This book argues that the problem of autonomy is central to the understanding of the literary and philosophical works of Hermann Broch. The book locates the origin of the problem of autonomy in Broch’s dialogue with contemporary Austrian thinkers in the early years of the twentieth century and traces the problem through his major literary works from
Die Schlafwandler to
Die Schuldlosen. Using a deconstructive approach, the book argues that the problem of autonomy in Broch’s works is best understood as a problem of writing: the inability of the written word fully to capture presence.