Giacomo Gambaro

Going Through «Décadence». Nietzschean Issues in Robert Musil's Work

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Keywords: Decadence; Gleichnis; Möglichkeitsmensch; Nietzsche; Musil.

This paper tries to investigate Robert Musil's work on the basis of some philosophical issues formulated by Friedrich Nietzsche. In particular, a crucial role is played by the Musilian interpretation of «décadence». This concept, elaborated by Nietzsche, represents the general framework of the entire literary production developed by the Austrian author. Indeed, through the notion of «decadence» Musil examines the crisis of traditional relationships be¬tween language and reality. Thanks to an original conception of metaphor, he is able to show an inherent property of literature: the capacity to open possibilities and alternatives. In this way, Musil puts in value some issues promoted by Nietzsche in order to transform literature into ethics.

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