Robert Musil (German: or ; 6 November 1880 – 15 April 1942) was an Austrian philosophical writer. His unfinished novel The Man Without Qualities (German: Der Mann ohne Eigenschaften) is generally considered to be one of the most important and influential modernist novels.
Musil was born in Klagenfurt, Carinthia, the son of engineer Alfred Edler von Musil (1846, Timișoara – 1924) and his wife Hermine Bergauer (1853, Linz – 1924). The orientalist Alois Musil ("The Czech Lawrence") was his second cousin.
Soon after Robert's birth, the family moved to Chomutov in Bohemia, and in 1891 Musil's father was appointed to the chair of Mechanical Engineering at the German Technical University in Brno, and awarded a hereditary nobility in the Austro-Hungarian Empire. He was baptized Robert Mathias Musil and his name was officially Robert Mathias Edler von Musil from 22 October 1917, when his father received a hereditary title of nobility Edler, until 3 April 1919, when the use of noble titles was forbidden in Austria.