Friday, May 27, 2011

Aimless Reading: The M's, Part 65 (Robert Musil)

Musil, Robert
The Man Without Qualities, Vol. 1


Purchased at Talking Leaves...Books.

I bought this around the time I left grad school, so around 2003 or 4. I hadn't really read any fiction for about a decade and I was starting to peek into it again. Unfortunately, I didn't have the stamina at the time to read a book of this scope. I read about half of Volume 1, as I recall, although the book mark is near the end of the book. I am pretty sure I didn't get that far, but maybe I did.

Anyhow, I eventually got my fiction reading mojo back, but when I did I skipped right over Musil and went straight to Proust. No regrets except to say I keep meaning to get back to this and have not. I will, I will.

Well, that's it for the M's -- that was a long one. Next post will be the stats.

from The Man Without Qualities

We have established that respectable people are deeply attracted to crime, though of course only in their imagination. We might add that criminals, to hear them talk, would almost without exception like to be regarded as respectable people. So we might arrive at a definition: Crimes are the concentrated form, within sinners, of everything other people work off in little irregularities, in their imagination and in innumerable petty everyday acts and attitiudes of spite and viciousness. We could also say: Crimes are in the air and simply seek the path of least resistance, which leads them to certain individuals. We could even say that while they are the acts of individuals who are incapable of behaving morally, in the main they're the condensed expression of some kind of general human maladjustment where the distinction between good and evil is concerned. This is what has imbued us from our youth with the critical spirit our contemporaries have never been able to get beyond!

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