The Man Without Qualities Vol. 1 by Robert Musil
A Sort of Introduction and Pseudo Reality Prevails

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Synopsis

Set in Vienna on the eve of World War I, this great novel of ideas tells the story of Ulrich, ex-soldier and scientist, seducer and skeptic, who finds himself drafted into the grandiose plans for the 70th jubilee of the Emperor Franz Josef. This new translation--published in two elegant volumes--is the first to present Musil's complete text, including material that remained unpublished during his lifetime.
 

About Robert Musil

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Robert Musil (1880-1942) was born in Austria. A lifelong journalist and writer, Musil was a war correspondent during World War I. He is best known for his dark, haunting, ironic and utopian prose style, showcased in his major works, The Man Without Qualities and Confusions of Young Torless. Burton Pike is Professor Emeritus of Comparative Literature and German at CUNY. He co-translated Musil 's "The Man without Qualities" and Rilke 's novel "The Notebooks of Malte Laurids Brigge". His translations have appeared in numerous periodicals.
 
Published December 9, 1996 by Vintage. 752 pages
Genres: Literature & Fiction. Fiction

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Kirkus Reviews

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In 1932, Musil wrote in a notebook about this never-ending project: ``What the story that makes up this novel amounts to is that the story that was supposed to be told in it is not told.'' The closest thing to a human protagonist is Ulrich, the so-called man without qualities, a skeptic who views...

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The Guardian

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for example, Musil writes, "What it really came to always was that Diotima began talking as though God had on the seventh day put man, like a pearl, into the shell of the world, and Ulrich then reminded her that mankind was a little heap of dots on the outermost crust of a midget globe."

Jun 17 2006 | Read Full Review of The Man Without Qualities Vol...

Publishers Weekly

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This edition of Musil's classic modernist novel features the complete text in a new translation, as well as extensive supplementary material.

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London Review of Books

The only women Ulrich is allowed by the book – allows himself – to make love with are intensely physical beings: Leona – ‘provocatively lifeless’ Leona – and Bonadea, the nymphomaniac wife of a judge.

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