"If ever a writer deserved the cliché that they have a voice all of their own, it's Walser. His style is strange but wholly accessible and full of charm..." -Metro (UK)
"The magnificently humble. The enormously small. The meaningfully ridiculous. Robert Walser's work often reads like a dazzling answer to the question, How immense can modesty be? If Emily Dickinson made cathedrals of em dashes and capital letters and the angle of winter light, Walser accomplishes the feat with, well, ladies' feet and trousers, and little emotive words like joy, uncapitalized."
-Rivka Galchen, Harper's
"Walser's fictions are charged with compassion: awareness of the creatureliness of life, of the fellowship of sadness. He is a truly wonderful, heartbreaking writer."
"A writer of considerable wit, talent and originality . . . recognized by such impressive contemporaries as Kafka, Brod, Hesse and Musil . . . [and] primarily known to German literary scholars and to English readers lucky enough to have discovered [his work] . . . [Walser's tales] are to be read slowly and savored . . . [and] are filled with lovely and disturbing moments that will stay with the reader for some time to come." -Ronald De Feo, The New York Times
Über den Autor
Robert Walser (1878-1956) left school at fourteen and led a wandering, precarious existence while producing poems, essays, stories, and novels. In 1933 he abandoned writing and entered a sanatorium-where he remained for the rest of his life. "I am not here to write," Walser said, "but to be mad." His Selected Stories and novel Jakob von Guten, are available as NYRB Classics. Susan Bernofsky, co-chair of the PEN Translation Committee, is the translator of six books by the great Swiss-German modernist author Robert Walser as well as novels by Jenny Erpenbeck, Yoko Tawada, Hermann Hesse, Gregor von Rezzori and others.
3 of the 38 stories here are drawn from the collection "Selected Stories of Robert Walser", set in Berlin from 1905 onwards.