'They no longer hold themselves up with all their might, but sink a little and at that moment appear totally human'. Of the very first rank of prose stylists, Robert Musil captures a scene's every telling detail and symbolic aspect with a precise and remarkable beauty. In these nine stories and essays, he considers holidaymakers and stone monuments, tales of war and blackbirds, and the great pathos of a tiny death: a fly's impossible fight against the grip of flypaper. This book includes Flypaper , Monkey Island , Fisherman on the Baltic , Sheep , As Seen in Another Light , Sarcophagus Cover , Monuments , The Paint Spreader , It's Lovely Here and The Blackbird .
Robert Musil was born in 1880 in Austria and studied at military college in Vienna and undertook an engineering degree in Brno, Czech Republic, before turning to psychology and philosophy doctoral studies in Berlin, where he began to write. He married Martha Marcovaldi in 1911. He fought in World War I, during which time he befriended Franz Kafka in Prague. Following the war he returned to a literary career in Vienna and Berlin, during which time he was nominated for the Nobel Prize. He is the author of Five Women, The Posthumous Papers of a Living Author and The Confusions of Young Torless. His works were banned by the Nazis, and he and his Jewish wife went into exile during the Second World War, during which he died of a stroke in 1942. His works began to reappear in the 1950s. His unfinished The Man Without Qualities is generally considered one of the most important modernist novels.