The Man Without Qualities Short Essay - Answer Key

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1. Describe the circumstances that made Musil move to Germany initially.

Robert Musil was an Austrian. He spent part of his life in Austria, and another good portion of it living in Germany. As a grown man, he joined the Austrian Army and served at the front during the First World War. He moved from Austria to Germany.

2. Why did Musil move back to Austria, and how did that affect his work?

Musil liked living in Austria, 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 that country 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 due to him being in Austria rather than in Germany.

3. Describe Musil's literary style.

Musil wrote in a literary style that is known as post-Expressionism, which is of a similar literary style employed by the famous writers Tolstoy, Dostoevsky, and Balzac. This style of writing is quite different from Western European literary traditions.

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