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Robert Musil's Works, 1906-1924

A Critical Introduction


Philip Payne

This study is a critical introduction to Musil's earlier literary works which have received less attention in the English-speaking world than his major novel, The Man without Qualities. Each work is examined as one attempt by Musil - an author both steeped in science and open to mysticism - to interpret the world, moreover, the intimate links between Musil's life and works, which are vital to an understanding of his approach to literature, are explored by reference to the author's diaries, letters and comments on his writings. Quotations are given both in German and in English translation.
Contents: Young Törless - A flawed novel, but one which introduces a new way with words - Unions - A critical analysis of the structure of the stories - The Enthusiasts - Literary high-explosive against a culture which this surveyor has condemned? - Three Women - Narrative bridges between science and the immediate existence of the individual.