Robert Musil - The confusions of the pupil Törless

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Full text reading by Axel Grube
Playing time: 7 hours 25 min.

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The successful first work by Robert Musil (1880-1942), published in 1906, describes the atmosphere at a typical boarding school of the Austrian k. And k. Monarchy. The pupils Törless, beinberg and Reiting convict their classmate Basini of theft, but keep this secret in order to exercise their fantasies of humiliation, physical and sexual abuse and torture on the younger classmate. While Beinberg is ideologically and Reiting tyrannically absorbed in their sadism, Törless' more observant participation in the alternation of fascination and disgust, reflects the confusion of adolescents in a time between loss of faith, realistic thinking, a ›ratioid‹ environment and totalitarian structures. Törless' extraordinary »talent to be amazed«, leads him more and more to an enigmatic, different or “mystical” perception and profound reflection. After unsuccessful attempts by his teachers or philosophical reading (Kant) to achieve a clarification - beyond all thinking and the 'playful imagination' a 'mysterious determinateness' dawns in him, which protected him' like a tallest, most hidden wall against all foreign cleverness ." "Yes. I said that at these points it seemed to me that we could not get across with our thinking alone, but that we needed another, more inward certainty, which to a certain extent carries us over. I also felt in Basini that we cannot get by with just thinking «(from: Musil, The Confusions of the Zögling Törless)

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