Musil's limpid, psychological evocation of adolescent sexuality and its often sadistic eroticism which anticipates the carnage of both World Wars.
As the nineteenth century draws to an end, young Törless is sent to a military boarding school for the sons of the nobility on the eastern outreaches of the Austro-Hungarian Empire. Far from his comfortable, free-thinking bourgeois home and left to his own devices, he experiences the joy, pain and self-doubt of adolescence. He is confronted with desire and love, but also his own cruelty, as he finds himself participating in his fellow pupils' bullying campaigns.
A dark Bildungsroman which shocked its readership at the time, Robert Musil's first novel is a fresco of psychoanalysis, philosophy, eroticism, snobbery, sado-masochism and schoolboy humour, a hothouse of alternately repressed and unchained desires that prefigure the carnage of both World Wars.
About the Author
Robert Musil (1882–1942) was an Austrian writer whose unfinished novel The Man without Qualities is now considered one of the most important works of European Modernism.