Hermann Broch (November 1, 1886 – May 30, 1951) was a 20th-century Austrian writer, considered one of the major Modernists. Broch was born in Vienna to a prosperous Jewish family. He was acquainted with many of the now well-known writers, intellectuals, and artists of his time, including Robert Musil, Rainer Maria Rilke, Elias Canetti, Leo Perutz, Franz Blei and writer and former nude model Ea von Allesch. Other important works by Broch are The Sleepwalkers (Die Schlafwandler, 1932) and The Guiltless (Die Schuldlosen, 1950). The Sleepwalkers is a trilogy, where Broch takes «the degeneration of values» as his theme. The trilogy has been praised by Milan Kundera, whose writing has been greatly influenced by Broch. Broch demonstrates mastery of a wide range of styles, from the gentle parody of Theodor Fontane in the first volume of The Sleepwalkers through the essayistic segments of the third volume to the dithyrambic phantasmagoria of The Death of Virgil.