(From the publisher):
Born in Germany in the early twentieth century, mild and sensitive Richard Hieck endured a quietly difficult childhood. Raised in humble circumstances, Richard was profoundly influenced by his withdrawn mother and by his father—an enigma whose devotion centered not on his five children but on his mysterious career. From his father, Richard inherited an interest in the night sky, learning to love the constellations and to take comfort in the strength of Orion and the warm radiance of Venus. At the same time, his shadowy, elusive father influenced Richard to pursue studies in mathematics, a field offering the discipline Richard had craved as a child.
In The Unknown Quality, Hermann Broch examines the underlying chaos—and, finally, the impossibility—of life within a society whose values are in decay. As Richard seeks to reconcile the conflicting demands of love and science, of passion and reason, he and those in his orbit must endure the effects of societal and family values—even as the values descend into madness.
Original title: Die unbekannte Grösse
Genre: Fiction→ General Fiction