By Stefan Jonsson
It used to be to this society that Musil replied in his nice paintings The guy with no Qualities. Exploring the nooks and crannies of this modernist vintage, Jonsson indicates that Musil’s narrative evolves alongside axes that needs to be thought of in tandem: while the critical plot portrays a Viennese elite that during 1913 makes an attempt to revive social unity via accumulating well known aid for the cultural essence of the empire, the protagonist discovers that he lacks essence altogether and unearths himself attracted through monsters, criminals, and innovative figures that reject the social order. during this method, Musil’s novel strains the disappearance of what Jonsson calls the expressivist paradigm—the conviction that identities akin to gender, nationality, classification, and social personality are expressions of everlasting intrinsic inclinations. This, Jonsson argues, is Musil’s nice legacy. For not just did the Austrian writer search to liquidate triumphing conceptions of non-public and cultural id; he additionally projected “a new human being,” person who might face up to assimilation into imperialist, nationalist, or fascist communities.
Subject with out Nation offers a brand new interpretation of Viennese modernity and uncovers the old foundations of poststructural and postcolonial reconceptualizations of human subjectivity. Illuminating hyperlinks among Musil’s oeuvre as an entire and post-war advancements in severe suggestion, this booklet locates a massive crossroads among literary feedback, highbrow heritage, and cultural theory.