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The Man Without Qualities

by Robert Musil

Other authors: See the other authors section.

Series: The Man Without Qualities (undifferentiated)

MembersReviewsPopularityAverage ratingMentions
453738,542 (4.39)75
It is 1913, and Viennese high society is gripped by a mission to find an appropriate way of celebrating the seventieth jubilee of the accession of Emperor Franz Josef. But as the aristocracy tries to salvage something illustrious out of the collapse of the Austro-Hungarian Empire, the ordinary Viennese world is beginning to show signs of more serious rebellion. Caught in the middle of this social labyrinth is Ulrich: youngish, rich, an ex-soldier, seducer and scientist.Unable to deceive himself that the jumble of attributes and values that his world has bestowed on him amounts to anything so innate as a 'character', he is effectively a man 'without qualities', a brilliant, detached observer of the spinning, racing society around him. Part satire, part visionary epic, part intellectual tour de force, The Man Without Qualities is a work of immeasurable importance.… (more)
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» See also 75 mentions

English (3)  Italian (2)  French (1)  Spanish (1)  All languages (7)
Showing 3 of 3
An AMAZING book. This is one of the finest novels, of its time, that I've ever come across. You go into depth into the minds of the characters, their philosophies, feelings, and situations. Musil brings Vienna to life, with all its tribulations, mysteries, and intrigues. Furthermore, he establishes the characters with such a strong base that they are vivid and lifelike. A truly magnificent novel that touches on so much and that I believe is still highly relevant today. This is not one to be missed.

4.5 stars- and FULLY deserved. ( )
1 vote DanielSTJ | Jul 19, 2019 |
(Per un commento più utile rivolgersi altrove, io sono stupefatto da questo libro che reputo uno dei motivi per cui sono contento di essere al mondo!)
Mi spiace per quelli che non sono riusciti a sintonizzarsi. SI SONO PROPRIO PERSI QUALCOSA! ;-)
Sicuramente però mi sembra più probabile che sia un problema loro (e, pensandoci un po' di più, avrebbero potuto soppesare maggiormente le parole prima di stroncare questo libro come un Baricco qualsiasi) che non di Musil che con quest'opera è entrato nel Pantheon della letteratura mondiale di tutti i tempi. ( )
  downisthenewup | Aug 17, 2017 |
My first shot at TMWQ was almost twenty years ago. Fifty pages into it I knew it was my kind of book. One hundred pages in and I was losing my way. I put it aside for later. Returning to it a couple of years later, the experience was identical. And the patern continued again and again with the passage of time; each times I abandoned it, but not definitively. I had the feeling it was a book that could please me a lot. Here’s a revealing line from it:

one thing … could safely be said about Ulrich: he loved mathematics because of the kind of people who could not endure it.

Some months ago, in compiling a list of books for different occasions, I selected TMWQ for the honour of one book you’ve been meaning to read. Then it made it to the status of new year resolution.

Sadly, the saga ends here. After 800 pages, I’ve abandoned again. I can’t see myself getting back to it; it’s too big an undertaking.

So how was it? Great, amusing, provocative, ironic and dull by turns. The English, presumably consistently with the original German, is beautiful but not exactly vernacular. I found myself reading passages from it to friends and family and recording them in my blog. But it was too long and frequently too dull or, perhaps, too learned for me and so it’s official: I’m moving on with my life. It has been compared with James Joyce’s Ulysses and it has received the same fate on my bookshelf.
1 vote tchelyzt | Jul 15, 2017 |
Showing 3 of 3
In einer stark durch essayistische Exkurse und Reflexionen geprägten Prosa entfaltet Musil ein zeitgeschichtliches Panoptikum, das im Mikrokosmos des Romans den Übergang von der durch Aufklärung und Rationalität geprägten großbürgerlichen Gesellschaft zur modernen Massengesellschaft illustriert. Den Verwerfungen zwischen Individuum und Gesellschaft, welche diesen Prozess begleiten, gilt Musils Hauptinteresse.
added by bewogenlucht | editWikipedia-DE (Aug 20, 2015)
Musil's monumental novel contains more than 1,700 pages (depending on edition) in three volumes, the last of which was published by Musil's wife after his death. The novel is famous for the irony with which Musil displays Austrian society shortly before World War I. The story takes place in 1913 in Vienna, capital of Austria-Hungary which Musil refers to by the playful name Kakanien...
added by bewogenlucht | editWikipedia-EN (Aug 8, 2015)
Robert Musil hat sich mit seinem Hauptwerk eine möglichst umfassende Schilderung des menschlichen Lebens aufgebürdet, die ihr Hauptaugenmerk auf die unterschiedlichsten Gedanken seiner Zeit gerichtet hat. Im "Mann ohne Eigenschaften" finden wir den modernen Menschen in all seinen Widersprüchlichkeiten, in der längst vollzogenen Auflösung eines einheitlichen Glaubens, auf dem steinigen Pfad des Individualismus – und vor der unabwendbaren Katastrophe des Ersten und auch schon Zweiten Weltkrieges samt all seinem Grauen und seinen Gräueln (kühnere Historiker sprechen ja hier sowieso von einem zusammenhängenden Dreissigjährigen Krieg). Dass so ein Vorhaben im Ergebnis fragmentarisch bleiben musste, selbst wenn Musil 100 Jahre länger gelebt hätte, sollte auch dem am wenigsten wohlwollenden Kritiker klar sein. Was dem Leser jedoch bleibt, ist ein breit angelegter Roman voller philosophischer Tiefen, der ihm eine Welt eröffnet, in der er sich gänzlich verlieren kann, weil sie ihn in ihrer Intensität nur aufsaugen oder im Negativfall vollkommen unberührt belassen kann.

» Add other authors (34 possible)

Author nameRoleType of authorWork?Status
Musil, Robertprimary authorall editionsconfirmed
Berger, WolframSprechersecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Cases, CesareForewordsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Frisé, AdolfEditorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Hom, HansEditorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Lesener, IngeborgTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Pike, BurtonTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Pike, BurtonEditorial consultantsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Radersma, JoEditorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Rebhuhn, WernerCover designersecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Rho, AnitaTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Siebenscheinová, AnnaTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Wilkins, SophieTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
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Credo che tutti i precetti della nostra morale siano concessioni a una società di selvaggi.
«Vi sono persone con le quali il più grande degli eroi non avrebbe il coraggio di tacere».
Accesa la luce, i volti illuminati apparvero come venuti a galla, quasi ancora bagnati di oscurità.
… ciascuno può difendere le proprie idee con la vita, ma chi induce altri a morire per le idee altrui è un assassino!
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