Moderne – Sprache – Körper
Analysen zum Verhältnis von Körpererfahrung und Sprachkritik in erzählenden Texten Robert Musils
1. Edition 2009
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Critical linguistic remarks are ubiquitous in the narrative texts of Robert Musil. At the same time, the protagonists repeatedly undergo intensive physical experiences – irregularities that are typical within the historical literary context. So far there has lacked a firm link between these two aspects – this volume attempts to fill this gap. Smerilli's text analyses concentrate on the connections between the linguistic and the corporeal themes in Musil's The Confusions of Young Törless, Unions and The Man Without Qualities. They show that the simultaneity of these themes is by no means coincidental. Through his characters, Musil conveys that in the modern age, linguistically 'blinded' humans try to 'see' with their bodies. In essays and literary remnants, Musil also develops a theory of perception that reacts precisely to this epistemological re-orientation, moving away from 'language as a vade-mecum' to 'the guiding thread of the body' (Friedrich Nietzsche).
The result is a new perspective on Musil's texts and the constellation of problems in modern literature.