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Robert Musil Quotes


A person is distinguished from animals – and, one may add, from the insane – in that he is capable, according to his intellectual and moral faculties, of acting against the law and of committing a crime.

Philosophers are despots who have no armies to command, so they subject the world to their tyranny by locking it up in a system of thought. This apparently also accounts for the presence of great philosophers in times of great tyrants, while epochs of progressive civilization and democracy fail to bring forth a convincing philosophy.

His lust did not know whether it was supposed to be quenched by Rachel’s blood or her kisses, or else by a freezing up of all the veins in his body the moment he set eyes on his beloved.

Once they have caught on, men tend to treat such nymphomaniac women no better than morons for whom the cheapest tricks are good enough and who can be tripped up in the same way time and again.

Somehow or other, order, once it reaches a certain stage, calls for bloodshed.

[Ulrich] realized that even as he had only been toying with her, they had already reached the limit of what words could do, and there was only one last step: he would have to fall in with the girl’s unexpressed longings, ungird his intellectual loins, and breach her “inner ramparts.”

Ulrich felt that he would now at long last have to either live like everybody else, for some attainable goal, or come to grips with one of his impossible possibilities.

::Quotes taken from The Man Without Qualities::

February 13, 2010 1:56 pm

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