Sexuality and the Sense of Self in the Works of Georg Trakl and Robert Musil

Andrew Webber

Bithell Series of Dissertations 15

MHRA Texts and Dissertations 30

Modern Humanities Research Association for the Institute of Germanic Studies

1 January 1990  •  206pp

ISBN: 978-0-947623-33-3 (paperback)  •  RRP £25, $40

ModernGermanPoetryFictionPhilosophy


At first sight Trakl and Musil are not an obvious pairing: the one generally regarded as the quintessential lyric poet, a creator of highly personal and hermetic poetic landscapes, the other best known for his epic depiction of a society's death-throes. There is no evidence that the two ever encountered one another, or indeed read each other's work. But, as Webber shows, they do indeed meet in a common, central thematic preoccupation: their treatment of sexuality. The parallels are remarkable: in both writers there is a pursuit of a narcissistic ideal figured as a unio mystica with the sister; and in either case the ideal of androgynous union is beset by collapse into its antithesis, in the motif of the 'Lustmord'. This sexual conflict is fundamental to more general problematics of selfhood in both authors.

Bibliography entry:

Webber, Andrew, Sexuality and the Sense of Self in the Works of Georg Trakl and Robert Musil, Bithell Series of Dissertations, 15 (MHRA, 1990)

First footnote reference: 35 Andrew Webber, Sexuality and the Sense of Self in the Works of Georg Trakl and Robert Musil, Bithell Series of Dissertations, 15 (MHRA, 1990), p. 21.

Subsequent footnote reference: 37 Webber, p. 47.

(To see how these citations were worked out, follow this link.)

Bibliography entry:

Webber, Andrew. 1990. Sexuality and the Sense of Self in the Works of Georg Trakl and Robert Musil, Bithell Series of Dissertations, 15 (MHRA)

Example citation: ‘A quotation occurring on page 21 of this work’ (Webber 1990: 21).

Example footnote reference: 35 Webber 1990: 21.

(To see how these citations were worked out, follow this link.)


This title was first published by Modern Humanities Research Association for the Institute of Germanic Studies but rights to it are now held by Modern Humanities Research Association and the Institute of Germanic and Romance Studies.

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