him just as quickly.

Schnitzler had numerous affairs, sometimes with several women at the same time. He kept a Journal for most of his life and dutifully recorded not only every assignation, but every orgasm. A bit OCD about the adventures of his willie, wouldn’t you say? The venerated Viennese doctor of psychology Sigmund Freud said in a letter to Schnitzler, "I have gained the impression that you have learned through intuition – although actually as a result of sensitive introspection – everything that I have had to unearth by laborious work on other persons." Was there a bit of Freudian jealousy in that observation? Does Freud need some time on his own couch? Fridolin may have thought about making conquests of women, but Schnitzler turned thought into deed.

 photo Kidman_zpsy5zrw2yl.jpg
Nicole Kidman in Eyes Wide Shut. Is it just me or do those wire rimmed glasses make her look very naughty!

Stanley Kubrick directed a film based on this novel called Eyes Wide Shut, (1999) starring the then married Nicole Kidman and Tom Cruise. I know I watched the film, but I don’t remember a bloody thing about it. I must have been plastered or snogging or both when I watched it, so I must apologize for not being able to make at the very least some pithy remarks comparing the film to the book. I have a feeling the two may have very little to do with each other, but I’m sure out there in GR land, there are several people who can weigh in on whether the film conveyed Schnitzler’s thoughts or was just a jumping off place for Kubrick/Kidman/Cruise to explore their own ideas.

A quick read with some fascinating observations about relationships, the brain, and our natural/unnatural attractions to the people we come into contact with.

If you wish to see more of my most recent book and movie reviews, visit http://www.jeffreykeeten.com
I also have a Facebook blogger page at:https://www.facebook.com/JeffreyKeeten
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Reading Progress

October 7, 2016 – Started Reading
October 7, 2016 – Shelved
October 8, 2016 – Shelved as: erotica
October 8, 2016 – Finished Reading

Comments Showing 1-29 of 29 (29 new)

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christina r. coia ok i will


message 2: by Nita (new)

Nita Kohli Great review! I am definitely going to read this book and watch the movie later. I remember watching Eyes Wide Shut ages ago and I, too, don't remember a thing about it


Jeffrey Keeten Nita wrote: "Great review! I am definitely going to read this book and watch the movie later. I remember watching Eyes Wide Shut ages ago and I, too, don't remember a thing about it "

Were you snogging when you watched the movie Nita? You can whisper your confession in my ear. I won't tell a soul. :-) Thanks Nita! It is rather strange neither of us can remember a thing about the movie.


message 4: by Margitte (new)

Margitte Wonderful review. Jeffrey. I think you will greatly enjoy this book
Shrinks: The Untold Story of Psychiatry
by Jeffrey A. Lieberman, Ogi Ogas (With)
https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/2...


Jeffrey Keeten Margitte wrote: "Wonderful review. Jeffrey. I think you will greatly enjoy this book
Shrinks: The Untold Story of Psychiatry
by Jeffrey A. Lieberman, Ogi Ogas (With)
https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/2......"


You had me at Ogi Ogas.

Thanks Margitte! And WOW! what a comprehensive review you wrote on the Lieberman/Ogas. Excellent! I will definitely get a copy. I can't wait to stick all the information into my brain. It will stir the oatmeal.


message 6: by Vessey (new) - added it

Vessey How cool! Jeffrey, I didn’t know that people would accept for a distinctly erotic book to be published and spread in the 1920s. Then again, we have D. H. Lawrence’s books from the same period, which I haven’t read, but I’ve heard of. Well, I have read The Fox, but it wasn't really sexualized. It had more to do with what I talk of in my review of “Madame Bovary”.

Though it is an evening fraught with sexual possibilities, he is like a man walking through a museum admiring the intriguing paintings, but touching none of them.

I remember your telling me this. “To me beautiful women are like pieces of art. Great to look at, but not to be touched” (sigh). I wish more men felt the same way. There aren’t enough Jeffries in the world. Jeffrey, you’re so cool! You should post more pictures of you and Janet! OMG, it was so romantic when in one of your reviews you were mentioning her and her ”pale hair”. She does have an awesome hair!

Look all that hair the young Arthur Schnitzler had.

They must be related. :)

A bit OCD about the adventures of his willie, wouldn’t you say?

Aside from this being hilarious (not his doing it, but the way you have put it!), what does OCD mean?

Is it just me or do those wire rimmed glasses make her look very naughty!

It’s because you associate the glasses with reading. She must be a literary babe. Your kind of gal. :)

Jeffrey, thank you so much for this really, really wonderful review and for what you shared about the author. OMG. I was blown away. At first I felt sorry for his having died at like….68?, but then I felt relieved. Indeed, imagine what he would have suffered. Thanks again. You’re way too cool! :)


Jeffrey Keeten Vessey wrote: "How cool! Jeffrey, I didn’t know that people would accept for a distinctly erotic book to be published and spread in the 1920s. Then again, we have D. H. Lawrence’s books from the same period, whic..."

OCD= Obsessive compulsive disorder. Fascinating to read about the many nuances to this disorder. It can take many forms. I thought that was rather a funny line when it sprang from my fingers. I wrote this review in a blur of constrained time so I was worried that it would be fraught with problems, but giving it a quick read I think it turned out okay.

Maybe Kidman reminds me of the libidinous librarian. :-)

Yes, Adolf Hitler was probably actually disappointed that Schnitzler died before he could get his hands on him. All he could do was burn his books. Obviously burning books is more symbolic than effective because I have a copy of his book in my library despite the best efforts of the Nazis to eradicate such literature.

Thank you Vessey! I'm glad you enjoyed my efforts!


message 8: by Vessey (last edited Oct 18, 2016 01:43PM) (new) - added it

Vessey Jeffrey wrote: "Vessey wrote: "How cool! Jeffrey, I didn’t know that people would accept for a distinctly erotic book to be published and spread in the 1920s. Then again, we have D. H. Lawrence’s books from the sa..."


Hah! The libidinous librarian comparison occurred to me too! :D The best alliteration I have come across :)

Thanks for telling me about OCD. Since you like this theme, you have to watch Monk. It's so funny and so cool! Just like you. :)

Obviously burning books is more symbolic than effective

Jeffrey, this reminds me of this passage from Too Loud a Solitude. I have already shown it to you, but can't resist. It just SO fits. And it reminds me of you when you say "Books are more than books" :)

Real thoughts come from outside and travel with us; inquisitors burn books in vain. If a book has anything to say, it burns with a quiet laugh, because any book worth its salt points up and out of itself. When my eye lands on a real book and looks past the printed word, what it sees is disembodied thoughts flying through air, gliding on air, living off air, returning to air...

Oh, and I missed to thank you for the painting. It's gorgeous!


message 9: by [deleted user] (new)

Excellent review! Sounds like the classic "double standard" where what's normal and accepted for men is not so for women (sexual fantasy/reality-wise.)


Jeffrey Keeten Christy wrote: "Excellent review! Sounds like the classic "double standard" where what's normal and accepted for men is not so for women (sexual fantasy/reality-wise.)"

Yeah absolutely! I was thinking as he became upset that he had no clue how ridiculous he was being. If you read the book she shares another dream with him which is much, much more disturbing to him. Thanks Christy! I wish you many compelling fantasies.


Jeffrey Keeten Eva wrote: "I had no idea that this book was based on that movie! I hated the movie but I love your review so this goes on my list haha"

I seriously remember nothing about the movie. I must have blanked it from my memory. It must have been so bad I closed the door on those memories and nailed wood planks across the door so I would never open it again. Well after you read the book Eva tell me how closely the movie follows the book. It is annoyingly pretentious for Cruise and Kidman to do a movie like this anyway.


Jeffrey Keeten Vessey wrote: "Jeffrey wrote: "Vessey wrote: "How cool! Jeffrey, I didn’t know that people would accept for a distinctly erotic book to be published and spread in the 1920s. Then again, we have D. H. Lawrence’s b..."

The Klimt is great! Every detail is so sensual. They used part of this painting on the book cover so I thought it would be cool to share the rest of the painting that was cut.

I used to watch Monk years ago. As you know I only have so much patience for comedies. :-) Great concept though!

Who doesn't like a libidinous librarian? She leads you back in the stacks, grabs you by the shirt, whips those dark frame glasses of and plants a kiss on your thirsty lips. :-)


Jeffrey Keeten Eva wrote: "Hahaha so true! I just remember thinking that I had just watched a bit of porn with Hollywood movie stars to tell you the truth. I really like the photos you've included by the way, especially the ..."

Many of Klimt's paintings are so disturbingly delicious. Kidman is pretty in a...wrap her in cellophane and hang her off my wall kind of way. In my opinion not really sexy enough for the role. :-)


message 14: by Elyse (new) - added it

Elyse Walters Frickin cornflakes.... I'd love this book!

I like 'some' of your reviews --lol -- ones I can understand...
THIS ONE.. I not only understand-- I love it!!!!
Great photo too - isn't it?/!


message 15: by Jeffrey (last edited Oct 18, 2016 02:31PM) (new) - rated it 4 stars

Jeffrey Keeten Eva wrote: "Emmanuelle Seigner is the only woman for roles like this. If you haven't seen Bitter Moon do so and you'll know what I mean..."

I picked up a copy of Bitter Moon not too long ago because I'm a big fan of Kristen Scott Thomas. What a bitter, bitter movie. Yeah, I know exactly what you mean. Seigner was terrific! Have you seen Woman in the Fifth with Thomas and Ethan Hawke?


Jeffrey Keeten Elyse wrote: "Frickin cornflakes.... I'd love this book!

I like 'some' of your reviews --lol -- ones I can understand...
THIS ONE.. I not only understand-- I love it!!!!
Great photo too - isn't it?/!"


You don't understand all of my reviews? I'm shocked! Simply shocked. ha! Some things that come out in my reviews may only make sense in the mind of Keeten. I don't mind the women in my life a bit confused. :-) Confusion in the proper amounts equals interest!

I'm glad our minds were synchronized on this one Elyse.


Jeffrey Keeten Eva wrote: "No I haven't! But thanks for the suggestion, I'll look it up! I love Kristen Scott Thomas too, such a wonderful actress. I actually found the book in a second hand bookstore a few weeks ago and it'..."

There is this great scene in Woman in the Fifth where all you see is there faces and their reactions to what is happening. You'll know it when you see it. I thought it was such a cool scene. I read the book after seeing pieces of the movie and then watched the whole movie.


message 18: by Glenn (last edited Oct 18, 2016 04:48PM) (new)

Glenn Russell Thanks for this, Jeffrey!

Love that photo with the glasses. Also, this still - same glasses, same angle of the head, same hairdo, but sans cloths!



Jeffrey Keeten Glenn wrote: "Thanks for this, Jeffrey!

Love that photo with the glasses. Also, this still - same glasses, same angle of the head, same hairdo, but sans cloths!
"


You are welcome Glenn! And thanks for the photo. Kudos to Kidman's personal trainer! Those glasses and the hair are a great look for her, maybe just to us geeky readers. :-)


message 20: by B the BookAddict (new)

B the BookAddict Brilliant review, Jeffery.


Jeffrey Keeten B the BookAddict wrote: "Brilliant review, Jeffery."

Thank you Bette! I'm glad you liked it!


message 22: by Sketchbook (new) - added it

Sketchbook Nita wrote: "Great review! I am definitely going to read this book and watch the movie later. I remember watching Eyes Wide Shut ages ago and I, too, don't remember a thing about it "

I dont recall anything either. Kubrick drained all feeling and sensuality from the film. (I need to read this new translation...)


message 23: by Gary (new) - added it

Gary Triffic review, Jeffrey - I rather liked the photos too!


Jeffrey Keeten Sketchbook wrote: "Nita wrote: "Great review! I am definitely going to read this book and watch the movie later. I remember watching Eyes Wide Shut ages ago and I, too, don't remember a thing about it "

I dont recal..."


I'm glad to hear I'm not the only one suffering from movie amnesia. :-)


Jeffrey Keeten Gary wrote: "Triffic review, Jeffrey - I rather liked the photos too!"

Thanks Gary! I do think the right photos add enjoyment to any review.


Carol She's So Novel꧁꧂ I too love that Klimt. Has a jewelled look. Will add this to my to read list.


message 27: by Gary (new) - added it

Gary Carol ♛ Type, Oh Queen! ♛ wrote: "I too love that Klimt. Has a jewelled look. Will add this to my to read list."

Yes, it's lovely isn't it? :-)


Jeffrey Keeten Carol ♛ Type, Oh Queen! ♛ wrote: "I too love that Klimt. Has a jewelled look. Will add this to my to read list."

His style is so recognizable. Dazzling!


Carol She's So Novel꧁꧂ Tabitha Will wrote: "ffwmfwvfmsdvquc"

Looks like it is Troll Jeffrey Day. :(


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