Robert Musil ( or ; 6 November 1880 – 15 April 1942) was an Austrian writer. His unfinished long novel The Man Without Qualities (German: Der Mann ohne Eigenschaften) is generally considered to be one of the most important modernist novels. However, this novel has not been widely read because of its delayed publication and also because of the lengthy and intricate plot. It is, nonetheless, a significant literary achievement that foresaw the impending disaster in Europe after the first world war.
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“... we engage in politics because we dont know anything. This is clearly revealed in the way we go about it. Our parties exist from a fear of theory. The voter fears that one idea can always be contradicted by another. Therefore the parties reciprocally defend themselves against the few old ideas they have inherited. They dont live from what they promise, but from frustrating the promises of others. This is their silent community of interests.”
—Robert Musil (18801942)