Schnitzler was an Austrian dramatist and novelist. The son of a prominent Jewish Viennese physician, he studied and practiced medicine until he attracted critical notice with his drama Anatol (1893), a cycle of one-act plays concerning a philanderer. He followed a similar format in La Ronde (1900), a cycle of plays about related sexual liaisons, filmed in 1950 by Max Ophuls. His plays, novellas, and novels are distinguished for their sparkling wit and brilliant style, and their clinical observations of the pathological. His concern is with individual happiness, and his dramatic problems are often focused on love and sexual faithfulness.