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Роберт Музиль

Дата рождения: 6. Ноябрь 1880
Дата смерти: 15. Апрель 1942

Ро́берт Му́зиль — австрийский писатель, драматург и эссеист.

Автор циклов рассказов «Соединения», «Три женщины», прозаического сборника «Прижизненное наследие», драмы «Мечтатели» и комической пьесы «Винценц и подруга значительных мужей», двух романов «Душевные смуты воспитанника Тёрлеса» и «Человек без свойств» , а также многочисленных эссе, речей, театральных и литературно-критических статей.

Музей писателя находится в городе Клагенфурт, где он родился и прожил первый год жизни. Умер 15 апреля 1942 года в Женеве. Наследие Музиля содержится в отделе рукописей Австрийской национальной библиотеки.


„Мораль — для большинства это система обеспечения собственной правоты.“

„One must conform to the baseness of an age or become neurotic.“


„The secret of a good librarian is that he never reads anything more of the literature in his charge than the title and the table of contents. Anyone who lets himself go and starts reading a book is lost as a librarian... He's bound to lose perspective.“ The Man Without Qualities

„…. by the time they have reached the middle of their life’s journey, few people remember how they have managed to arrive at themselves, at their amusements, their point of view, their wife, character, occupation and successes, but they cannot help feeling that not much is likely to change anymore. It might even be asserted that they have been cheated, for one can nowhere discover any sufficient reason for everything’s coming about as it has. It might just have well as turned out differently. The events of people’s lives have, after all, only to the last degree originated in them, having generally depended on all sorts of circumstances such as the moods, the life or death of quite different people, and have, as it were, only at the given point of time come hurrying towards them“ The Man Without Qualities: Vol. 1

„His appearance gives no clue to what his profession might be, and yet he doesn't look like a man without a profession either. Consider what he's like: He always knows what to do. He knows how to gaze into a woman's eyes. He can put his mind to any question at any time. He can box. He is gifted, strong-willed, open-minded, fearless, tenacious, dashing, circumspect—why quibble, suppose we grant him all those qualities—yet he has none of them! They have made him what he is, they have set his course for him, and yet they don't belong to him. When he is angry, something in him laughs. When he is sad, he is up to something. When something moves him, he turns against it. He'll always see a good side to every bad action. What he thinks of anything will always depend on some possible context—nothing is, to him, what it is: everything is subject to change, in flux, part of a whole, of an infinite number of wholes presumably adding up to a super-whole that, however, he knows nothing about. So every answer he gives is only a partial answer, every feeling an opinion, and he never cares what something is, only 'how' it is—some extraneous seasoning that somehow goes along with it, that's what interests him.“ The Man Without Qualities

„A man who wants the truth becomes a scientist; a man who wants to give free play to his subjectivity may become a writer; but what should a man do who wants something in between?“ The Man Without Qualities

„Hardly anyone still reads nowadays. People make use of the writer only in order to work off their own excess energy on him in a perverse manner, in the form of agreement or disagreement.“ The Man Without Qualities

„The difference between a normal person and an insane one is precisely that the normal person has all the diseases of the mind, while the madman has only one!“ The Man Without Qualities


„One does what one is; one becomes what one does.“

„An impractical man--which he not only seems to be, but really is--will always be unreliable and unpredictable in his dealings with others. He will engage in actions that mean something else to him than to others, but he is at peace with himself about everything as long as he can make it all come together in a fine idea.“ The Man Without Qualities: Vol. 1

„... love must be regarded as one of the religious and dangerous experiences, because it lifts people out of the arms of reason and sets them afloat with no ground under their feet.“ The Man Without Qualities: Vol. 1

„In earlier times, one had an easier conscience about being a person than one does today. People were like cornstalks in a field, probably more violently tossed back and forth by God, hail, fire, pestilence, and war than they are today, but as a whole, as a city, a region, a field, and as to what personal movement was left to the individual stalk – all this was clearly defined and could be answered for. But today responsibility’s center of gravity is not in people but in circumstances. Have we not noticed that experiences have made themselves independent of people? They have gone on the stage, into books, into the reports of research institutes and explorers, into ideological or religious communities, which foster certain kinds of experience at the expense of others as if they are conducting a kind of social experiment, and insofar as experiences are not actually being developed, they are simply left dangling in the air. Who can say nowadays that his anger is really his own anger when so many people talk about it and claim to know more about it than he does? A world of qualities without a man has arisen, of experiences without the person who experiences them, and it almost looks as though ideally private experience is a thing of the past, and that the friendly burden of personal responsibility is to dissolve into a system of formulas of possible meanings. Probably the dissolution of the anthropocentric point of view, which for such a long time considered man to be at the center of the universe but which has been fading away for centuries, has finally arrived at the “I” itself, for the belief that the most important thing about experience is the experiencing, or of action the doing, is beginning to strike most people as naïve. There are probably people who still lead personal lives, who say “We saw the So-and-sos yesterday” or “We’ll do this or that today” and enjoy it without its needing to have any content of significance. They like everything that comes in contact with their fingers, and are purely private persons insofar as this is at all possible. In contact with such people, the world becomes a private world and shines like a rainbow. They may be very happy, but this kind of people usually seems absurd to the others, although it is still not at all clear why.

And suddenly, in view of these reflections, Ulrich had to smile and admit to himself that he was, after all, a character, even without having one.“
The Man Without Qualities: Vol. 1


„True' and 'false' are the evasions of people who never want to arrive at a decision. Truth is something without end.“ The Man Without Qualities

„His answers were quite often like that. When she spoke of beauty, he spoke of the fatty tissue supporting the epidermis. When she mentioned love, he responded with the statistical curve that indicates the automatic rise and fall in the annual birthrate. When she spoke of the great figures in art, he traced the chain of borrowings that links these figures to one another.“ The Man Without Qualities

„Life forms a surface that acts as if it could not be otherwise, but under its skin things are pounding and pulsing.“ The Man Without Qualities: Vol. 1

„In her misery she read a great deal, and discovered that she had lost something she had previously not really know she had: a soul.

What’s that? It is easy to define negatively: it is simply that which sneaks off at the mention of algebraic series.“
The Man Without Qualities

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