Gender-Sexual Abjection, Subjectivity, and the Uncanny in Literature and Film
Chapter 3: Discipline, Sexual Complicity, and Queer Space in Robert Musil’s: Törleß
Chapter 3: Discipline, Sexual Complicity, and Queer Space in Robert Musil’s Törleß
Space is fundamental in any form of communal life; space is fundamental in any exercise of power. (Foucault, “Space, Knowledge, and Power” 361)
In Space, Time, and Perversion: Essays on the Politics of Bodies, Elizabeth Grosz poses questions crucial for this chapter’s examination of Robert Musil’s (1880–1942) novel Die Verwirrungen des Zöglings Törleß (1906, hereinafter Törleß).1 Grosz wonders what the effects might be if architecture and space were pondered from and to their outside. What might be revealed or made possible if space and its uses were conceptualized in a way that included the “outside,” that is, that which is beyond architecture? Grosz writes:
[T]exts [e.g., buildings] could … be read, used, as modes of effectivity and action which, at their best, scatter thoughts and images into different linkages or new alignments without necessarily destroying their materiality. Ideally, they produce unexpected intensities, peculiar sites of indifference, new connections with other objects, and thus generate affective and conceptual transformations that problematize, challenge, and move beyond existing intellectual and pragmatic frameworks. (126–27)
Expanding our understanding and the utility of architecture, space, and setting, in other words, allows these “texts” (or textual elements) to take on different responsibilities and capabilities, ones that move beyond their traditional functions. These additional attributes have added importance and cannot be forgotten or removed from an examination of even literary social...
You are not authenticated to view the full text of this chapter or article.
This site requires a subscription or purchase to access the full text of books or journals.
Do you have any questions? Contact us.Or login to access all content.