Peter Altenberg

Peter Altenberg (aka Richard Engländer, 1859-1919) born into a well-to-do, assimilated Viennese Jewish family, took advantage of a medical diagnosis of “over-excitation of the nervous system” and a consequent “incapacity for gainful employment” to devote himself heart and soul to the life of the Bohemian poet. Author of eleven books published during his lifetime and two more after his death, Altenberg also pioneered the very notion of loose-fitting leisure attire, designed a line of necklaces, favored sandals, walking sticks and slivovitz. His long list of literary admirers included Karl Kraus, Heinrich and Thomas Mann, Robert Musil, Arthur Schnitzler and George Bernard Shaw.

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