Musil Diaries: Robert Musil, 1899-1941 Paperback – 10 Dec 1999
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews on Amazon.com (beta)
Musil's eye is at once poetic and objective. I could only be astounded by the maturity of the young artist. His description of a horse laughing, of sunset on windows, of a waterfall looking like a silver comb, of his emotions when he and his wife Martha argue, show a sensitivity sharpened by training. Musil captures things as they appear to him with a minimum of fussiness. Also, there is often a sharp humour which comes flashing out.
Some people don't like _The Man Without Qualities_ and prefer some of Musil's other writings. Whichever works one prefers, these diaries illuminate Musil and his writings from within.
I'll add two minor complaints about the layout of the book to those already voiced. I object to endnotes, believing footnotes easier to read. Why flip forward and back so often? Some of the endnotes are repetitive, and greater care should have been taken over them. But those are small things, and have more to do with editorial decisions than with Musil, who here steps forth from a kind of shadow (for english readers).
This book can't be recommended highly enough.