#BOOK õ Die Verwirrungen des Zöglings Törleß ⚫ eBook or E-pub free

The New York Times Book Review was supposed to have said that this novel, published in 1906, was a chilling foreshadowing of the coming of Nazism That, I feel, was a bit of a stretch.Four young men in an all boys military school in Austria, maybe sometime the start of 20th century Torless, with his heavy philosophical musings, and around whom the story is built Basini, weak and victimized Beineberg, the mad silly, to me mystic and Reiting, the manipulator who revels on torture At the sid The New York Times Book Review was supposed to have said that this novel, published in 1906, was a chilling foreshadowing of the coming of Nazism That, I feel, was a bit of a stretch.Four young men in an all boys military school in Austria, maybe sometime the start of 20th century Torless, with his heavy philosophical musings, and around whom the story is built Basini, weak and victimized Beineberg, the mad silly, to me mystic and Reiting, the manipulator who revels on torture At the side of the story, and of the school too is a house where an aging prostitute lives As expected, what with these good looking boys with raging libido and no girls on sight except a prostitute who mocks them , there were some boy and boy loving Then, the bullying and abuse by the strong against the weak.Admittedly, Beineberg s crazy ideas, though not racist, may be likened to Hitler s own, to some degree He and Reiting, with their adolescent cruelty, could conceivably have grown into full blown Nazis by the 1930 s Still, however, they were not that unusual There are bullies and lunatics in all schools, even up to now.Trying to understand what Torless was saying, in the midst of all these, was the torture for me One can say they were too deep for me to understand Another might say, however, that they re just plain baloney Whatever T rless is confused Indeed, the title of this book, in some editions not mine , is The Confusions of Young T rless Skimming the plot surface of this book, T rless is a student in an Austrian military school Two student friends of T rless find out that yet another student, Basini, has been stealing small amounts of money They proceed to sadistically, homosexually torture him T rless finds himself aroused, and, thus, confused.T rless finds himself in a frequent sudden lassitude with T rless is confused Indeed, the title of this book, in some editions not mine , is The Confusions of Young T rless Skimming the plot surface of this book, T rless is a student in an Austrian military school Two student friends of T rless find out that yet another student, Basini, has been stealing small amounts of money They proceed to sadistically, homosexually torture him T rless finds himself aroused, and, thus, confused.T rless finds himself in a frequent sudden lassitude with a queer uneasinessa tingling in his brain a fine toothed doubt a vague feeling a foreboding that he was wasting his time a dense, gluey boredom a queer state that kept him awake utterly mangled with his suffocating heart he lay there, all wrapped up in his memories to say nothing of the light flittering feet of innumerable iridescent lizards.I would have appreciated a sign that said HERE BE LASSITUDE There are works of literature that are about one thing, but are really about the author s struggle with sexual identity I had a professor that was certain Kafka was crying out Young T rless is inside out of that The plot is all about four boys engaged in homosexual acts, but that s not the point Smarter folks than me have called this a chilling foreshadowing of the coming of Nazism New York Times Book Review But that s about 30 years of foreshadowing, so I don t know In order to fully understand what Musil is talking about in this novel, Nazis or otherwise, you d need to have a working understanding of mathematical imaginary numbers and the philosophy of Immanuel Kant I don t and you can t make me #BOOK ⚢ Die Verwirrungen des Zöglings Törleß » T rle , Reiting und Beineberg bekommen mit, wie der j ngere Mitsch ler Basini stiehlt Doch sie bewahren Ihr Wissen f r sich als sadistisches Machtinstrument Beineberg und Reiting versklaven, misshandeln und foltern Basini physisch und sexuell T rle hingegen versucht dar ber hinaus und zunehmend eher die psychische Zusammenh nge zu ergr nden Reiz an Dem tigung, Faszination der Macht, Abgr nde menschlicher Psyche, gruppendynamischen Mechanismen, psychische und intellektuelle Entwicklung der Pubert tszeit sind zentrale Aspekte des hochpsychologisierten Werkes, dessen Handlung im Provinzinternat der sterreichisch ungarischen k und k Monarchie spielt That moment when you realize that having your head in the clouds is not always a good thing In short, the confusions of Young Torless are the confusions of all who wonder how the seemingly rational person can become embroiled in the heinous But also And suddenly and it seemed to him as if it had happened for the very first time Torless became aware of how incredibly high the sky was It was almost a shock Straight above him, shining between the clouds, was a small, blue hole, fathoml That moment when you realize that having your head in the clouds is not always a good thing In short, the confusions of Young Torless are the confusions of all who wonder how the seemingly rational person can become embroiled in the heinous But also And suddenly and it seemed to him as if it had happened for the very first time Torless became aware of how incredibly high the sky was It was almost a shock Straight above him, shining between the clouds, was a small, blue hole, fathomlessly deep He felt it must be possible, if only one had a long, long ladder, to climb up and into it But the further he penetrated, raising himself on his gaze, the further the blue, shining depth receded And still it was as though some time it must be reached, as though by sheer gazing one must be able to stop it and hold it The desire to do this became agonizingly intense 87 Young Torless is a thoughtful youth, and by that I mean that his head is full of the thoughts typical of youth of conventional, nascent navel gazers Not thoughts for others, but the poetry of self indulgence The things that occur to people when they have a surfeit of time and a dearth of responsibility Yet none are sustained for long enough to be useful and are abandoned at the first vertiginous point Now Torless began to think about this, making an effort to be as calm and rational as he could Of course there is no end, he said to himself, it just keeps going on and on forever, into infinity He kept his eyes fixed on the sky, saying this aloud to himself as though he were testing the power of a magic formula 87 88 One might be tempted to glimpse one s own early musings in this military boarding school boy Who hasn t been startled by the concept of imaginary numbers Who hasn t experienced the shock of starting with concrete operations, lapsing into impossibilities of i, suspending disbelief long enough to find a couple of canceling squares for your nasty roots, and coming out on the other side with something both intelligible and meaningful Who hasn t thought that reading philosophy was pointless because Kant already nailed it all down in a couple of dusty tomes But it was no use the words meant nothing, or rather, they meant something quite different, as if, while dealing with the same subject, they were taking it from another side, one that was strange, unfamiliar and irrelevant Infinity But now it flashed through him, with startling clarity, that there was something terribly disturbing about this word It seemed to him like a concept that had been tamed and with which he himself had been daily going through his little circus tricks and now all of a sudden it had broken loose Something surpassing all comprehension, something wild and annihilating, that once had been put to sleep by some ingenious operation, had suddenly leapt awake and was there again in all its terrifying strength There in the sky, it was standing over him, alive and threatening and sneering 88 It is the re reading of precisely these lines that points up what I find utterly terrifying about this book Torless descent isthan one of complaisance or complicity, it must be recognized as commissive simplified Torless, and two other classmates, Reiting and Beineberg torture a younger, weaker coeval, by physical beatings, sexual assaults, mental abuse though I can see Torless defense attorneys reading for a plea down What makes matters evenrepugnant is the ease with which the perpetrators distance themselves from the victim and the detachment of the adult rectors who seem eager to latch onto some muddy metaphysical rationalizations during the proceeding, farcical inquest The sum is the disconcerting feeling of staring into an evil abyss, which is rendered all thestomach churning by its banality Or maybe it s just the passivity of the individual infected by the sickness of herd Here Reiting discusses changing the tactics for abusing the victim, shifting from individualized brutality to mob blindness lines which I believe are responsible for the book s blurb claiming that this work prefigured the rise of Nazism, at least from a group psychological standpoint We can turn it over in our minds, polish it up and keep on adding new refinements Without the appropriate details it s still a bit of a bore, for the present Perhaps we ll hand him right over to the class to deal with That would be the most sensible thing to do If each one of so many contributes even a little, it ll be enough to tear him to pieces And anyway, I have a liking for these mass movements Nobody means to contribute anything spectacular, and yet the waves keep rising higher and higher, until they break over everyone s head You chaps just wait and see, nobody will lift a finger, but all the same there ll be a terrific upheaval Instigating a thing like that gives me really quite particular pleasure 174 175 Awful stuff Gah So, how can I rate this four stars I guess it is simply this Musil s prose which the book s blurb so accurately describes as claustrophobic and poetic is immersive and engaging The reader is bound and horrified Further, I ve never been able to understand the phrase the banality of evil Now, I might.Note I read the Wilkins and Kaiser Englishing, which was so good I forgot I was reading a translation The Confusions of Young Robert MusilSemi autobiographically little Robert slowly develops into an adolescent Sensitive and insecure in the company of equally insecure boys without qualities, except being of respectable aristocratic families Coming of age in a boarding school environment where everyone is eager to prove his manhood either by showing traces of intellect, by being the master bully or bragging of imaginary amorous adventures The long and winding road leading to climax is very The Confusions of Young Robert MusilSemi autobiographically little Robert slowly develops into an adolescent Sensitive and insecure in the company of equally insecure boys without qualities, except being of respectable aristocratic families Coming of age in a boarding school environment where everyone is eager to prove his manhood either by showing traces of intellect, by being the master bully or bragging of imaginary amorous adventures The long and winding road leading to climax is very foreseeable for a man who studied both psychology and philosophy and even graduated the latter cum laude, the descriptions of the mechanisms at work in groups is quite weak Controversial for it s time Maybe, but even in Austria it was an open secret what boys did together after dark There is nothing of real interest to be obtained from this work, no new insight into human soul or behavior and nothing of historical significance In short, it was a waste of time The Confusions of Young Torless is an incredible book, reminiscent at times of Rilke in its ability to wrestle with complex spiritual and psychological themes Reading this book was like constantly trying to grasp something slightly abstract, slightly out of reach, though very human and real and rooted in language This is an ambitious though short book, an extremely thoughtful and difficult read.Maybe it is fitting that the book is so hard to describe, since one of its main themes is the inef The Confusions of Young Torless is an incredible book, reminiscent at times of Rilke in its ability to wrestle with complex spiritual and psychological themes Reading this book was like constantly trying to grasp something slightly abstract, slightly out of reach, though very human and real and rooted in language This is an ambitious though short book, an extremely thoughtful and difficult read.Maybe it is fitting that the book is so hard to describe, since one of its main themes is the ineffable ness of certain human experience One thing the book is NOT about, however, is the devastating effects of the abuse of power as it states in the back of the book Sure, that s what happens, but the author s focus seems determinedly off , always in the head of young Torless, who approaches the events that unfold with a much deeper and complex inquisitiveness than the simple moral lesson parable suggested in that blurb.At the center is the metaphor of imaginative numbers Torless learns of them in math class, and spends some pages thinking about how we can start with something completely real, apply an element that does not exist to it but we pretend it does, temporarily, just for the sake of conjecture and that the logical result of that because the imaginative numbers eventually cancel each other out on both sides of the equation is a real result But that the bridge between the two real worlds is one that s completely made up.This metaphor, though not always explicitly stated, can be applied to many of the themes in this book the way our conceptions of self are propped up by a set of lies we tell ourselves, the way we conduct our lives in the daytime differently from at night though we need the night as a bridge to get to the next day , the way we can be completely rational with our thoughts even though we are essentially emotional and irrational beings.The confusion of young Torless becomes our confusion as he thinks obscurely about these themes among many others guilt, shame, pride, sexuality, the contradictions of the self, coherence between mind, body, and soul and how we smooth over these contradictions of ourselves The writing itself is sometimes very confusing, I often found myself lost in what the book was trying to say especially in the first 50 pages, which seemed at times aimless , but it is that effort that slowly begins to make sense as the book reveals itself as the book gets less and less abstract, the writing itself becomestangible Decadent Austro Hungarian kids torture and sodomize a classmate as a rehearsal of the upper class adulthood awaiting them out of the military academy.Physical and psychological harassment A crumbling empire Pre nazi post sadism galore Depravity Pseudo Freudian expressionism The chance to hear the bookshop assistant s ooohs and aaahs as you put a book by Robert Musil on the counter No need to say I licked my lips as soon as I read the blurb Boy, I must have looked like Wile E Coyote drool Decadent Austro Hungarian kids torture and sodomize a classmate as a rehearsal of the upper class adulthood awaiting them out of the military academy.Physical and psychological harassment A crumbling empire Pre nazi post sadism galore Depravity Pseudo Freudian expressionism The chance to hear the bookshop assistant s ooohs and aaahs as you put a book by Robert Musil on the counter No need to say I licked my lips as soon as I read the blurb Boy, I must have looked like Wile E Coyote drooling after the Road Runner Ahem.M hrisch Weisskirschen, Moravia, around 1900.Three teen cadets of a military school spend their time hiding in attics and cellars turned into impromptu boudoirs, eating pastries and paying weekly visits to a Slavic pockmarked whore in the nearby village Spoiled brats get easily bored though, especially when they also happen to be mad as they come, as the author tells us from the very beginning We know littleabout them no first names, no information about their origins and age, the fewest possible descriptions of their looks All the author really wants us to keep in mind is that these kids are utterly insane, each of them in his own way T rless, the protagonist, is obsessed with sex and quite keen on introspection and self abasement His mind is haunted by fantasies of blasphemy and incestprecisely, he gets off imagining her mother s sexual life Hence his morbid attraction to the scum, seen as a means to fill an existential void made of the feeling of not belonging in either his own social class nor in the dirty populace, both of which fascinate and disgust him at the same time Beineberg is evendisquieting in his potentially murderous ennui a Mitteleuropean dandy, between Des Esseintes and De Sade s beastly aristocrats, fond of cheap esotericism and weird Hindu philosophy, a hodgepodge of exotic bullshit that allows him to escape his frightening lack of any morals whatsoever Last but not least, Reiting whose violent nature is cunningly sublimated in a destructive, asocial behaviour This sadistic sociopath, born in a controversial half ruined family and brimming with frustrated dreams of juvenile grandeur, is the basic asshole whose only aim is the objectification of his victim, devoid of any sort of intellectual subtlety Quite different natures indeed unfortunately enough, they all share a penchant for homo sexually charged violence that finds the perfect victim perhaps a scapegoat in a fourth boy, Basini clearly Italian origins , a creepy weakling bound to be mercilessly exploited by the depraved trio To be honest, nobody would ever shed a tear for him Basini is so disgustingly opportunist that he hardly stirs up any feeling of sympathy in the reader What follows is quite predictable in the eyes of the perpetrators, Basini is the nameless, faceless, voiceless and soulless Untermensch the less than human creature made to be enslaved, thus enduring all its masters whimsical fantasies When a farcical series of petty thefts puts the kid in their hands, the boys lose control once and for all Although Musil s clever writing never indulges in detailed descriptions of sex and brutality, he basically tells us about a homosexual gang rape that takes place in a dusty backroom, with plenty of sadistic acts as foreplay including the use of whips and needles From this moment on, each of the three buddies gets increasingly involved in experimenting his peculiar version of abusive lust, desires that go beyond mere sex and manifest themselves in the forms of psychological torments T rless , parodies of tantric spirituality Beineberg and sheer old school sadism Reiting According to Musil, a former student of Weisskirchen college himself, this short novel is full of autobiographical hints and true memories Although slightly altered for the author s fictional purposes, both the events and the setting are thus supposed to be painfully real after all, R M Rilke gave a similar description of Weisskirchen, which he had also attended a few years before Musil Even if the writing style is far from being perfect in my opinion, that is this debut novel is amazingly interesting and complex I dare say it provides the reader with an unexpected insight in the years that shaped last century s collective and individual psyche No doubt the passages of T rless musings and ramblings are way too long and often repetitive they re nonetheless a great example of how deeply the newborn science of psychoanalysis was influencing European literature and arts Bildungsroman Yes, but also a surprisingly good depiction of an era we hardly know and fathom in all its momentous importance Forget about the stereotypical idea of a repressive, heavy handed education in which the students vulnerable minds are violated with huge doses of ossified culture, religiosity and militarism On the contrary, what truly scares here is the educational void of the institutions, the total lack of direction and meaning of a whole culture.Teachers are hardly ever mentioned, let aside a few passages in which they are actually caricatures of themselves Families are equally non existent or toxic mothers seen as ghosts awakening dipal pulsions, fathers dismissed as entities floating in a limbo of oblivion Religion is nothingthan a school lesson nobody cares about All in all, in such a desert of boredom and hopelessness the claustrophobic atmosphere of the college, so drenched in lust and violence, is the only conceivable way out No wonder some of these brats joined the highest ranks of the Nazi party when the real fun began, a couple of decades later, overjoyed to take part in the orgy of blood and lust they probably had been craving since their teens Hard to believe this book was written in 1906, huh But then one must bear in mind these were the years of Freud, Viennese Secession, Die Br cke, Fauvism Musil s little psychos were indeed the first product of a world that was ridding itself of the burden of the past without daring to take a closer look to the present a present of moral exhaustion and irrationality in which all the pillars of the old world State, Family, Church, Army were walking dead, eaten from within by the worms of their terrifying emptiness Musil s characters are certainly the embodiment of his times However, the reader of nowadays is able to look at them from an even darker perspective that of the future We know what was going to happen a few years later to most of these youngsters, a whole generation who would be butchered in the blood soaked, shitty ratholes of WW1 well groomed pretty junkers merrily sent to be machine gunned, eviscerated by hand grenades, killed by typhus in the name of their sacred Country and respectable Families Because, La bourgeoisie n a jamais h sit m me tuer ses fils Suggested soundtrack Dum Dum Girls, Lost Boys And Girls Club Bold, strange and innovative, The Confusions of Young Torless I m not sure how to type the accent over the o in Torless, sorry is an often bizarre yet interesting German classic. Readers who associate boarding school fiction with sneaky midnight feasts, harmless pranks or wizardry may come to find the introspection of young T rless s education not only shocking but also too dense Musil is not so much interested in investigating the exterior world of the protagonist, and chooses instead to look deeply into the psychological and moral awakening of youth Young T rless drifts through interior monologue, to dreamlike sequences, to the horrors of life away from home, where p Readers who associate boarding school fiction with sneaky midnight feasts, harmless pranks or wizardry may come to find the introspection of young T rless s education not only shocking but also too dense Musil is not so much interested in investigating the exterior world of the protagonist, and chooses instead to look deeply into the psychological and moral awakening of youth Young T rless drifts through interior monologue, to dreamlike sequences, to the horrors of life away from home, where punishment is dished out by some nasty little brats that were deplorable I wanted to drop them down a deep well But If I m honest, I didn t really like anybody, and it didn t come as a surprise to me either T rless was clearly, sexually speaking, in a muddle, and afraid to confront his own feelings and desires He seems to suggest that for one to live a normal life, one must regulate the depth to which one wants to explore one s desires or the extent to which one wants to obey them Yet, thehe refuses to interrogate those feelings that draw him closer to his friend, the deeper the internal torments In a way, it s interesting that parts of the novel can be seen as an early indication to the rise of fascism, and it s written well enough, which I expected anyway, but I found there really wasn t much to like, especially the second half If I had to write down a list of things I wouldn t want to read about again, then sadistic bullying would definitely be somewhere near the top IntroductionNote on the TextSelect BibliographyA Chronology of Robert Musil The Confusions of Young T rless Explanatory Notes