Robert Musil (born in 1880 in Klagenfurt, died in 1942 in Geneva) came from an established Austrian family of civil servants, academics, engineers and officers. He studied at the Technical Military Academy in Vienna, broke off his military education and became a mechanical engineer. After an appointment as assistant at the TU Stuttgart, he studied Philosophy, Psychology, Mathematics and Physics from 1903-1908 in Berlin and did his doctoral degree on the theoretician of natural sciences, Ernst Mach. He abstained from an academic career to become a freelance writer. From 1911-1914, he was a librarian and in 1914, he became a writer for the Neue Rundschau. In World War One, he was a captain of the Landsturm (Home Guard), editor of the Soldatenzeitung and finally worked in the war correspondence quarter. From 1918-22, he lived and worked in Berlin as a civil servant, then as a freelance writer, theatre critic and essayist in Vienna and Berlin. After the fascist occupation of Austria, he emigrated to Zurich. He spent his final years in poverty in Geneva.