This was clearly madness, and just as clearly it was no more than a distortion of our own elements of being. Cracked and obscure it was; it somehow occurred to Ulrich that if mankind could dream as a whole, that dream would be Moosbrugger.

☛ Robert Musil, The Man Without Qualities Vol. 1, trans. Sophie Wilkins, New York: Vintage International, 1996, pp. 76-77.

This post was updated on March 12, 2021 to add references.. More information about the character of Christian Moosbrugger in Musil’s novel can be found below:

French translation of the same quote:

C’était nettement de la folie, et tout aussi nettement pourtant une simple déformation des rapports qui unissent les éléments de notre propre nature. C’était démantelé, enténébré: Ulrich pensa néanmoins, Dieu sait comment, que l’humanité, si elle pouvait avoir des rêves collectifs, rêverait Moosbrugger. (Robert Musil, L’Homme sans qualité, tome 1, tr. P. Jaccottet, éd. du Seuil, coll. Points, Paris, 1995, p. 96-97)

A balck and white photographic portrait of author Robert Musil
Photo of Robert Musil, 1930. Retrieved from Wikipedia.
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