Authors as anthropomorphic animals, plus more Musil
"Did you see the piece by Stein in `This Quarter'?"
"Naw, I can't stand her comics."
"They are unreadable."
"I kind of like them."
The book, by the one-named Norwegian cartoonist Jason, is like Woody Allen's "A Twenties Memory," only flatter, more matter of fact, and just is a funny in its poking fun at our fascination with the Lost Generation.
But you didn't think you were through with Robert Musil, did you? Here are a few more gems from The Man Without Qualities:
"Now, as it happened, Ulrich was not accustomed to regard the State as anything but a hotel in which one was entitled to civility and service, and he objected to the tone in which he had been addressed."And, most contemporary-seeming in 2012 from this book written between 1930 and 1942:
*“Such a composer cannot be either a conspirator or a politician. If he were, his genius for light music would be unthinkable. And nothing irrational happens in the history of the world.”
*"Understanding reality is exclusively a matter for the historico-political thinker. For him the present time follows the battle of Mohács or of Lietzen as the entrée follows the soup."
*"It was perhaps not only Count Leinsdorf’s feelings that were given wings by a certain vague metaphorical quality that lessened the sense of reality. For there is an elevating and magnifying power in vagueness."
*“I give you my solemn word,” Ulrich replied gravely, “that neither I nor anyone else knows what ‘the true’ is. But I can assure you it is on the point of realisation.”
“`Tell me, what do you understand by ‘true patriotism’, ‘true progress’ and ‘true Austria’?”© Peter Rozovsky 2012
"Startled out of his mood and yet still in the spirit of it, Ulrich answered in the style in which he had always carried on conversation with Fischel: `The P.I.C.'
“`The P.I.C.?' Director Fischel repeated the letters in all innocence, this time not thinking that it was a joke, for although such abbreviations were then not yet as numerous as today, they were familiar from cartels and trusts, and they were very confidence-inspiring."