Musil, Robert

(1880-1942), writer; his fiction and essays explored a realm between philosophy and literature. Born in Klagenfurt, Austria,* to a respected engineer, he grew up an only child in the Habsburg Empire. During 1898-1901, after six years in military academies, he studied engineering at the Technische Hochschule in Brünn (now Brno); following a year in the army, he took a research post at Stuttgart s Technische Hochschule. To redress perceived humanistic deficiencies, he went to Berlin* in 1903 to study philosophy and psychology and earned a doctorate in 1908. During 1902-1905 he wrote his first novel, Die Verwirrungen des Zoglings Torless (translated as Young Torless), the portrait of an adolescent s intellectual frustration; published in 1906, the book was praised by critic Alfred Kerr.* Musil became a librarian in 1911 at Vienna s Technische H chschule, but soon returned to Berlin for an editorial position with Neue Rundschau.*
   Musil was activated by the Austrian army in 1914. He served on the Italian front, was decorated, and reached the rank of captain. The war intensified his intellectual ties with the Austria of Franz Joseph, and he remained rooted in Habsburg tradition. He worked during 1918-1922 at the War Office. The Aus-trian financial crisis—coupled with the loss of his parents in 1924—forced him to subsist thereafter as a freelance writer. His work in the 1920s included two plays, three short stories published as Drei Frauen (Three women, 1927), and an obscure story entitled Die Amsel (1927). He remained in Vienna until 1931, settled in Berlin during 1931-1933, returned to Vienna when Hitler* seized power, and fled to Switzerland after the Anschluss (1938).
   Musil s preoccupation throughout the 1920s—indeed, until he died—was his masterpiece Der Mann ohne Eigenschaften (The man without qualities), a sym-bolic portrait of Austrian society before World War I. Begun in 1921, the novel explores the cultural and ideological crises that tormented Musil and his gen-eration. Ulrich, the central character (a reflection of Musil), is devoid of identity due to his fragmentation by the claims of journalism, art, scholarship, and busi-ness. Arnheim, also a central character, is said to be patterned on Walther Rath-enau,* a man whose writings Musil described as little more than lifeless speculations. A third character, Meingast, is a philosopher whose irrational credo paralleled that of Ludwig Klages.* Together, the characters embodied the decay of central Europe s ruling classes before the war. With neither beginning nor end, Der Mann ohne Eigenschaften is chiefly a sequence of essays lamenting Austria. Its first volume of 123 chapters (two parts) appeared in 1930. A second volume (part three), containing but 38 chapters, appeared in 1933. Musil was working on the fourth and final part in Swiss exile when he died; his widow, Martha Musil, published it as volume three in 1943.
   REFERENCES:Bangerter, Robert Musil; Dowden, Sympathy for the Abyss; Luft, Robert Musil; Peters, Robert Musil.

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  • Musil, Robert — ▪ Austrian writer also called  Robert, Edler (Nobleman) Von Musil  born Nov. 6, 1880, Klagenfurt, Austria died April 15, 1942, Geneva, Switz.       Austrian German novelist, best known for his monumental unfinished novel Der Mann ohne… …   Universalium

  • Musil, Robert — (1880–1942)    Educated in military academies and as an engineer who wrote a dissertation on the physicist Ernst Mach, Musil was one of Austria’s most important novelists and essayists in the first half of the 20th century. His first success, the …   Historical dictionary of Austria

  • Musil, Robert — ► (1880 1942) Novelista austríaco. Autor de El hombre sin atributos, obra incompleta cuya primera parte se publicó en 1930 …   Enciclopedia Universal

  • Musil — Musil, Robert …   Enciclopedia Universal

  • Robert Musil — Saltar a navegación, búsqueda Robert Musil en 1918. Robert Musil (Klagenfurt, 6 de noviembre de 1880 – Ginebra, 15 de abril de 1942) fue un escritor austríaco. Su obra más conoci …   Wikipedia Español

  • Robert Müller (Schriftsteller) — Robert Müller (* 29. Oktober 1887 in Wien; † 27. August 1924 ebenda) war ein österreichischer Schriftsteller, Journalist und Verleger. Inhaltsverzeichnis 1 Leben 2 Werke 3 Werkausgabe …   Deutsch Wikipedia

  • Musil — (Robert von) (1880 1942) écrivain autrichien: les Désarrois de l élève Törless (roman, 1906); les Exaltés (drame, 1921); Trois femmes (nouvelles, 1924); l Homme sans qualités (4 vol.: 1930, 1933, 1943 et 1952, inachevé) …   Encyclopédie Universelle

  • Robert Musil — Pour les articles homonymes, voir Musil. Robert Musil …   Wikipédia en Français

  • Musil: Der Mann ohne Eigenschaften — Der Roman Der Mann ohne Eigenschaften ist das Hauptwerk Robert Musils. Er gilt als einer der einflussreichsten Romane des 20. Jahrhunderts. [1] Inhaltsverzeichnis 1 Entstehungsgeschichte 2 Inhalt 3 Gehalt und Rezeption 4 Figuren …   Deutsch Wikipedia

  • Robert Musil — Infobox Writer name = Robert Musil imagesize = caption = pseudonym = birthdate = birth date|1880|11|6|mf=y birthplace = Klagenfurt, Austria deathdate = death date and age|1942|4|15|1880|11|6|mf=y deathplace = Geneva, Switzerland occupation =… …   Wikipedia

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