restricted access Reading Foreign Bodies in Musil’s Die Versuchung der stillen Veronika

Criticism of Robert Musil’s Die Versuchung der stillen Veronika has often understood the representation of the “foreign body” in the novella as a reference to psychoanalysis or trauma. Working through all versions and revisions of this novella, this article instead analyzes the theme of the foreign body broadly conceived as a dilemma of the split between the self and the objectified other. The problems caused by this split provide a thematic commentary on the novella’s widely recognized difficulty, which emerges as a consequence of Musil’s strained attempts to design a work that is intended to be felt rather than understood in terms that would objectify it.