The calls to plan summer reading began to appear in my Twitter feed this past week - informal group reads, magazines and websites offering lists of suggestions from amongst new releases, and the ubiquitous BuzzFeed article promising to match you with your ideal summer read via their visually enhanced quiz is probably right around the corner. But I really do not need a hand in planning my "beach reads" this year. I already planned to take up Frankenstein in June (I really should get organized on that count.) And I am hoping to reprise the (Wo)Man Booker Prize fun if my smart ladies friends are game. And Richard has now proposed a June through August reading of The Man Without Qualities by Robert Musil, over 1200 pages of "a prodigiously fecund novel of ideas and a pitch-perfect evocation of a lost world, the Austrian empire on the eve of World War I." His charming invitation via Twitter looked like this:
With only one response (potentially) in the affirmative (thank you, Anthony):
The blurb from Volume 1 reads:
"It is August 1913 and Vienna is preparing to celebrate the seventieth jubilee of the Emperor Franz Josef. Improbably drafted into this grandiose enterprise is Ulrich, 'the man without qualities,' ex-soldier and scientist, seducer and skeptic. As Ulrich navigates the chaotic labyrinth of Viennese society, Musil creates a witty, poignant novel of vast intellectual scope and stylistic daring - a maliciously acute portrayal of an empire marching over a cliff."
The blurb from Volume 2 adds:
"In 1913, as Vienna's high society seethes with preparations for the Emperor's seventieth jubilee, Ulrich finds the thing he is looking for in the person of his sister Agathe, a woman as charming as she is amoral, as irresistible as she is appalling."
Do you wish to join our mixed bag of nuts? And take on a doorstop of a masterpiece? June through August. Richard will come up with a plan. We would love to have you read with us!
In the event that this glorious opportunity does not appeal, what do you plan to tackle this summer?