INDEX | Man Without Qualities | Thesis Without Qualities | Building Without Qualities

The ARCHIVE documents
and represents various
constructed histories
spanning the last three
centuries told through
the eyes of the house,
of Ulrich, and of me.


Man Without Qualities

Thesis Without Qualities

Building Without Qualities

"In science the way things happen is as vigorous and matter-of-fact and glorious as in a fairy-tale. ‘People simply don’t know this,’ Ulrich felt. ‘They have no glimmer of what can be done with thinking. If one could teach them to think in a new way, they would also live differently.’ [S]ince taking up this third profession some years earlier, in the opinion of experts he had done not at all badly."

"All this - in a matter that did not, in all seriousness, affect him very closely - was the well-known incoherency of ideas, with their way of spreading out without a central point, an incoherency that is characteristic of our present era and constitutes its peculiar arithmetic, rambling about in a multitude of things, from a hundred possibilities to yet a thousand others, and always without a basic unity. Finally he gave up inventing anything but impracticable rooms, revolving rooms, kaleidoscopic interiors, adjustable scenery for the soul, and his ideas grew steadily more and more insubstantial."

"Had the elegant couple followed its course for a while longer they old have seen something that would certainly have appealed to them. It was an eighteenth or perhaps seventeenth-century garden, still in parts unspoilt; and passing along its wrought-iron railings one caught a glimpse through the trees of a well-kept lawn and beyond it something like a miniature château, hunting-lodge, or pavilion d’amour from times past and gone. More precisely, its original structure was seventeenth-century, the garden and the upper story had an eighteen-century look, and the façade had been restored and somewhat spoilt in the nineteenth century, so that the whole thing had a faintly bizarre character, like that of a super-imposed photograph. But the general effect was such that people invariably stopped and said: “Oh, look!” And when this pretty little white building had its windows open, one could see into the gentlemanly calm of a scholar’s house where the walls were lined with books."

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