Robert Musil’s Thought Flights vividly evokes the secrets, challenges, and mundanities of interwar life in cosmopolitan Vienna & Berlin. The texts presented here have been selected by translator Genese Grill from Musil’s Nachlass and collected for the first time under the title Thought Flights. They include material originally published in journals, newspapers, and magazines — but not included in Musil’s Posthumous Papers of a Living Author — as well as literary fragments & heretofore unpublished texts.
Despite the temporal, geographical, and cultural distance between Musil’s world & ours, our own time & troubles are all too recognizable in Musil’s portrayals of the “age of money,” simulation, and standardization. Thought Flights is a lament of contemporary complacency, optimism, and homogenization as well as a celebration of living words and original thought by one of the great Modernists of the 20th century.
As an astonishing master of metaphor & self-described “Monsieur le Vivisecteur,” Musil explores the psyches and lives of himself & his contemporaries with illuminating insight.