Books: Dance Around an Egghead

THE MAN WITHOUT QUALITIES, VOL. II (454 pp.)—Robert Musil—Coward-McCann ($5).

To modern Europe's greatest novelists, including Proust. Mann and Joyce, European culture is a dying patient at whose bedside they have arrived too late. Societies in rigor mortis also fascinated Robert Musil, a little-known Austrian ex-army officer, who began dissecting the Austro-Hungarian Empire in 1922 in a novel called The Man Without Qualities, and kept at it until he died 20 years and 2,000 pages later. U.S. publishers of the book are releasing one-fifth of it at a time (the first installment appeared last year—TIME, June 8, 1953). It is a fascinating...

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