* The Foreword acclimates the reader.
* Robert Musil was an Austrian.
* He spent part of his life in Austria and another good portion of it living in Germany.
* He was born in 1880.
* Decades later, as a grown man he joined the Austrian Army and served at the front during the First World War.
* He was "too old" to serve in World War II.
* He moved from Austria to Germany, and he liked it until the Nazis began to grow uncomfortably powerful.
* At that time, he assessed the situation and simply chose to relocate to Austria.
* The Austrian writer was actually safe in Austria for quite some time. There were no threats to his life. What did happen, however, was that the potential market for his novel was reduced because of being in Austria rather than Germany.
* Later on, he felt it wisest to relocate to Switzerland...
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