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Professor John Payne


John Payne

Lancaster University

Bowland North




Further information:

Vice-President of the International Robert Musil Society.

Research Interests

My main research at the moment is the editing of a Companion to the Works of Robert Musil to be published by Camden House. Musil was born in 1880 in Klagenfurt, Austria, and died in Swiss exile in 1942; his reputation rests largely on his incomplete masterpiece, Der Mann ohne Eigenschaften ( The Man without Qualities ). My project has involved inviting researchers from a number of different countries to collaborate to produce a book that presents Musil in the context of his life and times, and offers up-to-date critical insight into all his major creative work. The team includes some of the leading experts in contemporary Musil studies from Austria, Germany, North America, France and Britain. I will write the introduction and two further chapters that focus on Musil's diaries and his collection of short prose pieces, Nachlass zu Lebzeiten , ( The Literary Estate of a Living Author ).

Major and most recent publications

Robert Musil, Diaries 1899-1941 , edited by Mark Mirsky, selected, translated and annotated by Philip Payne (New York: Basic Books, 1998).

' On translating Robert Musil's Diaries', Translation and Literature, 5/1, 1996, 53-67. ( Another version of this article appeared in West-�stlicher Divan zum utopischen Kakanien, edited by Annette Daigger, Renate Schr�der-Werle and J�rgen Th�ming, Bern: Peter Lang, 1999).

'Robert Musil's Der Mann ohne Eigenschaften seen from the perspective of his Tageb�cher', in Vermittlungen - German Studies at the turn of the century - Festschrift f�r Nigel B.R.Reeves , edited by R�diger G�rner and Helen Kelly-Holmes, Munich: iudicium, 1999.

'Musil's work on Der Mann ohne Eigenschaften as seen through his letters' in Homme de lettre et angelus tutelaris , Festschrift f�r Adolf Fris�, edited by Elisabeth Albertsen, Ahlhorn: Geest-Verlag, 2000, pp.502-514.

'Further Extracts from Musil's Diaries', edited and translated by Philip Payne, Fiction , 18 (No.1, 2002), 54-104.

(With Graham Bartram:) 'Apocalypse and utopia in the Austrian novel of the 1930s: Hermann Broch and Robert Musil', in The Cambridge Companion to the Modern German Novel, edited by Graham Bartram, Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 2004, pp.93-109.

Current Teaching


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