FREE READ ä Der Mann ohne Eigenschaften

CHARACTERS Der Mann ohne Eigenschaften

FREE READ ä Der Mann ohne Eigenschaften Ñ 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is the firsIn two elegant volumes is the first to present Musil's complete text including material that remained unpublished during his lifetim. “Revolutionary views I'm afraid I must admit that I’m by no means an out and out opponent of revolutionary views Short of an actual revolution of course”Even the outright reactionaries pretend to dig the new until the new starts breaking the old order of things And The Man Without ualities is groundbreaking in everything and in all directions It practically revolutionises an outlook at the entire existing order of things“The hospital aide clothed in lily white who with the help of acids thins out a patient’s stool in a white china dish in order to obtain a purple smear rubbing it until the right hue rewards her attention is already living whether she knows it or not in a world open to change than is the young lady who shudders at the sight of the same stuff in the street”Relativity and uncertainty principle rule in the world so everything depends on the vantage point and attitude of observer And even the simplest thing is always seen by different people differently “For the moment one begins to take anything no matter how foolish or tasteless seriously and puts oneself on its level it begins to reveal a rationale of its own the intoxicating scent of its love for itself its innate urge to play and to please”It’s exactly the way of the modern pop culture – it always attempts to lower any observer down to its vulgar level and to make one admire even the worst kitsch And it flourishes


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 skep. This book is huge in every respect It is a culmination and at the same time marks a decisive point in my reading life For the books from the same league as this one the bar is now set uite highMusil's AshesIn this special case I think I have to say something about the author and the way the book was published The novel remained fragmentary Robert Musil died of a stroke while working on the last part in April 1942 At this time he lived with his wife in exile in Switzerland near Geneva almost penniless and nearly forgotten Only 18 people attended his cremation before his wife scattered the ashes of her husband in a forest His books were banned in Germany since 1933 and also in his native country Austria after the Anschluss in 1938 Although the Musils just barely came to make ends meet and had to live on charity he continued to write on his Magnus Opus The first volume was published in 1930 The second volume 1933 appeared only half because Musil had withdrawn a part of the manuscript but the publisher still wanted something to sell The third volume appeared posthumously in 1943 initially in a rushed version compiled by Martha Musil which was later November 1952 revised and updated by Musil admirer and archivist Adolf Frisé That's the one I read All this was possible because Robert Musil had produced an extraordinary bundle of 12000 sheets with 100000 notes chapter drafts and cross references Approximately 75 of the total of 270 chapters at the end of the novel are thus marked as draft early draft or study These chapters still carry a copyright the rest about 70% of the novel don't and are therefore to buy in many different versions at least as an e book for small money I have started with a cheap Kindle version but then uickly switched to a hardcover 5th edition 1960 to be able to actually read everything of this fascinating workThe PlotWhat is the book about It's set mainly in Vienna in the period from summer 1913 to the July crisis in 1914 The Austrian Emperor Franz Joseph I will celebrate his 70th jubilee in 1918 For this occasion the so called Parallel Action is started Representatives of all social groups are expected to contribute ideas on how this festive event can be celebrated Among this group is Ulrich the titular man without ualities who after military service and studies in the fields of engineering mathematics philosophy and psychology want to take a year long vacation from life doing basically nothing Ulrich makes a large impression on the group with his profound and philosophical thoughts One sentence about him sums up his character at least as far as the first part of the novel goes Alles was Ulrich im Lauf der Zeit Essayismus und Möglichkeitssinn und phantastische im Gegensatz zur pedantischen Genauigkeit genannt hatte die Forderungen daß man Geschichte erfinden müßte daß man Ideen statt Weltgeschichte leben sollte daß man sich dessen was sich nie ganz verwirklichen läßt zu bemächtigen und am Ende vielleicht so zu leben hätte als wäre man kein Mensch sondern bloß eine Gestalt in einem Buch von der alles Unwesentliche fortgelassen ist damit sich das übrige magisch zusammenschließe – alle diese in ihrer ungewöhnlichen Zuspitzung wirklichkeitsfeindlichen Fassungen die seine Gedanken angenommen hatten besaßen das Gemeinsame daß sie auf die Wirklichkeit mit einer unverkennbaren schonungslosen Leidenschaft einwirken wollten Everything that Ulrich had called over time essayism and the sense of possibility as opposed to the pedantic accuracy the demands that you should have to invent history that you should live ideas rather than world history that you should seize which can never be uite realized and perhaps to live at the end not like a human but merely like a character from a book omitted from all non essential to ensure that the rest magically comes together all these in their unusual worsening reality hostile versions that had adopted his thoughts had this in common that they wanted to act on reality with an unmistakable relentless passiontranslated by meUlrich's settings will change later on after he's reunited with his long lost sister AgatheStyle and Meta StyleMusil's view on the early 20th century is always precise his diction stringent literary and often satiricalironic The prose is dense in many places which has repeatedly forced me to take brakes from reading to process the material There is no coherent plot actually The narrative is repeatedly interrupted and gives the impression of volatility especially in the second part The style is essayistic and is also called a novel of ideas Musil drives these things to extremes – deliberately The search for ideas he lets the protagonists make themselves Essayism is Ulrich's preferred form of expression and he even says so himself The volatility reflects the state of the society and is found as a theme in the plot I find this approach pretty awesome although I have to admit that readers can also be put off by itMore themes peopleThere are so many themes in this book that it's impossible to name them all and hard to pick the right ones Maybe it's enough if I just list the most serious terms here Any of these topics is treated or less in detail whether by the characters or in the above mentioned essay like fashionTruth vs PossibilityLunacy vs NormalityIngenuity Soul and SpiritScience and MysticismEmotions Instincts LoveLogic and MindLanguage Words and the lack thereofNot often but several times etymological considerations about the respective German words are made How to translate this is beyond meThere is an illustrious cast of additional characters around Ulrich representing all walks of life Many of them I will remember for a long time A lunatic murderer a count a salon lady a Jewish banker a Nietzscheian philosopher an Aryan hooligan and many One of my favorite characters is General Stumm von Bordwehr who is anything but stumm German for mute I mention him because he is as far as I know the only one who reappears in another book by another autor Die Hochzeit der Einhörner The wedding of the unicorns The list of real people who appear in The Man Without ualities is also uite long Archimedes Strindberg Murillo Clausewitz Dalai Lama Velázuez Swedenborg Dostojewski Drake Franz von Assisi Nietzsche Flaubert Homer Balzac van Helmont Fichte Goethe Tolstoi Stendal Claudius Maeterlinck Michelangelo Novalis Bismarck Rosegger Platon Raffael Rilke Emerson Chamberlain Lagerlöf Freud Mann van Gogh Raleigh ZarathustraThe Writer's workshopLike I said the last 30% of the novel contain merely chapters with drafts and studies although what Musil calls a draft some authors would be lucky to have as a final version I like this part of the novel for two reasons The reader can sneak a peek at the writer's workshop Some early drafts and studies unveil Musil's thought processes pretty clearly This I find most fascinating The other reason is that the actual story somehow withers Although unintentional this reflects the state of the pre war society in a way Everything kind of falls apart but no one actually cares too much while Europe slithers into the seminal catastropheIn my edition there is also an addendum with additional fragments early studies so called sheets of ideas unpublished forewords afterwords and a short CV Those are also very interesting to read and I even consider to buy Musil's complete work on CD ROM the Klagenfurter Ausgabe which will hopefully be published this year and will contain everything Musil has ever written and even includes facsimiles of his hand written notesThe Magic MountainI don't remember how this book found me and when I started it I had no idea what to expect Reading this huge book was like climbing a mountain a magic mountain as it turned out to be There are steep sections and shallow ones there are all kinds of things to marvel at along the way If you don't rush it take some brakes breathe you'll eventually get to the top and the view from there is terrific Comparing the book to a magic mountain is not accidental I read Thomas Mann's novel not too long ago and I liked it very much but I have to say it pales in comparison to Musil's work although both books have a lot in common too Thomas Mann said about Musil in 1939»Es gibt keinen anderen lebenden deutschen Schriftsteller dessen Nachruhm mir so gewiß ist«»There is no other living German writer whose posthumous fame is as certain to me«translated by meUnfortunately this prophesy didn't work out for Musil But it should haveUpdate 101215I just learned that work on the above mentioned Klagenfurter Ausgabe has been canceled It's said to be replaced by an open access portal called Musil Online in autumn 2016We shall see This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution NonCommercial ShareAlike 30 Unported License

Robert Musil ½ 1 FREE READ

Der Mann ohne EigenschaftenTic who finds himself drafted into the grandiose plans for the 70th jubilee of the Emperor Franz Josef This new translation published. This is the greatest demonstration of human thought I have ever encountered It demonstrates that the novel can be the best method for deciphering and analysing the human condition and the nature of existence that we have over and above philosophy history politics psychology sociology or any other ology you care to mention His range is breathtaking encompassing the intellect the erotic and the spiritual he is funny and at times sublime and his prose is perfection If you are the kind of person who feels an urge to take on the big beasts of the novel such as Moby Dick Ulysses War and Peace or Don uixote for god's sake read this Anyone who finishes this book will know that they have had one of the most rewarding and important experiences of their cultural life