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Precision and Soul: Essays and Addresses Paperback – February 7, 1995

ISBN-13: 978-0226554099 ISBN-10: 0226554090

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Precision and Soul: Essays and Addresses + Musil Diaries + Posthumous Papers of a Living Author
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Product Details

  • Series: Essays and Addresses
  • Paperback: 329 pages
  • Publisher: University of Chicago Press (February 7, 1995)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0226554090
  • ISBN-13: 978-0226554099
  • Product Dimensions: 9.1 x 5.9 x 0.8 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 3.8 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (5 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #270,137 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

Language Notes

Text: English (translation)
Original Language: German --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

18 of 19 people found the following review helpful By William Kasehoff on January 30, 2005
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
To anyone that is on the brink of reading Musil for the first time: DO IT! It is very rewarding...These essays are very well written in a clear and simple language (which covers difficult subject matters) and are well translated in this collection.

Anyone who has read "War and Peace" and appreciated it will most definitely be drawn in by Musil's obvious ultimate goal of explaining everything. In his long masterpiece, "The Man Without Qualities," Musil included several essayistic sections in the same manner that Tolstoy did with "War and Peace." Critics dismissed the structure of Tolstoy's famous classic, claiming that his philosophizing and the more polemical sections have no place within "the novel."

This is, in my opinion, an extremely lame stance to take and should raise the question: What is the purpose and goal of such a person who makes such claims? This is the critic in the worst sense of the word.

Musil and Tolstoy obviously concerned with the larger issues that have tormented all great Western thinkers of the past millenia. If these larger issues interest you as well and you are looking for some bold attempts at achieving "a coverage of everything," Musil is the author for you. If, on the other hand, you prefer writers like Nabokov, Proust, and Joyce (all writers that were DEFINITELY more concerned with style than anything else), than maybe you will be unimpressed by Musil's incredible attempt to actually say something.

Don't get me wrong: Proust, Joyce, and Nabokov are all writers that "had something to say," but give me a break...they are the writer's writers more than anything else.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By Jean Philippe Cornelis on April 8, 2014
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
I like very much Robert Musil but this is a horrible, unreadable translation!
I REALLY BELIEVE THAT WE ARE IN A TIMES OF BIGG STUPID FOOLS!
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By Ben Cunningham on July 4, 2014
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
Excellent
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7 of 57 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on April 11, 1999
Format: Paperback
Readers will save themselves much unrewarding labor by disregarding both "Precision and soul" and, I daresay, the highly-touted "Man Without Qualities," reading instead his first work "Young Torless" and the stories collected under "Five Women." Musil's derivative philosophical and psychological preoccupations invite inevitable comparisons with Nietzsche and Freud, both of whose work is vastly more durable and fruitful. Despite the powerfully bracing, if not occasionally repellent, astringency of his style, Musil's work subsequent to "Five Women" falls considerably short of his enormous and difficult ambitions which preoccupied his later labors; and, what's more, such a gaping failure of world-historical pretension tends to pollute enjoyments one might otherwise have had in reading it.
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4 of 46 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on April 11, 1999
Format: Paperback
Readers will save themselves much unrewarding labor by disregarding both "Precision and soul" and, I daresay, the highly-touted "Man Without Qualities," reading instead his first work "Young Torless" and the stories collected under "Five Women." Musil's derivative philosophical and psychological preoccupations invite inevitable comparisons with Nietzsche and Freud, both of whose work is vastly more durable and fruitful. Despite the powerfully bracing, if not occasionally repellent, astringency of his style, Musil's work subsequent to "Five Women" falls considerably short of the enormous and difficult ambitions which preoccupied his maturity; and, what's more, such a gaping failure of world-historical pretension tends to pollute enjoyments one might otherwise have had in reading it. Read something by one whose enormous abilities are truly equal to ungodly ambitions -- read Proust.
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