A Companion to the Works of Robert Musil

A Companion to the Works of Robert Musil

Edited by Philip Payne, Graham Bartram, Galin Tihanov


Camden House



A fresh and extensive look at the works of the great Austrian novelist in the context of the German and Austrian culture of his time.
A panel of authors, critics, and academics convened by the Literaturhaus in Munich in 1999 voted Robert Musil's The Man without Qualities the most important German novel of the 20th century. Their collective judgment rests on strong foundations: on the work's encyclopedic compass, embracing intellectual, social, political, and cultural concerns embodied in themes of striking originality; on its probing of key issues of Austrian and German life from the first four decades of the twentieth century; on the brilliance of its language, unsurpassed by any other 20th-century author writing in German. While this Companion gives The Man without Qualities the central focus it deserves, it also contributes to a deeper understanding of Musil's other significant works; in harnessing a team of established scholars from North America and Europe to the task of providing an assessment of Musil's work, it sets new standards in scope and originality. The analyses are embedded in an appreciation of the intellectual contexts of Musil's writing, yielding fresh insights into Musil's artistic accomplishment and into his place in the Austrian and German cultural traditions of the 20th century.

Contributors: Philip Payne, Klaus Amann, Galin Tihanov, Matthias Luserke-Jaqui, Silvia Bonacchi, Christian Rogowski, Peter Henninger, Walter Fanta, Karl Corino, Genese Grill, Burton Pike, Rüdiger Görner

Philip Payne is Professor of German Studies at Lancaster University, UK; Graham Bartram is Senior Lecturer in German Studies at Lancaster University, UK; and Galin Tihanov is Professor of Comparative Literature and Intellectual History and Co-Director of the Research Institute for Cosmopolitan Cultures at the University of Manchester, UK.


11 black and white illustrations
470 pages
9x6 in
Studies in German Literature Linguistics and Culture
Paperback, 9781571134530, June 2010
Hardback, 9781571131102, October 2007
Library eBook
Camden House
BISAC LIT004170, LIT020000
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Table of Contents

Introduction: The Symbiosis of Robert Musil's Life and Works - Philip Payne
Robert Musil: Literature and Politics - Klaus Amann
Robert Musil's Diaries: Medium between Life and Literature - Philip Payne
Robert Musil in the Garden of Conservatism - Galin Tihanov
Die Verwirrungen des Zöglings Törle: Adolescent Sexuality, the Authoritarian Mindset, and the Limits of Language - Matthias Luserke-Jaqui
Musil's "Die Vollendung der Liebe": Experience Analyzed and Reconstituted - Sylvia Bonacchi
"Shifts in Emphasis": Robert Musil's Die Schwärmer and Twentieth-Century Drama - Christian Rogowski
Robert Musil's Novellas in the Collection Drei Frauen - Peter Henninger
The Genesis of Der Mann ohne Eigenschaften - Walter Fanta
The Contribution of Biographical Research to the Understanding of Characters and Themes of Der Mann ohne Eigenschaften - Karl Corino
Figuring Thought in Culture: "Utopia" in Der Mann ohne Eigenschaften from the Perspective of Kulturwissenschaft - Matthias Luserke-Jaqui
The "Other" Musil: Robert Musil and Mysticism - Genese Grill
Der Mann ohne Eigenschaften: Unfinished or without End? - Burton Pike
The "Finale" of Der Mann ohne Eigenschaften: Competing Editions and the "Telos" of the Narrative - Walter Fanta
"Reception without Qualities": Musil's Impact on Austrian and German Writers after 1945 - Rudiger Gorner
Select Bibliography
Robert Musil's Life: A Chronology - Karl Corino
Notes on the Contributors


Taking advantage of new resources from the author's literary estate, this excellent book presents well-researched, contemporary interpretations.... This is the first reliable, balanced evaluation of his complete oeuvre. CHOICE

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