Saturday, 17 November 2012
That the works of essayist Otto Stoessl were almost entirely forgotten is indeed one of the great oversights in the cultural events of the First and also of the Second Republic. In fact, this contemporary of Karl Kraus, Hugo von Hofmannsthal, Rainer Maria Rilke, and other personages of "Young Vienna" left behind rich narrative works and distinguished himself as a literary theorist and critic. Hans Weigel wrote of Otto Stoessl: "Of all those forgotten in our literature he appears to me, if you allow me to use the superlative, to be the 'forgottenest'. He was ignored during Austria's resurrection, although he would have been one of those legitimately responsible." Otto Stoessl was born the son of a minimally affluent doctor on May 2, 1875. Even before completing his studies (in January of 1900 he received a doctorate degree), Stoessl began working for the Emperor Ferdinand Northern Railway in 1899. This offered him a secure yet less preferred livelihood. On the side Stoessl dedicated himself completely to his literature. Numerous novellas, short stories, novels, and other literary masterpieces emerged in the decades that followed. The novel "Das Haus Erath" (1920) is considered by critics and literary historians to be his main work. He died on September 15, 1936 and was laid to rest in the cemetery of Upper St. Vitus.