Pen and ink on paper
34,5 × 23 cm
O L Arnold Schönberg Center, Wien
The fragmentary opera libretto Superstition (Act III of the libretto is unfinished, the libretto contains several thematic sketches), which originated around 1900 and was conceived as a synthesis of the arts with drafts for set designs, is essentially centerd around three characters: the students Maria and Konrad, and the painter Ferdinand. The first two acts focus on the religion of nature and creation as well as the ideal image of love. Konrad’s reflection on the nature of mankind and the unbalanced allocation of gender roles culminates in a monologue on the ideal love as an act of selflessness.
Other characters join them during a student function, a party, which consists of twelve people and another absent guest who was invited. Starting with the fateful number 13, the group talks about superstition. Their conversation leads into a discussion on atheism, which prevents any kind of creativeness.
Act III, Scene 1
About one hour after Act II: A somewhat antiquated street in a modern city (across the entire length of the stage. It is crossed by a side-street. Maria lives on the first floor of the second house in the foreground on the left-hand side. It is a bright night (But restless. Clouds occasionally pass across the moon.)