The Man Without Qualities

By Robert Musil, Sophie Wilkins (translator),

Book cover of The Man Without Qualities

Book description

With an introduction by Jonathan Lethem

It is 1913, and Viennese high society is determined to find an appropriate way of celebrating the seventieth jubilee of the accession of Emperor Franz Josef. But as the aristocracy tries to salvage something illustrious out of the collapse of the Austro-Hungarian Empire, the…

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Why read it?

1 author picked The Man Without Qualities as one of their favorite books. Why do they recommend it?

Musil is a person who you know you’ll never quite keep up with; he has irony within irony within irony. The book is fiction, but few things are better for learning skepticism about "essences" and big ideas, and yes, humility about oneself.

Ulrich, Diotima, General Stumm, sister Agatha, and Moosebrugger are the unforgettable characters, and post-World War I, Vienna is the stage. 

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