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Robert Musil (1880 - 1942)

Lifespan: 1880 - 1942

Related: German literature - Modernist literature

The Man Without Qualities (1921-1942) - Robert Musil [Amazon.com] [FR] [DE] [UK]


Robert Musil (Klagenfurt, Austria, November 6, 1880 – April 15, 1942 in Geneva, Switzerland) was an Austrian writer, author of the unfinished long novel The Man Without Qualities (in German, Der Mann ohne Eigenschaften), one of the most important modernist novels.

The novel deals with the moral and intellectual decline of the Austro-Hungarian Empire through the eyes of the book's protagonist Ulrich, an ex-mathematician who has failed to engage with the world around him in a manner that would allow him to possess 'qualities'. It takes as its setting Vienna on the eve of World War I. Musil served as an officer in the Austro-Hungarian army at the front between 1914 - 1918. --http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Robert_Musil [May 2006]

The Man Without Qualities (1921-1942) - Robert Musil

The Man without Qualities (German original title: Der Mann ohne Eigenschaften) is a novel in three books by the Austrian novelist and essayist Robert Musil.

The main issue of the "story of ideas", which takes place in the time of Austria-Hungarian monarchy's last days, is the need of preserving the order in a shaken world (never considering the fact that World War I would start in a couple of months).

The German-language title is a pun on the phrase Mann mit Eigenschaften—literally "man with qualities"—equivalent to the English-language phrase "self-made man". --http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/The_Man_Without_Qualities [May 2006]

See also: 1941 - modernist literature - qualities

Der Junge Törless/Young Toerless (1966) - Volker Schlöndorff

Der Junge Törless/Young Toerless (1966) - Volker Schlöndorff [Amazon.com] [FR] [DE] [UK]

Academy Award(tm)-winning director Volker Schlöndorff (The Tin Drum) won the International Critics Award at Cannes for his first feature, a chilling allegory of war-time oppression. Set at a military boarding school at the turn of the century, the shy and intelligent Toerless wants to report the humiliation and torture of a fellow classmate, but remains silent when the others threaten to name him as an accomplice. This mind blowing psychological thriller contains striking performances - including one by Barbara Steele, the sultry queen of Italian cult Horror.

Der junge Törless (Young Törless) is a 1966 German movie directed by Volker Schlöndorff adapted from the autobiographical novel Die Verwirrungen des Zöglings Törless by Robert Musil dealing with the sadistic and homoerotic tendencies of a group of boys at an Austrian military academy at the beginning of the 20th century.

When Thomas Törless (Mathieu Carrière) arrives at the academy, his interest is soon piqued by the apparently homosexual Anselm von Basini (Marian Seidowsky), who, after having been caught stealing by fellow student Reiting (Fred Dietz), becomes Reiting's "slave", bowing to Reiting's sadistic rituals. Törless follows their relationship with intellectual interest but without emotional involvement.

Also partaking in these sessions is Beineberg (Bernd Tischer), with whom Törless visits Bozena (Barbara Steele), the local prostitute. Again, Törless is aloof and more intrigued than excited by the woman.

When Basini and Törless are left alone in the academy, Törless sleeps with Basini, though he later decides it was just an experiment.

After Basini is nearly lynched by a mob because of one of Reiting's intrigues, Törless, having completed the transition from youth to adult, takes his life in his own hands for the first time and leaves the academy. --http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Der_junge_T%F6rless [Feb 2005]

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