In 1911 the book of stories was published by Georg Müller Verlag in Munich Associations with the two stories "The Perfection of Love" and "The Temptation of the Silent Veronica". A first version of the last text was published in 1908 under the title “The Enchanted House” in the magazine “Hyperion” published by Franz Blei and Carl Sternheim. So it took two and a half years to get to the final version. The completion must have been like a liberation for Musil, at least it indicates that he gives precise information in his diaries about the date and time of completion. At the end of 1910 and the beginning of the following year, Musil states: “18. November 3:05 am: Claudine finished, January 11, 1911 1:XNUMX am Veronika finished. "

The following is a selection of diary entries and essayistic fragments in which Musil reflects on the content and form of the two narratives. 

In our biographical sketch you can find more information about Robert Musil's life.

  01 - Robert Musil, The Perfection of Love by onomato publishing house

02 - Robert Musil, The Perfection of Love by onomato publishing house

03 - Robert Musil, The Perfection of Love by onomato publishing house

Robert Musil: Diaries. Vol. I. Reinbek near Hamburg 1983. Diary No. 5: August 8, 1910-14. October 1911 or later

“By the way, Claudine and Veronika give rise to a special concern. Lately I have been looking for the goal in a maximal stringency of the presentation and an in-depth exploration of the problem. I was looking for the real (ethical, not just psychological) determinants of action. Because people at Hauptmann or Ibsen are not determined, their motives don't move me. The (not avoided at most excused by the character novella) danger is:
If one says: in the affection for an animal there can be something of devotion to a priest, or an infidelity can be a union in a deeper inner zone - this is how the basis of Veronika and Claudine was described. There is nothing more in it than this. To be sure, the interior is now filled with a subtle variety. But ethically it will only be characterized by this covering. The influence of the book on the inner life of another person is always exhausted by them, and the like. How the problem is deepened is ethically irrelevant. It's ethically poor. Provided that it can really be shown somehow that the basic problem has an ethical effect, but not at the same level as the idea that one can be desperate (and that is, unfaithful) because of the unattainable inwardness in oneself. And why. Then one could postulate another art that operates undivided with many such units, one of which is subdivided here. "

04 - Robert Musil, The Perfection of Love by onomato publishing house

05 - Robert Musil, The Perfection of Love by onomato publishing house

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Robert Musil: Diaries. Vol. II. Reinbek near Hamburg 1983. Appendix to issue 5

Here Musil addresses the issue Associations within abstract considerations on apperception, world and self-perception:

"1. The essential thing in Claudine's past is that she feels nothing ultimate in her happiness and nothing completely certain. Her condition is not stabilized and she does not control him as long as she does not recognize the dynamic nature of his balance and III2 [the “real life” as that which is open to “subtle sensations”].
2. The whole is a way of security in their love. Rising from mistrust and jealousy. At the end she gains her security, the consciousness of this fine strength man and weeps for happiness and because she has to buy it.
3. Claudine's mistrust in her love is of course finer and more love than ordinary happiness. In addition, from there it goes even further to the summit. The whole conflict is already taking place in a supernormal sphere. [...]
She [Claudine] realizes that happiness is emotional balance ... a quality of shape. An intricately balanced object of a higher order. If you lose the tension for a moment, it goes into infinite holes. One defends oneself against the world by stretching this other over it. But everyone stretches another, and that of everyone is an abyss for everyone else. Love means having a companion on this dangerous path. To love means to recognize the danger of the path and to feel the incomprehensible coincidence with someone else. Be hit by every word and walk together through a fog through which the other people can only be seen distant, muffled, large, flat. Emotional decisions are irrational, lie beyond the mind, the emotional factor works in the elimination of the intellectual through constancy: fertilization, growth of the irrational. "

Robert Musil: Collected works in nine volumes. B. 8. Essays and speeches. From the essayistic fragment Novellas [1911]

“In all love tragedies there is the same superficiality: - the accidental occurrence of the third. Rilke said it. He called for adultery, which only takes place between two people. The adultery between two people (committed on any third person, on a representative of the first sphere) because of the awareness of the existence of that innermost sphere, where lovers dissolve into nothingness that they are like others, where the individual is only the point of passage from Is reflections that apply to all of someone who struggles even closer to the beloved as the perfection of love. "

 

Robert Musil: Collected works in nine volumes. Vol. 7. Short prose, aphorisms, autobiographical matters. From one of the dropped foreword drafts to: Estate during lifetime [1935]

“I began to look for the answer [to the decision-making question: poetry, research, action] with great effort when I wrote my second book, the 2 short stories, associations, and especially their first. The anecdotal of this case is this: I was invited to a literary. Journal, published by FB [Franz Blei] at the time ... ["Hyperion"] to publish a story. My intention was to give myself a joint test quickly and without much effort and to spiritualize the usual gallant narrative a little in the sense of any thoughts that were preoccupying me. That should take me 8 to 14 days.
What became of it was two and a half years of desperate work, during which I did not indulge in anything else.
Exacerbated by the fact that the effect - a small narrative whose frame did not allow elbow room - could not possibly match the workload.
What finally emerged: a carefully executed script which, under the magnifying glass (attentive, thoughtful, every word scrutinizing picture) contained many times its apparent content. I hadn't done anything to make it easier. On the contrary, even the punctuation did not structure the content for the reader, but only for the law chosen. I even stubbornly refused a cautious, kind, and wise request from the publisher.
For me it turned out to be a great failure.
Again it shows what happens so often, that first works [meaning Törless] are dazzling works: wrote those who I hadn't liked at first. Written that welcomed an adventure book. Most of my patrons also wrote. In my whole life I have met very few people who had felt what this book was supposed to be, and certainly partly. also is.
It is the only one of my books that I still sometimes read today. I can't take much. But I am happy to take up one or two pages at any time - apart from certain painful lack of expression. "

 

 

In the following, Musil articulates the “in the Associations paved way "of a poetry qua" giving meaning ", an undertaking related to religiosity, more precisely to" empirical religiosity ". For Musil poetry is a “living ethos”, a fragmentary “giving of life” directed against the rigidity of world views. Even where literature seems to be about psychological issues, Musil delimits the two spheres from one another. In this context there are reflections on the poetic principle of associations.

“What was personally determinative was that from the beginning I meant the problem of adultery with the problem of betrayal. Man's relationship to his ideals.
As always, however: I wasn't determined. I had so much reason to describe a certain process like many others.
Then the decision was formed in me to choose the 'maximally loaded path' / the path of the smallest steps / the path of the most gradual, most imperceptible transition /.
This has a moral value: the demonstration of the moral spectrum with the continuous transitions from something to its opposite.
But it was added and a different principle decided. I have called it the 'motivated steps'. His rule is: do not let anything happen (or: do nothing) that is not of psychological value. Ie also: don't do anything causal, don't do anything mechanical.
[...]
In fact, the Ver. (Claudine) a meticulously executed previous experience without dead ends. An experience that is apparently moved by the slightest breath from the outside, but is completely immobile in the crucial from the outside. "

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The first publication of onomato Verlag on Robert Musil is a full text reading of two under the name Associations summarized

Stories: The perfection of love  and The temptation of the silent Veronica. Robert Musil has retrospectively and later on both texts

voiced shortly before his death. Here you can find excerpts from his Records and Notes.

 

Interesting links to Musil and one Outline of his life we give here.

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Robert Musil was born on November 6, 1880 in Klagefurt as the only child of the engineer Alfred Musil and his wife Hermine. Due to the professional change of the father, the family moved soon (1881) to Komotau in Bohemia, then to Steyer (Upper Austria) and finally in 1891 to Brno, at whose Technical University Alfred Musil was employed as a professor. However, career and professional security were not just his father's ideals with regard to himself. He also wanted his son to be employed in a secure civil service, which is why Robert’s future was geared towards the officer's profession from an early age. After completing adult education and a short visit to the civil high school, he was sent to the military lower secondary school, then the upper secondary school, which was run as a boarding school, after which he enrolled at the technical military academy in Vienna in 1897. Everything looks as if the 17-year-old had internalized his father's wish, but just three months after enrolling, Musil suddenly switched to the civil university in Brno, enrolled in the mechanical engineering course, which he passed in 1901 with the state engineering examination. After a year as a volunteer in the military, Musil accepted an assistant position at the Technical University in Stuttgart, but gave it up again after just one year and began studying philosophy. In Berlin he has the opportunity to hear Dilthey and Simmel, the first and Cassirer's philosophy of knowledge, the last to get to know the philosophy of life. He also deals with the early days of Gestalt psychology, to whose co-founder Carl Stumpf he submitted his doctorate “Contribution to the assessment of the teaching of Mach” in 1908. Musil reads a lot during his student years, he reads Emerson, Maeterlinck, d`Annunzio, Grillparzer, Hamsun, Hauptmann, Tieck, feels particularly addressed by Nietzsche, Hofmannsthal, Dostojewski, Gide and Proust - and also writes himself. He completes and publishes those started in Stuttgart Törless and also brings numerous designs for example Tonka-Novelle, to the drama The enthusiasts are available as assessories. Associations to paper. Finally, during these years (1906) he met his future partner, the painter Martha Markowald, née Heimann, whom he married in 1911, the year the unions were finally published. After two failed marriages, the early death of her first husband and the misfortune in the second bond, the merchant's daughter Martha, who comes from a Jewish family, has developed an enormous need for harmony that allows her to avoid conflicts. In concrete terms, this means that the person portrayed as very well-read, more well-read than Musil, makes everyday life easier for her husband by relieving him of many decisions, e.g. the choice of food in the restaurant, as well as paying the bill. Martha will stand by her husband even in the financially tightest years.

It is different with Robert's father Alfred Musil, who, after Robert completed his second degree and turned down the possibility of a university career, got his son a job as a librarian in Vienna in 1911. Musil, however, found this task so unbearable that, after a long sick leave in Italy, he gave up the job in 1914 and went to Berlin. Here he worked as an editor for the "Neue Rundschau" until he was called up and assigned to South Tyrol, an activity that he had after two years as an adjutant during the war at the "Soldatenzeitung" in Bozen, and then with the weekly newspaper "Heimat" in Vienna can take up. After the war, Musil worked for the press service of the Austrian Foreign Ministry. Although he is offered a civil servant position here with the rank of colonel, Musil refuses and takes on an archive job that he resigns after barely a year. When he then also lost his position at the Army Ministry (1920–1922), Musil finally withdrew from the job market. From the end of 1922 onwards, the couple lived from the meager literary income, from subsidies from the publishers, from the funds of the companies founded especially for Musil - the Musil Society in Berlin and the Robert Musil Fund in Vienna - as well as from private donations .

The decision against a permanent position and thus against financial security was hardly an easy one for Musil. It must have been clear to him that he would not be able to maintain his standard of living - good food, expensive clothing, frequent visits to cafés, permanent residence - or his independence. But his reluctance to commit and, above all, his work as a writer do not allow any further ties. 

For Musil, however, writing is not a pleasure, but always an act of strength in self-control and continuous persistence. This is especially true with regard to his novel Man without propertiesMusil has been wrestling with since the 20s. Although numerous sketches already existed at this point in time, Musil found it difficult to synthesize the plurality of ideas. The work progresses slowly, the material takes shape, and when the first volume finally appears in 1930, Musil is a man marked by the writing struggle. He travels to Berlin “spiritually and morally exhausted”, in poor health (insomnia, heart problems). And indeed the change in air is having an effect: A year later, Rowohlt receives the manuscripts for the second volume of the MoE

When Musil returned to Vienna in 1933, he would have 9 years to live. He would take part in the “International Writers' Congress for the Defense of Culture” in Paris (1935), giving the lecture to an audience of 400 Hold on to stupidity (1937), he will - like that MoE included in the "List of harmful and undesirable literature" - Estate during lifetime publish (1838), but his main concern, the completion of the MoE, does not come true. He again had writing problems, his unstable health, the stroke of 1936, the oppressive financial situation and finally the war that forced Musil into exile, first to Zurich (1938), then to Geneva (1939). Here he isolates himself almost completely, especially avoiding fellow writers and only making contact with a few people. These chosen ones include the sculptor Fritz Wotruba, who is 27 years his junior, and the Protestant pastor Robert Lejeune, who supports the couple financially and thus enables Musil to write. And indeed: Musil continues to work on MoE, albeit now increasingly discouraged. He is plagued by feelings of failure and yet forces himself to his desk every day, including on the day of his death when he had a stroke at noon.

“I was born on November 6th, 1880 in the Austrian city of Klagenfurt, capital of the state of Carinthia. My father, Alfred von Musil, later for a long time until his death professor of mechanical engineering at the Technical University in Brno, was then working as an engineer in a factory. I spent my childhood in the old town of Steyr in Upper Austria, where my father had since moved to run a state technical school. When I was a little over ten years old, we moved to Brno. I continued to attend the secondary school there, which I had started in Steyr, where there was no grammar school, and I remember that in his way the impression I received from my coming from the alpine nature was not insignificant The landscape and people in Steyr was peculiar, and I found myself both in the gentle and somewhat melancholy landscape of Moravia and between people who almost seemed even more strange to me when they were Sudeten Germans with whom I spoke than were among the Czechs, next to whom we were lived without touch. I have to put in the fact that I myself am half Sudeten German descent and a quarter, as my name suggests, Czech. The Musil, from whom I come, are a very old Czech farming family in Moravia, but my grandfather emigrated, became a doctor and bought an estate near Graz, on which my father and his siblings grew up as unmistakable Grazers, almost without anything from to know their origin.
My father's mother came from Salzburg. 
My own mother from Linz on the Danube, the capital of Upper Austria. Her father had come from Bohemia when the first European railway was being built, the one between Linz and Budweis, and remained there as the manager of this railway, even in retirement and until his death; his wife, my mother, also came from German Bohemia. Their families, Bergauer and Böhm, both also ennobled, had just lost their connection with their homeland and had dispersed over the entire area of ​​the monarchy. So it was a coincidence that brought us back to the vicinity of the starting point; There was no tradition or wish that connected my parents with him, and they were not happy that their fate would no longer leave them there. I myself got away from both of them when I was about twelve and was placed in an officer training institute. I will ignore the reasons for this and only mention that one of them was the urgent wish of the unruly boy who, somewhat addicted to the big man, flattered himself with independence that he had already gained if he were removed from the mild parental supervision. Because precisely this affective drive should soon give way to its far stronger opposite. "

 

 

Robert Musil was born on November 6, 1880 in Klagefurt as the only child of the engineer Alfred Musil and his wife Hermine. Due to the professional change of the father, the family moved soon (1881) to Komotau in Bohemia, then to Steyer (Upper Austria) and finally in 1891 to Brno, at whose Technical University Alfred Musil was employed as a professor. However, career and professional security were not just his father's ideals with regard to himself. He also wanted his son to be employed in a secure civil service, which is why Robert’s future was geared towards the officer's profession from an early age. After completing adult education and a short visit to the civil high school, he was sent to the military lower secondary school, then the upper secondary school, which was run as a boarding school, after which he enrolled at the technical military academy in Vienna in 1897. Everything looks as if the 17-year-old had internalized his father's wish, but just three months after enrolling, Musil suddenly switched to the civil university in Brno, enrolled in the mechanical engineering course, which he passed in 1901 with the state engineering examination. After a year as a volunteer in the military, Musil accepted an assistant position at the Technical University in Stuttgart, but gave it up again after just one year and began studying philosophy. In Berlin he has the opportunity to hear Dilthey and Simmel, the first and Cassirer's philosophy of knowledge, the last to get to know the philosophy of life. He also deals with the early days of Gestalt psychology, to whose co-founder Carl Stumpf he submitted his doctorate “Contribution to the assessment of the teaching of Mach” in 1908. Musil reads a lot during his student years, he reads Emerson, Maeterlinck, d`Annunzio, Grillparzer, Hamsun, Hauptmann, Tieck, feels particularly addressed by Nietzsche, Hofmannsthal, Dostojewski, Gide and Proust - and also writes himself. He completes and publishes those started in Stuttgart Törless and also brings numerous designs for example Tonka-Novelle, to the drama The enthusiasts are available as assessories. Associations to paper. Finally, during these years (1906) he met his future partner, the painter Martha Markowald, née Heimann, whom he married in 1911, the year the unions were finally published. After two failed marriages, the early death of her first husband and the misfortune in the second bond, the merchant's daughter Martha, who comes from a Jewish family, has developed an enormous need for harmony that allows her to avoid conflicts. In concrete terms, this means that the person portrayed as very well-read, more well-read than Musil, makes everyday life easier for her husband by relieving him of many decisions, e.g. the choice of food in the restaurant, as well as paying the bill. Martha will stand by her husband even in the financially tightest years.

It is different with Robert's father Alfred Musil, who, after Robert completed his second degree and turned down the possibility of a university career, got his son a job as a librarian in Vienna in 1911. Musil, however, found this task so unbearable that, after a long sick leave in Italy, he gave up the job in 1914 and went to Berlin. Here he worked as an editor for the "Neue Rundschau" until he was called up and assigned to South Tyrol, an activity that he had after two years as an adjutant during the war at the "Soldatenzeitung" in Bozen, and then with the weekly newspaper "Heimat" in Vienna can take up. After the war, Musil worked for the press service of the Austrian Foreign Ministry. Although he is offered a civil servant position here with the rank of colonel, Musil refuses and takes on an archive job that he resigns after barely a year. When he then also lost his position at the Army Ministry (1920–1922), Musil finally withdrew from the job market. From the end of 1922 onwards, the couple lived from the meager literary income, from subsidies from the publishers, from the funds of the companies founded especially for Musil - the Musil Society in Berlin and the Robert Musil Fund in Vienna - as well as from private donations .

The decision against a permanent position and thus against financial security was hardly an easy one for Musil. It must have been clear to him that he would not be able to maintain his standard of living - good food, expensive clothing, frequent visits to cafés, permanent residence - or his independence. But his reluctance to commit and, above all, his work as a writer do not allow any further ties. 

For Musil, however, writing is not a pleasure, but always an act of strength in self-control and continuous persistence. This is especially true with regard to his novel Man without propertiesMusil has been wrestling with since the 20s. Although numerous sketches already existed at this point in time, Musil found it difficult to synthesize the plurality of ideas. The work progresses slowly, the material takes shape, and when the first volume finally appears in 1930, Musil is a man marked by the writing struggle. He travels to Berlin “spiritually and morally exhausted”, in poor health (insomnia, heart problems). And indeed the change in air is having an effect: A year later, Rowohlt receives the manuscripts for the second volume of the MoE

When Musil returned to Vienna in 1933, he would have 9 years to live. He would take part in the “International Writers' Congress for the Defense of Culture” in Paris (1935), giving the lecture to an audience of 400 Hold on to stupidity (1937), he will - like that MoE included in the "List of harmful and undesirable literature" - Estate during lifetime publish (1838), but his main concern, the completion of the MoE, does not come true. He again had writing problems, his unstable health, the stroke of 1936, the oppressive financial situation and finally the war that forced Musil into exile, first to Zurich (1938), then to Geneva (1939). Here he isolates himself almost completely, especially avoiding fellow writers and only making contact with a few people. These chosen ones include the sculptor Fritz Wotruba, who is 27 years his junior, and the Protestant pastor Robert Lejeune, who supports the couple financially and thus enables Musil to write. And indeed: Musil continues to work on MoE, albeit now increasingly discouraged. He is plagued by feelings of failure and yet forces himself to his desk every day, including on the day of his death when he had a stroke at noon.

 

The content of what is presented is based on the following writings: W. Berghahn: Robert Musil. Reinbek near Hamburg 1963; T. Pekar: Robert Musil for an introduction. Hamburg 1997. R. Willemsen: Robert Musil. From intellectual eros. Munich 1985.

Interesting links to Robert Musil:

 

The website of the International Robert Musil Society provides numerous materials on Musil, including reviews of the latest publications on Robert Musil: www.musilgesellschaft.at/index.html

 

The website of the Robert Musil Museum in Klagefurt - the birthplace of Musil - offers, among other things, a short biography of Robert Musil: www.musilmuseum.at/

 

The Free University of Berlin provides a comprehensive collection of links to Musil: ub.fu-berlin.de

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