Salten, Felix

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SALTEN, FELIX (originally Siegmund Salzmann ; 1869–1945), Austrian novelist, playwright, and critic, creator of "Bambi." Born in Budapest, Salten studied in Vienna, where he became a writer of feuilletons for the Neue Freie Presse, continuing the high standard of his friend and predecessor, Theodor *Herzl. As a dramatic critic, he made and unmade literary and stage reputations and his best essays on the theater were collected in Schauen und Spielen (1921). However, his own plays, from the anti-militarist Der Gemeine (1899) and the comedy Das staerkere Band (1912), to Louise von Koburg (1932), had no lasting success. Salten's novels were notable for their humor, satire, and eroticism. He also wrote novellas and essays such as Wiener Adel (1905), Das Burgtheater (1922), and Geister der Zeit (1924). His international fame rests on his best-known animal story, Bambi (1923), about a deer's life in the forest. This became a juvenile classic and was filmed by Walt Disney. Salten's Jewish interests came to the fore in his novel Simson (1928), and in essays about his visit to Palestine, Neue Menschen auf alter Erde (1925). In 1938 Salten left Austria for Hollywood but after World War ii settled in Zurich, Switzerland.


S.J. Kunitz (ed.), Twentieth Century Authors (1944), 1224; ibid., first supplement (1955), 860 (both incl. bibl.).

[Sol Liptzin]