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August 06, 1995|CHARLES SOLOMON

THE SPELL OF THE VIENNA WOODS: Inspiration and Influence From Beethoven to Kafka by Paul Hoffmann (Henry Holt: $12.95; 260 pp.). Encompassing 540 square miles (five times the land area of all five boroughs of New York City), the Vienna Woods have inspired generations of artists and thinkers, including Freud, Beethoven, Mahler, Mozart, Kafka, Auden, Lehar and several Strausses. New York Times foreign correspondent Paul Hoffmann was born in Vienna, and he takes the reader on a nostalgic visit through these beloved forests, discussing history, describing vistas and offering personal anecdotes in a warm series of armchair mini-adventures.

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