The Void of Ethics: Robert Musil and the Experience of Modernity (Avant-Garde & Modernism Studies)

The Void of Ethics: Robert Musil and the Experience of Modernity (Avant-Garde & Modernism Studies)


In a pluralistic society with no absolute criteria of judgment, how can someone dwell an ethical lifestyles? this can be the query Robert Musil (1880-1942), an Austrian-born engineer and mathematician grew to become author, requested in essays, performs, and fiction that grapple with the ethical ambivalence of recent lifestyles. even though unfinished, his enormous novel of Vienna within the febrile days sooner than international battle I, The guy with no Qualities, is pointed out by way of German students because the most vital literary paintings of the 20 th century.

In a clean exam of his essays, notebooks, and fiction, Patrizia McBride reconstructs Musil's realizing of ethics as a realm of expertise that eludes language and suggestion. After situating Musil's paintings inside of its modern cultural-philosophical horizon, in addition to the historic historical past of emerging nationwide Socialism, McBride indicates how the writer's proposal of ethics as a void could be understood as a coherent and cutting edge reaction to the crises haunting Europe after global struggle I. She explores how Musil rejected the outmoded, rationalistic morality of humanism, whereas at the same time critiquing the irrationalism of latest artwork pursuits, together with symbolism, impressionism, and expressionism. Her paintings finds Musil's impressive relevance today-particularly these facets of his proposal that made him retro in his personal time: a dedication to scuffling with moral fundamentalism and a literary mind's eye that validates the pluralistic personality of recent life.

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