Selected Stories: Robert Walser

Overview

How to place the mysterious Swiss writer Robert Walser, a humble genius who possessed one of the most elusive and surprising sensibilities in modern literature? Walser is many things: a Paul Klee in words, maker of droll, whimsical, tender, and heartbreaking verbal artifacts; an inspiration to such very different writers as Kafka and W.G. Sebald; an amalgam, as Susan Sontag suggests in her preface to this volume, of Stevie Smith and Samuel Beckett.

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Overview

How to place the mysterious Swiss writer Robert Walser, a humble genius who possessed one of the most elusive and surprising sensibilities in modern literature? Walser is many things: a Paul Klee in words, maker of droll, whimsical, tender, and heartbreaking verbal artifacts; an inspiration to such very different writers as Kafka and W.G. Sebald; an amalgam, as Susan Sontag suggests in her preface to this volume, of Stevie Smith and Samuel Beckett.

This collection gathers forty-two of Walser's stories. Encompassing everything from journal entries, notes on literature, and biographical sketches to anecdotes, fables, and visions, it is an ideal introduction to this fascinating writer of whom Hermann Hesse famously declared, "If he had a hundred thousand readers, the world would be a better place."

Response to a Request Flower Days Trousers Two Strange Stories Balloon Journey Kleist in Thum The Job Application The Boat A Little Ramble Helbling's Story The Little Berliner Nervous The Walk So! "I've Got You"
Nothing at All Kienast Poests Frau Wilke The Street Snowdrops Winter The She-Owl Knocking Titus Vladimir Parisian Newspapers The Monkey Dostoevsky's Idiot Am I Dreaming?
The Little Tree Stork and Porcupine A Contribution to the Celebration of Conrad Ferdinand Meyer A Sort of Speech A Letter to Therese Breitbach A Village Tale The Aviator The Pimp Masters and Workers Essay on Freedom A Biedermeier Story The Honeymoon Thoughts on Cezanne

"Walser is one of the most remarkable and fully realized stylists in modern literature." The Nation

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Editorial Reviews

Publishers Weekly
Described by Susan Sontag in the introduction to his Selected Stories as "a good-humored, sweet Beckett," Swiss novelist Robert Walser (1878-1956) committed himself to a sanatorium in 1933 and spent the rest of his life there. Admired by Hesse and Kafka, his subjects in these mostly very short pieces (an exception being the melancholic "The Walk") are various and appealing from an essay on trousers to a mock job application and a short "play" involving a stork and a porcupine: "What a kissing that would have been! We shudder at the thought of it." An excellent introduction to a masterful writer. Copyright 2002 Cahners Business Information.
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780940322981
  • Publisher: New York Review Books
  • Publication date: 1/28/2002
  • Series: New York Review Books Classics Series
  • Pages: 196
  • Product dimensions: 5.04 (w) x 7.99 (h) x 0.56 (d)

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