Robert Musil’s “Üç Kadın” Published by Can Publishing

The peasant Grigia, the aristocratic Portuguese and the shopkeeper Tonka… Üç Kadın (Three Women) is the final stage before The Man Without Qualities, which is considered the work of Musil’s life.

When you don’t trust a person, even the clearest signs of loyalty turn into signs of disloyalty, and when you do, even the tangible evidence of disloyalty turns into misunderstood loyalty, crying like a child unjustly punished by its elders.

Musil tells the stories of three women from different social classes in Three Women, in which he again focuses on female characters after The Mergers, published in 1911. These women, who give the stories their names and whom we see from the point of view of the men in their lives, do not seem to be the focal point of the stories at first glance, but they are the ones who dominate the fate of the three men and determine the events: the peasant Grigia, the aristocratic Portuguese and the shopkeeper Tonka.

Three Women is the final stage before The Unqualified Man, considered the work of the life of Musil, the genius recluse of the literary planet.

“No novelist is as dear to me as Robert Musil.”
Milan Kundera


Book Title: Üç Kadın (Three Women)
Author: Robert Musil
Translator: Zehra Aksu Yılmazer
Publisher: Can Publishing
Array: Modern
Genre: Novel
Page Count: 112

ROBERT MUSIL was born in Austria in 1880. After studying at a military high school, he graduated in mechanical engineering. After only a year as a research assistant, he broke with family tradition and studied philosophy and psychology in Berlin. At this turning point, he wrote his first work, The Depressions of Young Törless. Musil devoted himself entirely to literature after his work attracted attention. However, like many great artists of the period, he lived in loneliness and poverty. When his works were banned by the Nazis, he emigrated to Geneva with his wife. His sociopolitical observations of 20th century Europe formed the basis of his dramas, stories and novels. The Unqualified Man, which he worked on throughout his life and never completed, is one of the most important masterpieces of the modern novel genre. Published as a fragment in 1908, “The Seduction of the Tranquil Veronika” was later finalized in the collection entitled Unions with the addition of the story “The Completion of Love”. Musil died in 1942.

ZEHRA AKSU YILMAZER was born in Giresun, grew up in Germany, and graduated from Ankara Hacettepe University, Department of Translation and Interpreting. She translated many books from German into Turkish; some of her translations include: Robert Musil, Three Women; Stefan Zweig, Magellan; Hermann Hesse, Journey to the East; Gustav Meyrink, Cardinal Napellus; Carl Gustav Jung, The Four Archetypes; Heiner Müller, The Hamlet Machine; Herfried Münkler, Empires; Uwe Timm, Hot Summer; Lukas Bärfuß, One Hundred Days; Leo Perutz, Between Nine and Nine; Monika Maron, Fly Ash; Wolfgang Schivelbusch, History of Recreational Substances; Melinda Nadj Abonji, When Pigeons Take Off; Hans Belting, Florence and Baghdad; Arno Schmidt, Leviathan or The Best of Worlds; Rainer Maria Rilke, Duino Elegies; Gotthold Ephraim Lessing, Fables in Prose; Sigmund Freud, Totem and Taboo (Istanbul Psychoanalysis Association 2021 Translation Achievement Award); Katerina Poladjan, Tell Me About Our House Anahid; Stefan Zweig, Brazil. She lives in Istanbul.

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