In 1911, following his 1906 debut, The Confusions of Young Törless, Robert Musil published the two experimental stories that make up Unions. “The Completion of Love” and “The Temptation of Quiet Veronica” were some of Musil’s earliest forays into what would become a life-long exploration of the life, adventures, and psychological processes of his fiancé, Martha Marcovaldi — the future Martha Musil.
When Musil later wrote of the “two authors” of his great unfinished work, The Man without Qualities, the co-author referred to was no other than Martha. The stories in Unions, drawn from Martha’s life, explode conventional morality; explore questions of self, union, and dissolution of self; and approximate exceptional sensations of erotic and intellectual perception in a shimmering and exceedingly dense proliferation of metaphors.
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