Young Vienna By George, Alys
Young Vienna was an informal, heterogeneous literary circle that existed in Vienna for little more than a decade, beginning in approximately 1890. Hermann Bahr and his protégés Hugo von Hofmannsthal, Arthur Schnitzler, Richard Beer-Hofmann, and Felix Salten formed the core of the group, while Karl Kraus and Peter Altenberg were later, peripheral participants. Many other writers, most now forgotten, were involved to varying degrees. These included Felix Dörmann, Friedrich Michael Fels, Paul Goldmann, Jacques Joachim, Eduard Michael Kafka, Julius Kulka, Rudolf Lothar, and Richard Specht. The group often met at Café Griensteidl and, later, Café Central.
Unlike the naturalists in Berlin and Munich, Young Vienna put forth no coherent literary program, manifestos, or theories, and their literary production ranged from naturalism and impressionism to aestheticism, symbolism, and decadence. The only commonality among the writers, according to Bahr, was that they wanted ‘in all things and at all costs to be modern’ (in allen Dingen um jeden Preis modern zu sein).