Robert Musil


The blackbird

Robert Mosil is one the world’s most imaginary writers. In hispublication Posthumous Papers of a Living Author, Mozil attempted tomake of the solitary act of thinking a literary drama. Thepublication was initially done in German but was translated by PeterWortsman later. This paper is a list of compiled stories, observationand essays. These collections were written within the 1920s. Thepaper remains to be one of the most commendable commentaries afterthe World War II. It reflects the state of the German culture duringthis period. The collections are divided into four: Pictures,Observations, stories and the Blackbird. This paper examines the lastsection of the publication the Blackbird. Considering the topics ofunpredictability, lack of causality and continuity, the paperdiscusses what Mosil sought to express through them. It furtherseeks to explain the common characteristics of the three stories.Finally, the paper examines the last sentence of the story asnarrated by Atwo.

The blackbird is a strange, visionary story. In this story, acombination of three stories, the writer displays the imaginative andanalytical side of his character. The story’s main players are Atwoand Aone. Atwo narrates his visionary experiences to his long lostfriend Aone1(Musil &amp Peter, 1995, pg 145). He tells three stories that areindependent but interconnected. One of the stories is at hisapartment in Berlin where he lived with his wife. The first blackbirdincident occurs here. It is during this time that Atwo decides tofollow it. However, the birds leave before he has even strategizedhow to proceed. He is left discouraged about the bird and his wife.Later, he leaves his wife2(Musil &amp Peter, 1995, pg 160).. The second story is about the warwhile the last is about his mother.

The three stories have several characteristics in common. In everystory there is a strange happening. In the first story a bird singsto him at his apartment. The second was the aerial dart incidencewhere they expected to be shot though it didn’t happen. He saysthat he felt like God had come into him. In the final story, theblackbird reappears. Surprisingly, it speaks to him this time andclaims to be his mother. “And then my mother wrote me severaltimes: we can’t help you son but if the little you’ll one dayinherit would be of any help, then I’d wish myself dead for yoursake.3”(Musil &amp Peter, 1995, pg 163). This entire strange incidences endup with the two making a decision. After experiencing the bird forthe first time he left his wife and during the second time he changedto a ‘good person.’

The events that shape our lives are most of the times unpredictableand out of our control. This is depicted in the story The BlackBird. Various instances which were unpredictable happen.Atwo and Aone were schooled in a Christian school with all thefacilities to ensure that it produces holistic and morally uprightadults. “The youth that united the two friends Aone and Atwo wasnothing less than religious in character.4(Musil &amp Peter, 1995, pg 146). However, the activities happeningwithin its premises were ungodly. The students even played cards inthe confession booths. When Atwo graduated his expectations were totravels as his career of forestry required but he soon settles for anoffice job after undergoing disappointments. Before Atwo married,they had an intimate relationship with his wife but theirrelationship grows cold5.As result, he does not inform her when he decides to leave her.Atwo’s relationship with his family was cold after he graduatedfrom school but his life takes unexpected turn when he learns of hismother’s sickness. Once he returns home, he remembers of hismother’s care and concern. This nurtures the blackbird whichrepresents his mother.

While some events are caused by our own doing other events whichaffect our life are out our control. Atwo attending a Christianschool is not a cause for him to break up with his wife. In addition,breaking up with the wife does not result neither his involvement inwar nor his ill relationship with his parents6(Musil &amp Peter, 1995, pg 165).

Events in life may be related or unrelated but life is continuous.Various events happen in Atwo life, Atwo goes to school expecting tojoin a promising career. He graduates and starts practicing hiscareer which leaves him disappointed and resorts to an office job. Hemarries his wife expecting a happy family but instead they end upseparating. His parents raised him to be a responsible person andwished him to instill moral values by ensuring he attends a Christianschool. Yet, he ends up neglecting them only aiding them at theirpoint of death. His involvement in the war may not necessarily beattributed to his broken family but all these events shape up hischaracter. The continuity of the events in his life are responsiblefor the ups and downs in his life. This makes up life!

The last sentence of the story, “But it’s a bit like hearing awhisper or rustling outside, without being able to distinguishbetween Atwo7.(Musil &amp Peter, 1995, pg 169). Atwo is responding to a questionby Aone, who was in inquiring on the common thread of all thehappenings. Atwo response shows that he cannot make understand theincidences and how they relate especially that of the mother and theblackbird.


Musil, Robert, and Peter Wortsman. 1995. Posthumous papers of aliving author. London: Penguin.

1 R. Musil and w. Peter. 1995. Posthumous papers of a living author. London: Penguin.

2 R. Musil and w. Peter. 1995. Posthumous papers of a living author. London: Penguin.

3 R. Musil and w. Peter. 1995. Posthumous papers of a living author. London: Penguin.

4 R. Musil and w. Peter. 1995. Posthumous papers of a living author. London: Penguin.

5 R. Musil and w. Peter. 1995. Posthumous papers of a living author. London: Penguin.

6 R. Musil and w. Peter. 1995. Posthumous papers of a living author. London: Penguin.

7 R. Musil and w. Peter. 1995. Posthumous papers of a living author. London: Penguin.