Schubert and the Nonsense Society

Archiv des menschlichen Unsinns

A hitherto unknown newspaper, Archiv des menschlichen Unsinns (Archive of human nonsense) provides a lively picture of Schubert’s circle. The newspaper is full of allusions to political events as well as parodies of classical works.

Most of his friends were artists. The Unsinnsgesellschaft (Nonsense Society), of which  Schubert was a leading member, also included August von Kloeber, Johann Nepomuk Hoechle, August Kopisch, and Josef and Leopold Kupelwieser.

This according to Die Unsinnsgesellschaft: Franz Schubert, Leopold Kupelwieser und ihr Freundeskreis by Rita Steblin (Wien: Böhlau, 1998), which presents all 29 editions (1817–18) of the newspaper along with biographies of all the members of the society.

Above, Leopold Kupelwieser’s watercolor Neueste Erfindungen: Schubert als strenger Schullehrer mit Rohrstaberl und Kaleidoskop, Kupelwieser als Schulbube mit Draisine (Latest inventions: Schubert as strict teacher with Rohrstaberl and kaleidoscope, Kupelwieser as schoolboy with draisine). Below, a lighthearted scherzo.

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