The Unknown Quantity
"Mild and sensitive Richard Hieck endured a quietly difficult childhood in Germany. Raised in humble circumstances, Richard was profoundly influenced by his withdrawn mother and by his father, an enigma whose devotion centered not on his five children but on his mysterious career.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. Richard's shadowy, elusive father also influenced him to pursue studies in mathematics, a field offering Richard the discipline he had craved as a child." "Published in 1933, The Unknown Quantity is Hermann Broch's study of 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, societal and family values begin to undermine him and those in orbit around him." --Book Jacket.
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