Robert Musil


Born
in Klagenfurt, Austria
November 06, 1880

Died
April 15, 1942

Genre

Influences


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 The First World War. When Austria became a part of the Third Reich in 1938, Musil left for exile in Switzerland, where he died of a stroke on April 15, 1942. Musil collapsed in the middle of his gymnastic exercises and is rumoured to have died with an expression of ironic amusement on his face. He was 61 years old.

Average rating: 4.01 · 18,405 ratings · 1,196 reviews · 158 distinct worksSimilar authors
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4.24 avg rating — 5,191 ratings — published 1930 — 122 editions
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The Confusions of Young Tör...

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3.73 avg rating — 6,358 ratings — published 1906 — 187 editions
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The Man Without Qualities: ...

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4.36 avg rating — 2,574 ratings — published 1930 — 45 editions
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The Man Without Qualities: ...

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4.37 avg rating — 909 ratings — published 1933 — 43 editions
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Five Women

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3.73 avg rating — 877 ratings — published 1924 — 66 editions
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Der Mann ohne Eigenschaften...

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4.17 avg rating — 228 ratings — published 1930 — 14 editions
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Nachlaß zu Lebzeiten

4.09 avg rating — 273 ratings — published 1936 — 28 editions
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The Musil Diaries: Robert M...

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4.23 avg rating — 121 ratings9 editions
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Thought Flights

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4.25 avg rating — 104 ratings — published 2015 — 3 editions
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Flypaper

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3.80 avg rating — 118 ratings — published 1936 — 5 editions
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More books by Robert Musil…
The Man Without Qualities: ... The Man Without Qualities: ... The Man Without Qualities: ...
(3 books)
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4.36 avg rating — 3,610 ratings

“One must conform to the baseness of an age or become neurotic.”
Robert Musil

“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.”
Robert Musil, The Man Without Qualities

“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.”
Robert Musil, The Man Without Qualities

Polls

1st Quarter Long Read Classic Poll-January 2015

 
  19 votes, 34.5%

 
  10 votes, 18.2%

1973, Gravity's Rainbow by Thomas Pynchon, 776 pages
 
  7 votes, 12.7%

 
  6 votes, 10.9%

 
  5 votes, 9.1%

 
  5 votes, 9.1%

1957, Atlas Shrugged by Ayn Rand, 1168 pages
 
  2 votes, 3.6%

1995?, The Man Without Qualities by Robert Musil, 1774 pages
 
  1 vote, 1.8%

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