Saturday 2 October 2010

Returning To The Strudlhof Steps

In the Ninth District of Vienna,
not far from the university
and from the Berggasse address
where Freud lived,

a public staircase on the Strudlhofgasse
connects the Boltzmanngasse
to an older residential district below.

Building a novel around this staircase
(and its genius loci)
was Doderer's way of
recovering the link

between the interwar years
and his experience as a young man
before and during the war -
a sense of the deeper structure of historical time
and of the writer's memory.

Quoted from
"Eros and inwardness in Vienna
Weininger, Musil, Doderer"
By David S. Luft
University of Chicago Press

David S. Luft refers to
Heimito von Doderer's novel "The Strudlhof Steps".
I read this novel long before I ever
set foot in Vienna.

Since I moved here,
I have walked up and down
these steps many times,
and each time
it is as if
I were stepping back
to a period
long before I was born,
but that feels present
all the same.


Photographs by Merisi
7 September 2009


  1. Hello Merisi,
    What beautiful places to know!
    Unfortunaly I'm so far....

  2. Dear M,
    This is amazing. I will add it to my list of things to see if we ever get to Vienna!

    So good to hear from you again! I have missed my blogging friends so much. Thank you so much for your very sweet comment. Actually, we lived right behind La Tomate and the first Starbucks I worked at was directly across the street on R & Connecticut, next to Teaism (were you familiar with it?). I was not as familiar with the Uptown area, but we did have a Firehook close to us in Dupont Circle. How did we manage to miss the grape pizza?!?!

    I agree. I miss DC and its quirky little neighborhoods a lot sometimes.


  3. Beatriz,
    one day, you may be able to come and visit!

    The Gossamer Tearoom,
    there are quite a few quirky neighborhoods in Washington, DC, and I miss them dearly.

    Teaism, one of my favorite places ever in DC!
    Scrambled egg with fresh coriander, tea-smoked salmon and naan bread topped with caramelized onions. Lavender-mint tea and their oh so delicious ginger scones!

    I frequented most often the Firehook bakery on Pennsylvania Ave, it is only a block from the Library of Congress and I loved to go there for coffee break (the Roquefort-Roast beef sandwich was not bad either).

    Do you remember when Marvelous Market first opened and people stood in line for their bread (causing the Russian Pravda to publish a photo with the title "Americans Lining Up For Bread!")?

    Oh dear, am I getting too nostalgic here? ;-)

  4. What a beautiful staircase. love grille part of it.

  5. Magical time-traveling steps evidently -- and beautiful pictures!

  6. Hello Merisi. I followed you here from Vicki Lane's.. and so glad I did. I love your Blog. I spent a week only in your lovely city in 2008 and so am happy to walk the city with you and get to know it better. Greetings fron New Zealand.

  7. As a psychologist it is very interesting to know where Freud lived:) I had to read his concepts in my training in the US, and I was glad to have saved the German version from my year studies in Amsterdam, because it was not superhard, but in English it does not make any sense!


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