chapter  XII
A Short View of Musil
Pages 17

This chapter presents a short view of Robert Musil, Musil had been a soldier, an engineer, a mathematician and a philosopher before, under the pressure of a 'ruthless impulse' as the English translators put it he became an artist. Musil's is a mathematician' mind similarly transformed. Musil's whole method makes bulk inevitable, not because, as with Tolstoy, the population of events increases in geometrical progression, but simply because there is no event that can ever be finally dealt with. Musil's continuous interest in various aspects of sexual play seems somehow not to have attracted much attention. Operating on the borderline between subject and object, Musil uses, as an illustration of this suspicious frontier-friendship, the inexhaustible metaphor of sex; great myths that are older than Plato break into the fiction. In this aspect of Musil's art one sees an evidence that he was well equipped to write a great and coherent novel.