Publishers Weekly - Publisher's WeeklyThis edition of Musil's classic modernist novel features the complete text in a new translation, as well as extensive supplementary material. (Dec.)
2 Volume Boxed Set
Library Journal - Library JournalAfter nearly completing his training as an officer candidate in the Austro-Hungarian Empire's best military academies, Musil completed a degree in civil engineering at Brno and then moved to the University of Berlin, where he studied philosophy and experimental psychology. He spent most of his adult life in Vienna until emigrating to Switzerland in 1938 in flight from the Nazis. There he worked on this massive unfinished novel, which he began in the early 1920s, until he died in 1942. Set on the verge of World War I, the novel revolves around the efforts of Ulrich, the man without qualities, to find meaning in a society in which convention stifles a new era struggling to be born. Experimental in form, the novel virtually eschews plot, relying instead on character studies and essayistic passages. This new translation offers the most complete version yet to appear in English, incorporating all the material published during Musil's life (the first two books and part of the third); the end of the third book, edited by Martha Musil in 1943; and other materials from Musil's posthumous papers relating to the novel. This tighter, more naturally flowing translation is a significant improvement over the first, clearly reproducing Musil's brilliant wit atop the solid foundation of his breathtaking political, social, and psychological insight. Recommended for all literary collections.-Michael T. O'Pecko, Towson State Univ., Md.
Anthony PowellIt is the work of a writer of great distinction and the most interesting novel I have read for a long time. The name of Proust inevitably occurs to the mind as a parallel. -- Punch
- Pan MacMillan
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Thomas MannThe Man Without Qualities is without doubt the greatest writing, linking it with the finest epic has to offer.
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