The late work of Peter Altenberg has been neglected by scholars. This essay analyses the book Prodrŏmŏs (1905) and aims to show how Altenberg anticipates central theses and stylistic notions of expressionism. The focus is on the peculiar form of the text as well as on its whimsical language which includes advertising slogans, pharmaceutical advice and entwines questions of aesthetics and drugstore goods. Altenberg reflects in numerous ways on the departure from Decadence, debates healthy nutrition in the context of the Life Reform Movement and frequently addresses questions of digestion - often in a strange and bizarre manner. Altenberg varies these themes in his book Neues Altes (1911). The study concludes with a look at the reception of Altenberg by the expressionists who rightly extolled him as their household god.
© 2016 by Walter de Gruyter Berlin/Boston