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by Robert Musil
I hope a book like mine will strike someone as violating a lot of common sense ideas about literature. I know it will. It violates my common sense about literature, and I wrote it.
Musil wastes no time establishing a scope of ideas that are prescient and read as if written today, fully-realized observations of how commerce and industry render us anonymous cogs in a great global machine that chips away at the individual.
By the end it’s almost impossible not to feel deficient for being anything but a poet/lesbian, and specifically anyone but Eileen Myles.
...and some other observations of doubtful critical merit.
Robert Musil wrote The Man Without Qualities in the 1930s, but his modernist elegy to Belle Époque Vienna offers an achingly familiar picture of dissolution and malaise.