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@Download E-pub õ The Confusions of Young Torless È Like his contemporary and rival Sigmund Freud, Robert Musil boldly explored the dark, irrational undercurrents of humanity The Confusions of Young T rless, published inwhile he was a student, uncovers the bullying, snobbery, and vicious homoerotic violence at an elite boys academy Unsparingly honest in its depiction of the author s tangled feelings about his mother, other women, and male bonding, it also vividly illustrates the crisis of a whole society, where the breakdown of traditional values and the cult of pitiless masculine strength were soon to lead to the cataclysm of the First World War and the rise of fascism A century later, Musil s first novel still retains its shocking, prophetic power 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 the place is an exclusive all boys boarding school in Austria the time is the turn of the 19th century three boys T rless, Beineberg, and Reiting Reiting is an amiable, energetic sort his aggressive nature is balanced by his charm and ease in the world Beineberg is an anti intellectual intellectual much like his father, he yearns to be a mystic in T rless, still waters run deep and much of the material world holds little interest for him contemplation and melancholy are his hallmark the place is an exclusive all boys boarding school in Austria the time is the turn of the 19th century three boys T rless, Beineberg, and Reiting Reiting is an amiable, energetic sort his aggressive nature is balanced by his charm and ease in the world Beineberg is an anti intellectual intellectual much like his father, he yearns to be a mystic in T rless, still waters run deep and much of the material world holds little interest for him contemplation and melancholy are his hallmarks what are three such precocious lads to do with themselves there is the village whore to spend time with, but these boys interests go further what to do, what to do how about find a fellow schoolchum, learn about his weaknesses, and then grind him into nothing torment and humiliate, beat, sexually abuse and so there is a fourth boy Basini the three boys play with him The Confusions of Young T rless was published in 1906 by Robert Musil apparently it is autobiographical in nature it is a philosophical treatise and a classic coming of age novel although the novel s narrative is centered around the endless debasement of the passive Basini, that degradation is not at all the novel s primary concern it is there in the title the book is about confused young T rless his quest for logic in an illogical world and his need to quantify the ineffable and his barely understood desire for transcendence, for an escape from small minds and fixed roles and dualistic morality a boy will fight against his surroundings, he will struggle with authority figures, he will be cynical without experiencing enough of the outside world to earn that cynicism a boy will rationalize or a boy will simply choose not to think about things that disturb him a boy will strive, a boy will yearn, a boy will barely understand himself but a boy will try and he may force others to do the same there are worms a worm is a symbol of decay or rebirth a cord dangling from drapes looks like a writhing worm in the moonlight there is a red worm of blood that trickles down Basini s face.there is an eye T rless sees it in the boys secret hideaway it is an eye made of dust motes and shadows and dim shafts of light he sees it in the midst of one of Basini s beatings he contemplates it what does this eye behold what is the story of this eye there are windows windows are a window to the unknown T rless stares through many windows windows are a window to memory T rless recalls sounds he once heard through windows the sky is a window T rless stares at the sky and is filled with awe, wonder, and fear T rless is a thinker, T rless is a dreamer T rless has disturbing feelings some about his mother, some about the local whore, some about Basini T rless has hallucinatory dreams with meanings he can only slightly grasp he tries to share these feelings, these dreams, but no one ever understands.T rless, T rless, T rless oh, T rless you and your yearning, your dreams fuck you, T rless of the three boys, I think you are the worst Reiting likes Basini to read him stories about conquering heroes then he fucks and beats him Beineberg likes to use Basini as a footrest, make him bark like a dog, beat him sometimes he fucks him T rless asks Basini searching questions about how he feels, what is going on inside of him while all of this is happening he makes Basini speak when Basini would rather cry sometimes he fucks him guess who Basini falls in love with Reiting and Beineberg s motivations are banal despite Beineberg s laughably pretentious attempt to intellectualize his predations they are cruel boys who enjoy brutalizing someone under their thumb T rless is not like them, he s a sensitive lad he wants to understand many things, imaginary numbers and order vs chaos and the logic of dreams unlike his friends, he is not a malevolent sort and his sexual arousal at Basini s tortures confuse him poor, confused T rless Basini means nothing to him, he considers him to be meaningless except as one of many puzzles he is desperate to figure out fuck you, T rless your confusions are nothing compared to what you and your buddies dole out the problem with this thoughtful, absorbing, boring, poetic, mechanistic, frustrating, compelling, often brilliant novel is that it is exactly like its title character it is not about the debasement and T rless key role there it is all about our protagonist s struggle, his inner life well, it was a bit hard for this reader to focus on such things when throughout all of the philosophical musings are brief descriptions of the boys predations the intellectualization of such acts, their use as metaphor, all the world s a play and we are merely actors on a stage, what goes on behind the curtain and within a mind honestly I don t give a flying fuckeroo about all that when some weak kid is getting destroyed by stronger kids you used the wrong metaphor, Musil all the philosophical musings I would say 90% of the novel were rendered obnoxious and uninteresting after it became clear that Musil himself is disinterested in what is happening to Basini like the novel s protagonist, the author also views Basini as meaningless Musil, you are like T rless you make that crystal clear and that is not a good look 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