master of the hovering life

“[Frederick G.] Peters cites the following from Musil:

A man who is after the truth sets out to be a man of learning; a man who wants to give free play to his subjectivity sets out, perhaps, to be a writer. But what is the man to do who is after something that lies between?

His own answer was to become what he saw as a ‘master of the hovering life,’ to navigate freely between the two, ideally embracing both.”

(Sven Birkerts, “Robert Musil,” p. 29 in An Artificial Wilderness: Essays on Twentieth-Century Literature.)

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