Felix Salten (6 September 1869 – 8 October 1945) was an Austro-Hungarian author and critic, best known for his novel “Bambi.” Born Siegmund Salzmann in Pest, Austria-Hungary, to Fülöp Salzmann and Maria Singer, he moved to Vienna as an infant. His early life in Vienna, post his father’s bankruptcy, saw Salten quitting school at sixteen to work for an insurance agency while pursuing his literary interests.

Salten became an integral part of the “Young Vienna” movement, contributing as an art and theater critic to various Viennese publications. He authored numerous works across different genres, including plays, novels, and essays. In 1927, he succeeded Arthur Schnitzler as president of the Austrian P.E.N. club. However, his most enduring work remains “Bambi,” published in 1923 and later adapted into a famous Disney animated film in 1942. Salten sold the film rights for a modest sum, not foreseeing its future success.

With the rise of Nazism, Salten, a Jew, found life increasingly perilous in Austria. His books were banned in Germany in 1936, and following Austria’s annexation by Germany, he relocated to Zurich, Switzerland. Salten passed away in Zurich in 1945 and was survived by his wife, actress Ottilie Metzl, and two children. Interestingly, Salten, an avid hunter, is also considered the probable author of the erotic novel “Josephine Mutzenbacher,” published anonymously in 1906.

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  • 1942: Good Comrades by Felix Salten, translated by Paul R. Milton

    Good Comrades is a novel written by Felix Salten, which tells the story of a group of animals living in a forest during World War II. The animals, including a deer, a rabbit, a fox, and a badger, must band together to survive the dangers of the war and protect their home from destruction. The novel explores themes of friendship, loyalty, and the impact of war on innocent creatures.

    The novel is a classic example of anthropomorphism, as the animals are given human-like qualities and personalities. Salten’s vivid descriptions of the forest and its inhabitants create a rich and immersive world for readers to explore. The translation by Paul R. Milton captures the essence of Salten’s original work and makes it accessible to English-speaking audiences. Good Comrades is a heartwarming and thought-provoking tale that will appeal to readers of all ages.