Robert Edler von Musil: Der Mann Ohne Eigenschaften [The Man Without Qualities]

(2021 words)
  • James M. Skidmore (University of Waterloo)

To call Robert Musil’s novel Der Mann ohne Eigenschaften [The Man Without Qualities] a monumental work may well be an understatement. Worked on by the author for more than 20 years, the two-volume text of some 1600 pages was still incomplete at the time of Musil’s death from a stroke in Swiss obscurity in 1942. But the novel has become Musil’s magnum opus, establishing the author as one of the great observers of Central European life in the first half of the twentieth century, and providing a landmark of modernist storytelling that will stand alongside other great novels of Modernism, such as Joyce’s Ulysses and Proust’s A la recherche du temps perdu, for years to come.

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Skidmore, James M.. "Der Mann Ohne Eigenschaften". The Literary Encyclopedia. First published 16 June 2008
[, accessed 06 July 2015.]