Mapping Urban Cafés and Modern Jewish Culture

Café Central

"Arthur Schnitzler, born in Vienna, 1862, to Jewish migrants from Hungary, became a physician, playwright and writer of fiction, and was one of the members of Vienna’s famed Jung Wien. He wrote in his autobiography about the time he was a medical student in the early 1880s, in which he preferred to meet his friends outside the University of Vienna “on a more neutral ground, in a more congenial atmosphere.” The “neutral ground,” for Schintzler was “usually some coffeehouse, like Café Central, where I would spend hours reading the papers, playing billiard and dominoes, and...chess, with a gray- bearded Polish [i.e. east European] Jewish man.” Schnitzler wrote that in spite of being a medical student, he felt “altogether so much more at home” in the atmosphere of the café, “especially when there was a bohemian air about it.”47" (99)

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