Heimito Von Doderer


Heimito von Doderer's "Demons" is based on an antisemitic plot devised during the 1930s (the "demons" to be revealed were the Austrian Jews), and the published version of the book still bears traces of that origin. The main villain e.g. is still called "Levielle" (notice the first two syllables) and allusions to his "ignoble" ancestry are frequent in the text.
This is a topic seldom touched by "Doderians" or "Heimitists", but I have heard that a book review of "The Demons" done by George Steiner alluded to that subject. Can anyone give me the relevant bibliographical references and/or quotes out of that review?

Thanks in advance!

Robert Schediwy

>>By robert schediwy   (Saturday, 25 Jan 2003 12:58)

Robert: Have a look at "Reporter" Oct 21, 1961 pp 58, 60 to find the "Brown Danube" review by George Steiner.
Also quite interesting:

New Yorker Nov 4 1961 (the book review by Anthony West)

>>By "avid reader"   (Saturday, 25 Jan 2003 12:58)

I have not read the reviews by Steiner or West but I have just read the book itself. The demons are clearly not Jews but are either the fascists or both the fascists and the revolutionary socialists, depending on how you read it. I don’t see how it could be based on any plot from the thirties when the book takes place almost entirely in 1927.
Levielle himself is perhaps sinister because he is French, I am not even sure that he is Jewish, and there is definitely nothing at all negative in the portrayals of the Jewish characters such as the Siebenschein family, Hans Neuberg, and Camy Schlaggenberg neé Schedik.
Is this what scholarship has come to, posting a message of innuendos on the web? -s

>>By Said Shirazi   (Wednesday, 21 May 2003 22:57)

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