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 by Robert Musil is a work of immeasurable importance.
(With an introduction by Jonathan Lethem.)
Publisher: Pan Macmillan
Number of pages: 1152
Weight: 796 g
Dimensions: 198 x 132 x 53 mm
I would recommend Sophie Wilkins' translation as a conscientious attempt to give to the English reader a novel which is compared to The Remembrance of Things Past and Ulysses * The Times *
Immensely rich and therapeutic, bristling with wit and a sly humour * Sunday Telegraph *
At last, at last - the fully fleshed arrival in English of the third member of the trinity in twentieth-century fiction, complementing Ulysses and The Remembrance of Things Past . . . This last-waltz novel is amazingly contemporary * Wall Street Journal *
There is scarcely a page that does not provoke new thoughts or offer new insights, not a chapter that, even read on its own, does not prove stimulating * Scotsman *
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