The man Without Qualities Quotes.

1. "At this moment he wished to be a man without qualities. But this is probably not so very different from what other people sometimes feel too. After all, by the time they have reached the middle of their life’s journey few people remember how they have managed to arrive at themselves, at their amusements, their point of view, their wife, character, occupation and successes, but they cannot help feeling that not much is likely to change any more. It might even be asserted that they have been cheated, for one can nowhere discover any sufficient reason for everything’s having come about as it has."
- Robert Musil, The man Without Qualities

2. "Youth’s scorn and its revolt against the established order, youth’s readiness for everything that is heroic, whether it is self-sacrifice or crime, its fiery seriousness and its unsteadiness—all this is nothing but its fluttering attempts to fly."
- Robert Musil, The man Without Qualities

3. "The secret of a good librarian is that he never reads anything more of the literature in his charge than the title and the table of contents. Anyone who lets himself go and starts reading a book is lost as a librarian...He's bound to lose perspective."
- Robert Musil, The Man Without Qualities

4. "His appearance gives no clue to what his profession might be, and yet he doesn't look like a man without a profession either. Consider what he's like: He always knows what to do. He knows how to gaze into a woman's eyes. He can put his mind to any question at any time. He can box. He is gifted, strong-willed, open-minded, fearless, tenacious, dashing, circumspect—why quibble, suppose we grant him all those qualities—yet he has none of them! They have made him what he is, they have set his course for him, and yet they don't belong to him. When he is angry, something in him laughs. When he is sad, he is up to something. When something moves him, he turns against it. He'll always see a good side to every bad action. What he thinks of anything will always depend on some possible context—nothing is, to him, what it is: everything is subject to change, in flux, part of a whole, of an infinite number of wholes presumably adding up to a super-whole that, however, he knows nothing about. So every answer he gives is only a partial answer, every feeling an opinion, and he never cares what something is, only 'how' it is—some extraneous seasoning that somehow goes along with it, that's what interests him."
- Robert Musil, The Man Without Qualities

5. "Hardly anyone still reads nowadays. People make use of the writer only in order to work off their own excess energy on him in a perverse manner, in the form of agreement or disagreement."
- Robert Musil, The Man Without Qualities

6. "The difference between a normal person and an insane one is precisely that the normal person has all the diseases of the mind, while the madman has only one!"
- Robert Musil, The Man Without Qualities

7. "A man who wants the truth becomes a scientist; a man who wants to give free play to his subjectivity may become a writer; but what should a man do who wants something in between?"
- Robert Musil, The Man Without Qualities

8. "His answers were quite often like that. When she spoke of beauty, he spoke of the fatty tissue supporting the epidermis. When she mentioned love, he responded with the statistical curve that indicates the automatic rise and fall in the annual birthrate. When she spoke of the great figures in art, he traced the chain of borrowings that links these figures to one another."
- Robert Musil, The Man Without Qualities

9. "True' and 'false' are the evasions of people who never want to arrive at a decision. Truth is something without end."
- Robert Musil, The Man Without Qualities

10. "In her misery she read a great deal, and discovered that she had lost something she had previously not really know she had: a soul. What’s that? It is easy to define negatively: it is simply that which sneaks off at the mention of algebraic series."
- Robert Musil, The Man Without Qualities

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