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O homem sem qualidades

4.25  ·  Rating Details ·  3,941 Ratings  ·  182 Reviews
Ulrich vive diversas experiências, viaja ao exterior e, às vésperas da Primeira Guerra Mundial, retorna a Viena. Convive com os mais diversos tipos humanos. Este romance-ensaio mostra a decadência dos valores vigentes até o início do século XX, marcando a perda de posição da Europa na decisão dos rumos políticos e econômicos mundiais.
Paperback, 1280 pages
Published 2006 by Nova Fronteira (first published 1930)
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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 quite high.

Musil's Ashes

In 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, al
A comic novel. A modern novel. A novel of ideas and more. This is without a doubt my favorite novel and one that both encapsulates and foreshadows the the development of the modern condition. Musil's scientific mind is able to present a humanistic view of the world of Ulrich and the rest of the characters that inhabit this novel. Continuously inventive and invigorating for the reader, the writing is so precise and the argument Musil makes about Ulrich and his situation so intricate that it is in ...more
Feb 15, 2017 Edward rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
The Man Without Qualities is an unusual novel. More a work of philosophy than fiction, the Socratic interactions of its two dozen or so characters provide the framework for Musil's philosophical investigations. These conversations, deep and varied in scope, are the fat formed about the scant bones of the ineffectual Parallel Campaign. The philosophical musings are usually quite abstract and esoteric, though sometimes a little (understandably) absorbed in the specific concerns of the time. Noneth ...more

He's a man without qualities!
And now you just run your mind over the sort of man he is. He always knows what to do. He can gaze into a women's eyes. He can exercise his intelligence efficiently on any given problem at any given moment. He can box. He is talented, strong-willed, unprejudiced. He has courage and he has endurance, he can go at things with a dash and he can be cool and cautious -- I have no intention of examining all this in detail, let him have all these qualities! For in the end
Darran Mclaughlin
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 o ...more
Apr 27, 2012 Maximilian rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I'm not one for superlatives, but this has to be the greatest novel I have ever read, hands down (even including the Brother's Karamazov - it is almost as if this book carried the former's concerns into the 20th century, evolving them in the process). The characters, situations and philosophical discussions have a level of complexity and observational depth that I have never before encountered, and at times I almost found it hard to grasp that such a work could have been written by a single huma ...more
Derek Davis
Jan 25, 2009 Derek Davis rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
This is a world masterpiece. Musil seems to me everything that Mann isn't: Totally engaged with humanity while at the same time a superb, highly nuanced commentator on his society, time and the human condition. I've also picked up the newer translation but haven't read it yet. If the big, soaring, grand, worldbeater novels, this may well be the best (well, Moby Dick?)
Mar 09, 2012 Vit rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
One of a few 'Six stars books' of modern literature (there are maybe three or five of them?). The ultimate work of western dualism. Armheim vs. Ulrich, Ulrich vs. Walter, Arnheim vs. Tuzzi, Diotima vs. Bonadea, General Stumm vs. Leinsdorf, Fischel vs. Hans Sepp, Kakania vs. Prussia. Reality vs. pseudoreality. Individual spirituality vs. regulated and intelligible morality.

This is the peak, or plateau, of European thought, just like Mahler is the romantic cream of the western Music. If you go thr
Ronan Fitzgerald
how do I review the greatest work of art of all time? how do I review a book that rubbishes the superlatives I would use to praise it? just buy this and set off on the journey through the 1100 pages.......
Kilburn Adam
Feb 11, 2013 Kilburn Adam rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: favourites
This review is for the Picador edition. translated by Shophie Wilkins and Burton Pike.

I don't know how people found books to read before the internet and Goodreads. Goodreads has been recommending me this book for a very long time. Finally I've managed to read it.

Anyway about the book:

This is posibilly the most accessible, inspiring, and influential philosophy book that I've read. It's also a novel. So it has a plot and characters. The book covers many concepts, themes, and ideas. Some of the t
Dec 09, 2015 Duc rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
This is a life changing work by a life changing author. Musil inspires without trying to inspire, is wise without preaching. In the mold of Aurelius, disguised as a novel, most of those hundreds of pages are quotable. Reminds me of Dostoevsky very much, but their styles are very different.

It is easy to see why his work was quickly forgotten after his death. A world races madly towards consumerism and self gratification, in the name of all sorts of ideologies, will not understand and genuinely ap
Shivani Radhakrishnan
probably the best novel i've ever read. genius.
This book is so inspiring, that I could rarely read more then a few pages at time. It gives you so much to think about. It is though very dense and therefore really is not an easy read. I find this book life changing.
Feb 11, 2013 George rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Best book I've ever read. Will probably come back to it again and again over the years. The way Ulrich conceives the world depicts the complexity of life and the tremendous effort required to dive into the depths of the human psyche. Musil lands a death blow on the deterministic way of looking at things.
Apr 10, 2014 Guy rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
From the first page one knows one is in the presence of a master story-teller, who will keep one keenly wondering what will happen next, and how he will next digress.

It is a book to savour, and I miss it keenly all the time that I'm not reading it. Musil reminds me of Proust in his range, whimsy and delight in life, and in the elegance of his style.It is also topical, as it depicts Austrian society (specifically Viennese society in the last days of the Habsburg Empire) on the eve of the First Wo
Seong Min
Oct 03, 2009 Seong Min rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
One of my favorite novels. Musil's magnum opus, the epitome of 20th-century literature, which shows to the limit what a novel can do.
Leo Robertson
Here’s a song for you.

The song is ‘Bros’ by Panda Bear, maybe you’ve heard of it. Anyway, have a wee listen to it now, a minute or so (or it'll make good background music while you read this review!) Okay, fine, it’s a breezy summery song, nothing too special. But did you hear the screaming, sobbing, racecar, owl hoots, or anything else that makes up the dense collection of samples? It’s blurry, messy, no two listens are alike. You pick up on different things each time. To me at least, listenin
David Bird
Aug 07, 2012 David Bird rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
When I came across this book in 1995, I had become very skeptical of the possibility of fiction expressing my worldview. Musil did.

In the grand competition for 'best novel ever' I would have to put this one just slightly behind Proust's In Search of Lost Time, but this one is closer to my heart.

Ulrich, the titular Man, dwells in a world that is in denial of its imminent collapse, Vienna before the first world war. It's not practical to summarize the plot, but it's also unnecessary. Musil manag
One of the forgotten classics of the 20th century and very probably the single best book about the lost world of late-imperial Vienna, about a world where nostalgia is as much about the future as the past, where all the new art and philosophy of the years just before 1914 are gently but relentlessly undermining civilized and genteel certainties. Finely written, delightfully ironic, slowly disturbing. This is very much the book you want to take with you to Vienna. Recommended absolutely.
Nessuna altra opera letteraria finora letta -e dubito che nessuna altra mai- ha avuto in me un effetto così travolgente come “l’uomo senza qualità”. Come ho già detto ad alcuni amici, leggere Musil è stata una palestra per i miei neuroni acciaccati. E quando vai in palestra per la prima volta dopo anni di inattività, ne esci per giorni con le ossa rotte, torni a casa indolenzita, hai voglia a fare massaggi e spalmare creme lenitive! Così è stato l’approccio con Musil: difficile, difficilissimo. ...more
Feb 02, 2009 David rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Blows your mind. Read it over a decade ago and still recovering. In a good way.
Tomas Ramanauskas
Aug 10, 2015 Tomas Ramanauskas rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: masterpiece
I’m always late, that’s why I’m discovering my favorite authors only in my 30s. Fante. Barth. Pessoa. Miller. McCarthy. Celine. And now - Robert Musil and his stupefyingly dense book “The Man Without Qualities”, so-called novel of ideas. It means, that no matter my best intentions to shower you in spoilers, 99% of it will remain unscathed.

The action here is like watercolour painting - hazy, obscure. Yet the battles in inland empires of characters are fierce. A kafkaesque trick is unfolding throu
James Kendley
Jul 11, 2011 James Kendley rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
This is an amazing window into the intellectual life of a world gone by. Brilliant, brilliant book that took weeks for me to read and will take years to digest.
Mar 02, 2013 Speranza rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: personal-library
Warning: Pathetic rambling gibberish to follow that does The Man Without Qualities no justice.

Finally! My sentence is over. This book kept me imprisoned for more than two months and I am now thrown back into the real world.
Prison is a strange place. It made my heart heavy, longing for the company of all those books running at large out there – piling up on my reader, staring at me seductively from my shelves, calling me from bookstore windows.

Yet, as much as I craved freedom, I found comfort be
Feb 22, 2012 Stephen rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I read the Picador volumes - I was in Japan at the time and I asked my late mother to send them - and I was so enraptured by the prose (in translation of course) and the content - there is so much going on, it is not just about the story - Musil was a philosopher. This work is in the league of the greatest 20th century novels, it is not a question of having to read it, it is just a question of when will you read it - and reread it.
Paul Adkin
May 21, 2012 Paul Adkin rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
A superb book. One of the greatest novels of all time.
Jun 03, 2015 Awrup rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
A novel, yet more than just a novel, spanning many themes. A mix of fiction, poetry, essays; fantasy, aphorism, philosophy, all rolled into one, a truly modern novel. Written at the cusp of the decline of empire and the modern era. A "polyhistorical" novel. Yet, it is an unfinished work. Musil stands only in the company of few, with this epic — its condensed expanse, to paraphrase Kundera, who incidentally led me to Musil, through The Art of Novel.
Jul 09, 2012 orsodimondo rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: austria, mitteleuropa
Non esistono stellette sufficienti per questo libro. Capolavoro. Grande tra i grandi.

L'ho letto e ripreso in mano più volte, leggendo qui e là, come un libro da consultazione.
Sentendomi Ulrich, e cercando la mia Agathe.

Musil è uno dei miei autori preferiti.
Mi chiedo se sarei riuscito a incontrarlo così presto e così positivamente se non ci fossero state le dritte dell'Alberto da Voghera?

Dec 19, 2014 James rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Long, continues my foray into Austria-Hungary. Novel of ideas seems contemporary at times with issues of consciousness and reality. Finished Volume 1 2/15/15 and checked out Volume 2 from Rockefeller Library on 2/17/15. Reading a book of criticism on novel. Finished Volume 2 on 4/3/15
Michael Greening
Please consider reading this book.
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Austrian writer.

He graduated military boarding school at Eisenstadt (1892-1894) and then Hranice, in that time also known as Mährisch Weißkirchen, (1894-1897). These school experiences are reflected in his first novel - The confusions of young Törless.

He served in army during World War I. When Austria became a part of the Third Reich in 1938, Musil left for exile in Switzerland, where he died of
More about Robert Musil...

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“The secret of a good librarian is that he never reads anything more of the literature in his charge than the title and the table of contents. Anyone who lets himself go and starts reading a book is lost as a librarian...He's bound to lose perspective.” 58 likes
“His appearance gives no clue to what his profession might be, and yet he doesn't look like a man without a profession either. Consider what he's like: He always knows what to do. He knows how to gaze into a woman's eyes. He can put his mind to any question at any time. He can box. He is gifted, strong-willed, open-minded, fearless, tenacious, dashing, circumspect—why quibble, suppose we grant him all those qualities—yet he has none of them! They have made him what he is, they have set his course for him, and yet they don't belong to him. When he is angry, something in him laughs. When he is sad, he is up to something. When something moves him, he turns against it. He'll always see a good side to every bad action. What he thinks of anything will always depend on some possible context—nothing is, to him, what it is: everything is subject to change, in flux, part of a whole, of an infinite number of wholes presumably adding up to a super-whole that, however, he knows nothing about. So every answer he gives is only a partial answer, every feeling an opinion, and he never cares what something is, only 'how' it is—some extraneous seasoning that somehow goes along with it, that's what interests him.” 46 likes
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