Customer Service | Help | FAQ | PEP-Easy | Report a Data Error | About
Tip: To go directly to an article using its bibliographical details…

PEP-Web Tip of the Day

If you know the bibliographic details of a journal article, use the Journal Section to find it quickly. First, find and click on the Journal where the article was published in the Journal tab on the home page. Then, click on the year of publication. Finally, look for the author’s name or the title of the article in the table of contents and click on it to see the article.

For the complete list of tips, see PEP-Web Tips on the PEP-Web support page.

Rising, C. (2008). Ulrich Redux: Musil's Design for His Man Without Qualities. Am. Imago, 65(4):523-545.

(2008). American Imago, 65(4):523-545

Ulrich Redux: Musil's Design for His Man Without Qualities

Catharine Rising

Critics have widely held that the Austrian novelist Robert Musil (1880-1942) would never have chosen an ending for his magnum opus The Man Without Qualities if he had lived. This paper argues that, on the contrary, he had a passion for one ending, the oedipal victory of his protagonist Ulrich von R— over a pair of possible fathers, but that Musil's own oedipal conflict worked against any such resolution. The attempt to depict either a sexual or a nonsexual triumph for the fictional son resulted in superego censure and work blockages. Musil clung nevertheless to the idea of a nonsexual coup, which had a powerfully topical resonance. The fall of the Austro-Hungarian Empire in 1918 ushered in a republican government with universal male suffrage; the change would have enabled his thirtyish hero to achieve a political career for which an older generation had run out of time. Sons, not fathers, were left to exemplify to the fullest the dictum of Cornelius Castoriadis that participation in democracy is essential to personal maturation. Musil died in the midst of a Sisyphean labor to bring his novel to this ripening.

[This is a summary or excerpt from the full text of the book or article. The full text of the document is available to subscribers.]

Copyright © 2020, Psychoanalytic Electronic Publishing, ISSN 2472-6982 Customer Service | Help | FAQ | Download PEP Bibliography | Report a Data Error | About

WARNING! This text is printed for personal use. It is copyright to the journal in which it originally appeared. It is illegal to redistribute it in any form.