Notes to Robert Musil's "Salvator"-Project

from: Diary Fragments 2014
jwr47
9
th
of July 2014 – Robert Musil's “Man without Qualities”
Inspired by Robert Musil I decided to inspect an alternative analysis of the ego-pronouns
such as the Provencal word ieu
1
, which seems to be included inside the corresponding divine
name Dieu.
Analysis of the first two volumes of “The Man Without Qualities
2

s far as I overview the matter Musil initially did not really intend to produce a s!etch of the state
of Kakanien" but intended to create a mystical epic story of #ods creation of a human image of
$imself.
In his epic wor! Musil uses a name %lrich for his alter-ego" a &'-year old mathematician" although
he originally intended to use the name (nders) in the sense of (nother) or (lien).
*hile driving my car from +tuttgart to ,indhoven in a heavy rain I thought of a meaningful
translation for the #erman word (anders). -hin!ing of Musil.s ideas and problems I thought
(alien) might be a alternative translation. I decided to invest some more reading to refine
my choice by adding some more bac!ground to my decision.
*ithout wading through voluminous manuscripts *i!ipedia allows us to e/tract the following
details0
*herever we might thin! of 1ualities 2such as gender" profession" nationality etc...3"
which may form our personality" %lrich considers these as powers to alienate us from
ourselves. -herefore man may be advised to refrain from social interaction and try to
live as .a man without 1ualities..
In volume II Musil describes the relation between %lrich and his 4 year elder or
younger sister gathe. -hey e/perience a mystically incestuous stirring upon meeting
after their father.s death. -hey see themselves as soul mates or as the boo! says
5siamese-twins5.
In 674& in 8ausanne" Musil.s widow Martha published a 49'-page collection of material
from literary remains including the ': galley chapters withdrawn from Part III" as well
as drafts of the final incomplete chapters and notes on the development and direction of
the novel.
My interpretation
+!ipping all bac!ground noise the plot may be simplified to a mystic creation legend. In fact the
gender may be considered as the mayor force to alienate ourselves. s a man and woman in details
we are different from our ;reator. -herefore man may be advised to refrain from social interaction
and try to live as .a man without 1ualities." for instance by neutrali<ing his masculinity into
androgyny by marrying a female partner with an e1ual amount of femininity.
6 -he =eywords in #od.s >ame
' #erman 0 Der Mann ohne Eigenschaften
-his is the core message of (-he Man *ithout ?ualities”, which does not really describe a male
person" but an (androgynous coule !ithout "ualities). In fact the title (-he Man *ithout
?ualities” is a contradictio in terminis" which may be e/plained in the following section.
remar!able detail in this theory is the idea that a newborn child starts life without 1ualities. t
early ages the gender is neuter. In #erman and @utch almost all diminutive e/pressions are
considered neuters. -o a newborn child the other 1ualities such as profession and nationality are
irrelevant.
-he newborn child is the ultimate image of the ;reator and a veritable ($uman Aeing *ithout
?ualities)
The concept of “The Man Without Qualities”
Musil.s original concept 2(an llegory to the ;reation of Man)3 deviates from what the publication
really seems to represent 2B a gigantic" voluminous description of the decay of a civili<ation in the
late-$apsburg ustria-$ungary empire3. In the mystic creation legend the description of the
imperial bac!ground of =a!anien seems to be irrelevant and blurs the author.s thesis.
%lrich" C#he Man $ithout %ualities(" represents any person in any realistic scenario.
Dor Musil the e/istence of other realistic scenarios belongs to the mystical world.
The protagonist “Anders” (to be understood as “Alien” or “Another”
In the original concept of Musil.s project we may still identify the e/pressions (anders) and
(mystic) in the title and the protagonist.s name. Musil started with a title (-he +alvator) instead of
(-he Man *ithout ?ualities” and the protagonist.s name (&nders) 2(lien)3 instead of %lrich
&
.
In his boo! 'rache des M(glichen @ietrich $ochstEtter claims Musil e/plicitly considers #od as a
(Aeing without 1ualities)
4
.
Musil.s (+alvator) is a )od !ithout "ualities* s a +eing !ithout "ualities #od also created Man as
a +eing !ithout "ualities* dam and ,ve however do have 1ualities" which must have been
introduced at the creation phase
4
. Musil now suggested ways to remove these 1ualities by joining
individuals with antipodal 1ualities such as male F female.
I remembered this principle may have been applied in ancient eras inside various words. In
Provencal language the words (I,%) 2I3 and (@I,%) 2#od3 seem to be correlating their
vowels. -he I and % may be symboli<ing a male respectively a female component. -hese
two 1ualities are the elements Musil intended to compensate by joining them into one
androgynous couple.
Musil.s idea obviously had been based on eliminating 1ualities by compensating antipodes such as
the letters (I) and (%) in a word (I,%). Musil.s name (nders) 2B (lien)3 symboli<ed the
alienation from his female partner which was his antipode. In a composed couple (I,%) the
antipodes I and % neutrali<e each other and result in a (,eing !ithout "ualities). In his novel Musil
obviously had composed a similar concept" which in the ne/t chapter might be highlighted in
details.
& C@er ,rlGser( sollte der Roman ursprHngliche heiIen 2page ':&3 and Cnders( wollte Musil seinen Protagonisten
nennen 2page ':&3 in +prache des MGglichen J von @ietrich $ochstEtter 2677'3
4 #ott als *esen ohne ,igenschaften 2':43 in +prache des MGglichen J von @ietrich $ochstEtter 2677'3
4 dam and ,ve have been created as adults.
!hilo of Ale"andria
-he original core concept of Musil.s novel seems to have been introduced by Philo of le/andria"
who seems to have formulated the fundamentals of !a" #a!"on
Philo
9
" in whose view the KLMNOPQ" or RSTUMNRQ VMWTXYRQ" 5as being born in the image of
#od" has no participation in any corruptible or earthli!e essenceZ whereas the earthly
man is made of loose material" called a lump of clay.5
7
[4\
-he heavenly man" as the perfect image of the 8ogos" is neither man nor woman" but an
incorporeal intelligence purely an ideaZ while the earthly man" who was created by #od
later" is perceptible to the senses and parta!es of earthly qualities.
]
[4\
It should be noted that earthly man and woman have been e1uipped with 1ualities" whereas dam
=admon had been created as an image of #od !ithout earthly 1ualities.
Philo is evidently combining philosophy and Midrash" Plato and the rabbis. +etting out
from the duplicate Aiblical account of dam" who was formed in the image of #od
2#enesis 60'73" and of the first man" whose body #od formed from the earth 2#enesis
'073" he combines with it the Platonic doctrine of ideasZ ta!ing the primordial dam as
the idea" and the created man of flesh and blood as the 5image.5 -hat Philo.s philosophic
views are grounded on the Midrash" and not vice versa" is evident from his seemingly
senseless statement that the 5heavenly man"5 the RSTUMNRQ VMWTXYRQ 2who is merely an
idea3" is 5neither man nor woman.5
7
-he creation of human beings obviously followed in two stages. In the first stage dam =admon
had to be created" who was to be split up in two antipodes dam and ,ve" who had been e1uipped
with basically antipodal 1ualities.
The concept of a deity as a #reator and $alvator
-his concept depends on a mystical idea that in the beginning only one singular human being had
been created. ccording to its ;reator.s image this lonesome dam =admon had not been e1uipped
with specialties. -herefore this creature may be considered to describe his character with a
neutrali<ed ego-pronoun (ieu” as an image of (@ieu).
In a later subse1uent period this individual dam =admon was to be split up in a duo &dam and
E-a, in which &dam and E-a clearly had been created different from their ;reator and from each
other by their implanted 1ualities. -herefore they may be named alien 2(n!ers)3.
-hese individuals &dam and E-a are no images of the ;reator and each have their own properties.
-hey do not belong to the (,eings !ithout "ualities”.
-his principle may have influenced Musil to introduce a female protagonist gathe" who
theoretically might be able to neutrali<e the 1ualities of her male partner. Drpm the novel we now
!now this e/periment failed" but Musil may have started his project without overview up to the end
phase of the boo!.
dam =admon is represented only by the thorn of the first letter ^odh. 2(the thorn of the yod) is
just the small curve at the top of the letter3
6:
9 ': A;. J 4: @
7 ?uotation form dam =admon
] ?uotation form dam =admon
7 ?uotation form dam =admon
6: B Matthew 406] >+3 J ^od - _ne very +ignificant 8etter.
perfect image of the $ord 2the .ogos3 seems to be the celestial man" as it has been symboli<ed by
an idea (without 1ualities)" the celestial man 2RSTUMNRQ VMWTXYRQ3 of Philo. -his image definitely is
neither male nor female.
-he heavenly man" as the perfect image of the 8ogos" is neither man nor woman" but an
incorporeal intelligence purely an ideaZ while the earthly man" who was created by #od
later" is perceptible to the senses and parta!es of earthly 1ualities
66
dam was created as a man-woman 2androgynous3" e/plaining הבקנו רכז 2#enesis 60'73
as 5male and female5 instead of 5man and woman"5 and that the separation of the se/es arose
from the subse1uent operation upon dam.s body.
+ymbolically splitting the vowel word (I,%) 2dam =admon3 results in a leading vowel (I)
2representing a male dam3 and a trailing vowel (%) 2as a female partner ,ve3. -he ego-pronoun
(I,%) symboli<es the /0” !ithout "ualities" which represents the ego-symbol for the androgynous
image of an ideal" true couple" the human couple 2a union of man and woman3.
I and % may be considered as individual adult persons" who have by marriage been joined to an
androgynous image 2I% or I,%3 of the first human creature dam =admon. _nly in a matrimonial
ceremony man 2as a couple3 might be reaching up to the ;reator.s image.
,ven in the color codes red" blue and purple" which in multiple occasions had been referred
in ,/odus and ;hronicles" we may identify both antipodes 2the male color red and the
female color blue3" respectively purple 2as a mi/ture of 4:` red F 4:` blue3. -he dyes for
these colors had been e/ported from -yre into the Mediterranean world of the biblical eras
6'
.
*e !now Robert Musil had been influenced by ancient religious fundamentals by referring to
various names such as @iotima and Aonadea
6&
.
-hese names suggest that Robert Musil might have designed (-he +alvator) as a mystic allegory" in
which his alter-ego (lien) 2named (nders)3 along with his symbolic partner gathe are aiming to
unite and compose an androgynous matrimonial couple.
re we allowed to consider the ego-pronouns ieu
14
" iau and iou as words 2(.ogoi)3 and creative
fundamentals" based on dam =admon.s androgynous image" who in Provencal language might be
symboli<ing the ;reator #od @ieu 2respectively in alternative spelling @iau and @iou3a
66 B Philo in dam =admon
6' 8amentation for -yre
6& -he Man *ithout ?ualities
64 In Provencal language and in various lpine dialects
$ummary
%sing mythical names such as @iotima and Aonadea the author Robert Musil in his wor! ( Man
without ?ualities) may have designed an allegoric interpretation of Philo.s theory" in which #od as
a (;reator without 1ualities) created a (Man without ?ualities). -his creation procedure however
will only be successful if we include an intermediate creation phase.
In #erman language the title (& Man !ithout %ualities) must be considered as a contradictio in
terminis" which may be illustrated in the following e/planation. In ,nglish the word Man is
genderless and perfectly meets the re1uirements of a ,eing !ithout "ualities.
,specially the 1uality (se/) alienates us from ourselves. -he se/-1uality deviates and alienates us
from our ;reator. -herefore man may be advised to refrain from social interaction and try to live as
.a man without 1ualities." for instance by neutrali<ing his masculinity into androgyny by marrying a
female partner with an e1ual amount of femininity.
-his is the core message of Plato.s creation legend" the Aiblical creation legend and Musil.s (-he
Man without ?ualities)" in which the word (Man) is to be understood as an androgynous
personage.
_nly newly born children do not deviate from our ;reator and may be considered as true samples of
(men !ithout "ualities).
Contents
7th of buly ':64 J Robert Musil.s (Man without ?ualities)...........................................................6
nalysis of the first two volumes of (-he Man *ithout ?ualities)......................................6
My interpretation....................................................................................................................6
-he concept of (-he Man *ithout ?ualities).......................................................................'
-he protagonist (nders) 2to be understood as (lien) or (nother)3.................................'
Philo of le/andria.................................................................................................................&
-he concept of a deity as a ;reator and +alvator...................................................................&
+ummary................................................................................................................................4

Sign up to vote on this title
UsefulNot useful