Robert Musil - book author
He graduated military boarding school at Eisenstadt (1892-1894) and then Hranice, in that time also known as Mährisch Weißkirchen, (1894-1897). These school experiences are reflected in his first novel - The confusions of young Törless.
He served in army during The First World War. When Austria became a part of the Third Reich in 1938, Musil left for exile in Switzerland, where he died of a stroke on April 15, 1942. Musil collapsed in the middle of his gymnastic exercises and is rumoured to have died with an expression of ironic amusement on his face. He was 61 years old.
Robert Musil is the author of books: The Man Without Qualities, The Confusions of Young Törless, The Man Without Qualities: Volume I, The Man Without Qualities: Volume II, Five Women, Thought Flights, Der Mann ohne Eigenschaften I: Erstes und zweites Buch, Nachlaß zu Lebzeiten, The Musil Diaries: Robert Musil, 1899-1942, Flypaper
The recent translations of The Man Without Qualities and Musil's Diaries have shown why the Austrian writer is often thought of as Germanic literature's Proust, and this newly translated English version of his five hefty stories demonstrates that the novelist's work in shorter fiction also bears his distinctive iconoclastic, bold signature. Opening the volume are a trio of tales, two of which, "Grigia" and "Tonka," investigate the sexuality of peasant women. Musil's cerebral style seamlessly executes his explorations of the mind/body duality, the ways society and intellectual life affect, but do not eradicate, the truth of the carnal body. His attitudes toward femininity oscillate between fear, disenchantment and adoration, and in stories written over 75 years ago, this range of perception will be tantalizing for readers who value innovative classics. (From Publishers Weekly)
The texts presented here have been selected by translator Genese Grill from Musil's 'Nachlass' and collected for the first time under the title 'Thought Flights'. They include material originally published in journals, newspapers, and magazines--but not included in Musil's Posthumous Papers of a Living Author--as well as literary fragments and heretofore unpublished texts. Despite the temporal, geographical, and cultural distance between Musil's world and ours, our own time and troubles are all too recognizable in Musil's portrayals of the ' age of money,' of simulation, and of standardization. Thought Flights is a lament of contemporary complacency, optimism, and homogenization as well as a celebration of living words and original thought by one of the great Modernists if the 20th century.
As an astonishing master of metaphor and self-described 'monsieur le vivisecteur', Musil explores the psyches and lives of himself and his contemporaries with illuminating insight. The lucid, striking prose of his stories and vignettes, and the wise and witty commentary of his glosses, show Musil's response to innovations in technology, art and politics, and his efforts to enact a strategy for both illuminating and ameliorating the crisis of language that haunted his contemporaries. Moving effortlessly from discussions of fashion to Kant's categorical imperative, 'le vivisecteur' writes with humor, lyricism, and fervor in an open genre availing itself of poetic prose, philosophical essay, fictional narrative, and feuilletonistic lightness. Through unlikely combinations and metaphoric syntheses, Musil brings " beauty and excitement" into the world, and when things that are usually separate unite, thoughts "fly".
With this publication, the now growing English-language corpus of the author of 'The Confusions of Young Toerless', 'Five Women', and 'The Man without Qualities' is expanded further. Other volumes of Musil's writings will be forthcoming from Contra Mundum Press over the next decade.
Im Mann ohne Eigenschaften passiert nur wenig. Aber es wird unendlich viel gedacht im Buch, und am Ende wird sogar noch intensiv gefühlt: In der Geschwisterliebe Ulrichs zu Agathe realisiert sich die Utopie eines "anderen Zustands" jenseits der absurden Welt. Hierfür findet der Mann ohne Eigenschaften dann poetisch präzise Bilder ohne intellektuelle Schwere, so in meinem Lieblingskapitel Atemzüge eines Sommertags: "Die Sonne war unterdessen höher gestiegen, die Stühle hatten sie wie gestrandete Boote in dem flachen Schatten beim Haus zurückgelassen. Ein geräuschloser Strom glanzlosen Blütenschnees schwebte, von einer abgeblühten Baumgruppe kommend, durch den Sonnenschein; und der Atem, der ihn trug, war so sanft, daß sich kein Blatt regte. Kein Schatten fiel davon auf das Grün des Rasens, aber dieses schien sich von innen zu verdunkeln wie ein Auge". Gäbe es nur diese wunderschöne Stelle, so hätte sich die Lektüre der weit über 1000 vorangegangenen Seiten schon gelohnt. --Thomas Köster