Councillor Georg von Geyrenhoff
Councillor Georg von Geyrenhoff (GAY-ohrg GI-rehn-hohf), a retired civil servant who assumes the roles of narrator, editor, and chronicler of the story of “Our Crowd” and other people during 1926-1927 in Vienna. He revises and edits the story again in 1955, when he feels he can be more objective. He requests others to aid him in writing about events that he cannot personally witness, accepts unsolicited manuscripts for inclusion in edited form, and directs a team of assistants who are unaware that they are spies, reporters, and collaborators for him. His major concern in 1955 is to examine the events of twenty-eight years before, including the burning of the Palace of Justice in 1927 by an angry mob of demonstrating workers. Geyrenhoff sees this event as leading to the takeover of Austria by the Nazis and its destruction in World War II.
Kajetan von Schlaggenberg
Kajetan von Schlaggenberg (KAY-yeh-tahn fon SCHLAHG-gehn-behrg), a professional writer, major collaborator on the chronicle, and modern ideologue. Kajetan is enraged by the popular notion that the ideal of feminine beauty is the extremely thin woman. He develops “Kajetan’s Theory of the Necessity of Fat Females to the Sex Life of the Superior Man Today.” Geyrenhoff extensively censors this “Chronique Scandaleuse” of fat women because he considers it one of the foolish and dangerous ideologies that imperil society. Kajetan is the greatest provider of information on the second life of the people from all segments of society in Vienna. In 1927, he ends his flirtations with ideologies and becomes a serious novelist.
Anna Kapsreiter (KAPS-ri-tehr), an elderly widow and author of “Kap’s Night Book.” This book is a diary of thirteen dreams that Anna has during the early months of 1927. Geyrenhoff includes them in the chronicle without editing because they disclose an unusual perspicacity of the times. She actually predicts the future, although no one knows that until 1955.
Ruodlieb von der Vlantsch
Ruodlieb von der Vlantsch (REWOHD-leeb fon dehr vlayntsh), the author of a manuscript about sorceresses. Like Kajetan’s “Chronique Scandaleuse,” Geyrenhoff includes this story to offer another example of an...
(The entire section is 1028 words.)