The man without qualities

By Robert Musil

Is a novel whose main character is Ulrich- he without qualities- and the parallel campaign whose meeting place is his cousin’s house. First, the parallel campaign achieves nothing. In fact, at the end, one really can’t be certain what the parallel campaign or the whole novel is all about.

But there are many interesting things, some which question some of the myths we hold regarding sex. For example, Diotima says

Quite often a man can’t make love even when he wants to.

In another place, still continuing with the same line of argument, she says

In contrast with a woman’s constant readiness for sex, a man- well, in a word, a man’s manliest part is easily discouraged.

And ends the discussion by saying, which will leave many a man shaking their heads or reflecting, that

He only feels sexually secure if he doesn’t have to be afraid of a woman being in some way or other spiritually superior, and that’s why men hardly ever have the courage to try a relationship with a woman who’s their equal as a human being.

Thoughts which I find all quite interesting.