This article highlights the hitherto neglected significance of the small market town, and erstwhile spa resort, of Hinterbrühl in Lower Austria to Hugo von Hofmannsthal’s life and work. This discussion is set in a cultural-historical context of Hinterbrühl’s function as a place of encounter in the golden age of the spa resort. The article traces the lasting influence of Hinterbrühl in Hofmannsthal’s oeuvre, whether this be through the people he met there, as evidenced by the fragment Silvia im “Stern”, or in the sublimation of the Lower Austrian landscape in the enigmatic Das Märchen der 672. Nacht.
Bibliographical noteThis article was conceived during a period of employment at the Ludwig Boltzmann
Institute for the History and Theory of Biography in Vienna. I am grateful to my colleagues at the Institute and to the Freies Deutsches Hochstift in Frankfurt am Main for their advice and assistance with archival sources.