Las tribulaciones del estudiante Törless
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Las tribulaciones del estudiante Törless

3.75 of 5 stars 3.75  ·  rating details  ·  2,549 ratings  ·  147 reviews
Sin duda la obra más popular de Musil, autor también de "El hombre sin atributos", describe el ambiente asfixiante y hermético de una escuela militar, en un momento histórico y social en que el ejército y el cuerpo marcial constituían no sólo el mayor motivo de orgullo sino también la máxima expresión patriótica. La formación y disciplinamiento de los jóvenes, y su adoctri...more
Paperback, 206 pages
Published March 2nd 2002 by Seix Barral (first published 1906)
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mark monday
 photo vlcsnap-2011-01-16-15h28m48s110_zps8e98814b.png

the place is an exclusive all-boys boarding school in Austria. the time is the turn of the 19th century. three boys: Törless, Beineberg, and Reiting. Reiting is an amiable, energetic sort; his aggressive nature is balanced by his charm and ease in the world. Beineberg is an anti-intellectual intellectual; much like his father, he yearns to be a mystic. in Törless, still waters run deep and much of the material world holds little interest for him; contemplation and melancholy are his hallmarks....more
Emilian Kasemi


T.S. Eliot wrote: "we corrupt our feelings with ideas; we produce the public, the political, the emotional idea, evading sensation and thought."

I want to say just a few things about this book because I don't feel I could write a proper review to this one for some motives:
1. I really didn't care about the plot: military school, nasty boys away from home and from mommy.
2. I really hated these mommy's boys, very unlikable characters.
3. This don't have so much to do with The catcher in the rye a...more
Joselito Honestly and Brilliantly
The New York Times Book Review was supposed to have said that this novel, published in 1906, was a chilling foreshadowing of the coming of Nazism. That, I feel, was a bit of a stretch.

Four young men in an all-boys military school in Austria, maybe sometime the start of 20th century. Torless, with his heavy philosophical musings, and around whom the story is built; Basini, weak and victimized; Beineberg, the mad (silly, to me) mystic; and Reiting, the manipulator who revels on torture. At the sid...more
Jimmy
The Confusions of Young Torless is an incredible book, reminiscent at times of Rilke in its ability to wrestle with complex spiritual and psychological themes. Reading this book was like constantly trying to grasp something slightly abstract, slightly out of reach, though very human and real and rooted in language. This is an ambitious (though short) book, an extremely thoughtful and difficult read.

Maybe it is fitting that the book is so hard to describe, since one of its main themes is the inef...more
Greg
More satisfying than the 1960's film version. It goes beyond being just a prophetic look at the fascist undercurrents already in Germany at the beginning of the 20th century to a more radical look at the way that rationality can lead to a fascination with barbarity.
AC
I found this book exceedingly difficult - torturously so - and repellent. I recognize that it is a significant work, of course..., but the mind in diagnosis here is unrelievedly ill.
Lee
3.5 rounded up? Close third-person portrait of the artist as an adolescent exposed to proto-Nazi homoerotic brutality at an all-boys boarding school. Opaque philosophizing characteristic of a sensitive intelligent teen makes this way longer than 217 pages. Note that these are, per the title, '"Confusions," not "Confessions" (my copy was only called "Young Torless"). Observations about artistic/intuitive emotional responses beyond rationality (ie, Kant, mathematics) occasionally clearly rang insi...more
Ethan
A dark, dense, compelling read. It's simultaneously about the intrigues and backstabbing that goes on at an elite German military academy (think a much smarter all-male version of Cruel Intentions) mixed with a dense and complex look at a young boy trying to make sense of the world, his emotions, sexuality, philosophy, and pretty much everything else in life. The author tries to communicate the title character's inner state, including all the feelings that he does not have words to describe. Tha...more
James
Robert Musil is one of my favorite authors and his story of Young Torless, published in 1906, is one reason. The novel reflects an obsession in this period with educational institutions and the oppressive impact they exert on personal development. While it is in the tradition of the German Bildungsroman, the novel of education, it is critical of educational system and the institutionalized coercion portrayed in the novel. In my reading experience I compared it with the experience of Philip Carey...more
Mr.
The Confusions of Young Torless is a novel about a young and thoughtful boy who is thrown into the world of a private military school where violence and sexual aggression are the norm. He becomes acquainted with a local prostitute through his school friends and engages in intercourse with her despite his apparent homosexuality. The novel is filled with sexual confusion (hence the title), and sadism. Musil has constructed an awkwardly Nietzschean exploration of human morality, gender roles, and p...more
Lavinia
Such a generous subject but such a boring book. And now, as some1 around here said, I can reply to: "Have you read Musil's famous ?" with: "No, but I read his very first book. Have you?" :D
I'm almost sure I would have enjoyed it better if it had been written in the 1st person (I even liked Zeno more while reading Torless). The poetic (sometimes pathetic) language lost me. And all those philosophical perorations! Coming of age was never duller! I choose The catcher in the rye and The adventures o...more
Kevin Lawrence
Had I read this book 20-25 years ago, I think I would have been absolutely enthralled by all its sensuality mixed with Nietzschean gloss; but (at the risk of aging myself significantly), as someone now well into my middle age, I found this book excellent but more than a bit adolescent. Its fascination with sadism is done sincerely well, but I couldn't help but wish a certain psychological levity were eventually brought to bear. Sex seems so complex to the young; but then it becomes exciting refl...more
Jonathan
The blurb on the back of my Picador copy says that 'Törless is drawn into the vicious brutalities of his fellow cadets in the secret attic that provides a torture chamber for sadistic homosexual ritual.' Given that the book was first published in 1906 I wasn't sure what to expect; I thought most of the 'horrors' would be implied rather than related explicitly; and it is to a certain extent but it still packs a punch, so be warned - this is not Tom Brown's School Days.

The book begins with Törless...more
Adam Floridia
4.5/5

One of those books that demands extensive marginal annotation on nearly every page and certainly deserves a proper review...for now (optimistically) pending...


Now, five months later: Since it appears that I never returned to write a proper review, go read this one. It's better than anything I would have written by a long shot!

André Benjamim
Quando li As perturbações do pupilo Törless, de Robert Musil, ainda o título era O Jovem Törless. Também a tradução era outra, de 1987, da Editora Livros do Brasil, feita por João Filipe Ferreira. Depois publicaram-se as obras completas de Robert Musil, nas Publicações Dom Quixote, com traduções da responsabilidade de João Barrento. O título As perturbações do pupilo Törless é mais fiel ao título original e ao conteúdo da obra; contudo prefiro o título O Jovem Törless. Preferiria até que o títul...more
Megan
If I'd been studying this book for a class, I would have seen it very differently. According to the back of the book, this is supposed to be a metaphor for the state of events in Europe that lead to WWI and the rise of fascism. For me, it was a study of a 12 or 13-year old boy (I'm guessing) and his peers who are each trying to sort out his emerging sexuality in the cold environment of an elite boarding school. As a story, I liked it. I liked the plot. I also give it credit for being so open abo...more
Roxy Shooshani
I am thirty pages into it and never want to stop reading it and never stop thinking about it is all i can say so far.

Okay. I just finished it. Absolutely brilliant book. I couldn't put it down. It was never boring. I loved it. I have too much to say but will pause to say it all until after we discuss the novel in class on Tuesday...

**Erm, okay** I completely forgot to do this. It is quite a bit later...and I am still not sure how to sum up this book for you. You know the Oedipus Complex? I would...more
Eliana Rivero
Tardé mucho en comentar este libro porque realmente, no sé qué decir. Me gustó y me recordó un poco a "Demian" de Hesse. El pobre Törless está en un instituto en dónde empieza a filosofar sobre la vida y sobre los compañeros y profesores que lo rodean, todo esto, a raíz de una serie de sucesos que no le importan pero no puede dejar de estar involucrado.

Hay mucha reflexión filosófica, matemática y religiosa-orientalista para tratar de explicar de qué estamos hechos, de qué forma queremos vivir, y...more
Evan
Musil is fantastic, and this was his "immature" work before embarking on the magnificent endless journey of Man Without Qualities-- the unfinished novel that is one of the best novels I've ever read. The present work is a psychological portrait of a young man working out what he believes within the community of a posse of intellectually and socially ruthless peers. Much of the story concerns the relationship between Torless' little "gang" and an effeminate classmate who puts himself in a comprom...more
Olive
Milan Kundera mentionne dans L'Art du roman que Robert Musil fait (ainsi que Broch) «entrer sur la scène du roman une intelligence souveraine et rayonnante».

Dans ce roman, le protagoniste est celui qui cherche. Tel un herméneute, il veut comprendre le sens, ou du moins le trouver, il cherche ni plus, ni moins que la Révélation du monde. Sa méthode : l'introspection. S'il passe beaucoup de temps dans sa tête, il découvrira aussi par le biais de son corps le désir charnel ainsi que la cruauté. Ma...more
Wendy Kobylarz-Chouvarda
This is 160-page book. I'm struggling through it for a week; have recently gotten to page 90. If I didn't have to read this for school, it would be gone so fast. Particularly the part where two students wax philosophical about MATH. Could anything be more boring?

....finished this a couple days after I posted the above. That was a few days ago from now and I can't tell you that I remember much of anything except that it was disturbing in its depiction of violence among boys in military boarding...more
Julia Boechat Machado
“Pois a primeira paixão adolescente não é amor por uma pessoa, e sim ódio a todas as pessoas. Sentir-se incompreendido e não compreender o mundo não é efeito de sua primeira paixão, mas sua causa. A paixão é apenas um refúgio, no qual estar com o outro significa solidão dupla.
Quase sempre a primeira paixão pouco perdura e deixa um ressaibo amargo. Trata-se de um logro, uma decepção. Quando ela passa, não compreendemos como fomos capazes de tudo aquilo, nem sabemos a quem culpar. Isso acontece po...more
Cooper Renner
Just today (3-14-13) I finished rereading Young Torless. It's much stronger than I recall from the first reading almost 3 years ago, and much more open/graphic/nonsensationalist about the sexual nature of some of the torment/bullying going on at the military academy where it's set, sometime in the late 19th century. It's a book that pierces into the adolescent male psychology in a more thoughtful and philosophical way than Lord of the Flies, but in a manner which is almost, at least psychologica...more
Disarticulate
The cover of my edition of 'The Confusions of Young Törless' has a brooding self-portrait of Egon Schiele as its cover. This is a brilliant choice for the book's artwork given both Schiele and Musil are both Austrian and near contemporaries but also the raw, expressionistic power that Schiele's work possesses is apparent in Musil's novel.

The greatest passages in the book harness this ineffable power when describing Törless' inner turmoil, in hallucinatory detail. However there are long analytica...more
J.M. Hushour
Adolescents at a posh boarding school in the fin de siecle Austro-Hungary Empire for future aristocrats ritualistically torment and rape one of their fellow students. Not a cheery book, "Torless" manages to combine all the requisite, stupid philosophic meanderings that mark both a debut novel and a novel about future aristocrat student-rapists with a cunning black bleakness that is Musil through and through. The latter is developed to a degree of godliness in "The Man Without Qualities", but her...more
Hakan Yaman
Genç Törless, yazıldığı dönemin tabularını yıkan bir roman. İçinde otobiyografik unsurlar da taşıyor. Robert Musil, kendisinden Törless'i, okuldaki bazı arkadaşlarından da romanın diğer kahramanlarını, Beineberg, Reiting ve Basini'yi yaratmış. Muhtemeldir ki bir görünüp kaybolan fahişe Bozena da yine Musil'in ilk gençlik anılarını süsleyen figürlerden biri. Genç Törless'in aynı yıllarda yazılan, Robert Walser’in “Jakob von Gunten”i gibi benzer okul romanlarından farklı oluşu, Musil'in, çağdaşı F...more
Risa
Jul 25, 2008 Risa rated it 4 of 5 stars  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: those with latent military boarding school fantasies
Recommended to Risa by: required
I read this for a German class. Only read this if you enjoy young males trying to enchant each other sexually through verbal and physical abuse with a dash of faked mysticism thrown in. It's like Lord of The Flies in a turn of the century German boarding school. Totally hot, totally wrong.
Kate
I only read this book so that when people talked about "The Man Without Qualities," I could casually say, "Oh, did you read his earlier work, 'The Confusions of Young Torless'?" 'Cause obvs, I am never going to get around to reading "The Man Without Qualities."
Michael
Dec 12, 2007 Michael rated it 5 of 5 stars  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: mathmaticians, boys
Shelves: dead
an all-boys boarding school deep somewhere in the prussian empire. power hierarchy is created by bullying through rape and mental humiliation. searing and alive. one of the best books ever.prefaced most of 20th century modern lit.
Núria
Creo que leí este libro cuando aún no estaba preparada para hacerlo. Y aún así me impresionó. Tengo que releerlo porque estoy convencida que ahora aún me impresionará/gustará más.
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16747
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
More about Robert Musil...
The Man Without Qualities The Man Without Qualities Vol. 1: A Sort of Introduction and Pseudo Reality Prevails The Man Without Qualities, Vol. 2: Into the Millennium Five Women Drei Frauen

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“Es gibt immer einen Punkt dabei, wo man nicht mehr weiß, ob man lügt oder ob das, was man erfunden hat, wahrer ist als man selber.” 5 likes
“The feeling of not being understood and of not understanding the world is no mere accompaniment of first passion, but its sole non-accidental cause. And the passion itself is a panic-stricken flight in which being together with the other means only a doubled solitude.” 4 likes
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