About

I am a slow reader, noting passages from Robert Musil’s The Man Without Qualities as I read the novel, searching for those that most impress me with how they convey the author’s style and meaning. The format is similar to my blog proustreader.wordpress.com.

3 Responses to “About”

  1. Michael A. Roberts Says:

    Very grateful for your presentation, both enlightened and patient, discovered accidentally while scaling Musil for the second time in my life this winter.

    Again, I was frankly drowning. You, alert, with head above the waves (perhaps like Conrad’s figure in “Lord Jim” by your own greater exertion,) gave me hope and the courage to go on.

    Thank you.

  2. Jim Everett Says:

    Thanks for your appreciative comment. I began this and the proustreader blogs because, no matter how much I loved a phrase or an insight, my memory would fade to the point as if I had never read the passage. So I started getting in the habit of not just highlighting them but copying them out. It seemed to make me read deeper. A slow process but better than letting my impressions fade away. As for Musil, I “drowned” a bit in the second volume, where he seemed to be writing a sort of blog on his musings on life and philosophy, to the detriment of the needs of the novel. But the first volume is a marvel.

  3. Michael A. Roberts Says:

    You probably know them, Jim, but I tried unsuccessfully to paste here some of Stein’s remarks to Marlow about Jim, and about life, from Chapter 20 of Conrad’s book–yes, let the circle be as wide as it can!–on ‘immersing’ oneself in the destructive element of life, as Musil certainly does, and ‘by the exertion of ones hands and feet in the water make the deep, deep sea keep one afloat,’ as you’ve done in –for which again, my thanks. I return to it as one should to all good work. By the way, I think trope, (metaphor, simile) is the key to the project as you’ve in fact pointed out. M’s failure could be a failure of tone: his characteristic High Sardonic. (Compare Beckett, Proust?)

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