Doctoral Thesis 2011

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As an academic, non-commercial work, this thesis remains, for the moment, at least, password protected. However, if you wish to access the work, please click here to contact the author, Dr Raymond Coffer, who will be happy to grant permission and provide password details. Once downloaded, the document can then be saved or printed without further restriction, other than, of course, normal copyright and citation acknowledgements.

The thesis is, in view of its size, best downloaded either in two parts, each approximately 50% of the total length, or chapter by chapter (see Table of Contents below).

1. To download this thesis in two substantial parts, please click on the following links:

“Thesis part 1: Up to Chapter 10″ (160mb)
“Thesis part 2: Chapter 11 to end (includes Index)” (124mb)

2. To download the thesis chapter by chapter, please click on the relevant section within the Table of Contents below.

TABLE OF CONTENTS (page numbers in red)

Declaration and Abstract  3
Acknowledgements  4
Table of Contents  5
Abbreviations and Sources  6
Order of Gerstl’s Works Illustrated in this Thesis  12
Illustrations, Photographs and Other Reproductions  14
A Life in Pictures  19

Chapter 1:   Introduction and Sources   23
Chapter 2:   From Leopold- and Josefstadt to Alsergrund:
……..–…….Cultural paths to the Gerstl/Schönberg relationship   32

Chapter 3:   The Early Works of “Ein äußerst wortkarger Mensch”   45
Chapter 4:   Representation of Rejection in Gerstl’s Early Self-portraits   63
Chapter 5:   “Als dieser Mensch in mein Haus eindrang . . .”   80
Chapter 6:   Gerstl’s Portraits of the Schönberg Circle, 1906/1907   106
Chapter 7:   Mathilde Schönberg   124
Chapter 8:   Gmunden 1907   146
Chapter 9:   Schönberg, Mahler and Stefan George   167
Chapter 10: Gerstl’s studios 1907/8 182
Chapter 11: The Mathilde Letters   200
Chapter 12: A Song to the Siren? Questions of Self-representation in Op.10   215
Chapter 13: A Primitive of Abstraction—Gerstl in Gmunden 1908   247
Chapter 14: Denouement and Aftermath   282   followed by: Postscript   301

Appendices (including Bibliography and Index)
Bibliography   304
Appendix:A, Section i: Biographies – Main Characters of Thesis   320            Appendix:A..Section ii: Schönberg’s circle, ca. December 1898   329
Appendix:B  Illustrated Chronology of Gerstl’s Complete Works   330
Appendix:C  Letters and Documents including Mathilde’s Letters—1907/1908   338
Appendix:D  Miethke’s 1906 van Gogh Exhibition   353
Appendix:E  Texts—op.14, op.15, op.10 + op.7′s Secret Programme   357
Appendix:F  Klosterneuburg Day Trip Autumn 1908   365
Index   369

To download the Appendices, including the Bibliography and Index, in one document, pleas click here. To view the Index to the thesis, covering over 700 references, in a separate window, please click here.

Note: Since this is a direct reproduction of the thesis as deposited in the University of London Library, occasional blank separator pages remain within the document.


A small number of minor typographical errors have been noted since publication. Please click here to check for corrections.

English translation

Please note that, whilst some quotes within the work are necessarily in their original German, a fully translated English version should be available over the next weeks.

Please note that the thesis is also available in hard-back printed form in the following libraries:
Österreichische Nationalbibliothek, Vienna, reference: 1964289-C.
Senate House Library, University of London.
Institute of German Studies, University of London.
Arnold Schönberg Center, Vienna.
Paul Sacher Stiftung, Basel.

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