The Walk by Robert Walser

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Only Walser could conceive a story in the form of a job application, in which he admits to having no aptitude or abilities whatsoever...
-Guardian

Synopsis

Ranging from one-page fantasies to novella-length studies of everyday existence, The Walk reveals the irresistible genius of one of the twentieth century's greatest writers. Under-appreciated even in his own lifetime, Robert Walser has nonetheless been recognised by such writers as W.G. Sebald, Susan Sontag, Franz Kafka, Herman Hesse and J.M. Coetzee.


Like Kafka and Sebald, Walser wrote about the solitude and unease of human existence. Honest, wry and idiosyncratic, his stories are snapshots of the lives great artists, poor young men, beautiful women and talking animals alike. Ranging from the realist to the allegorical, the short fiction collected in this volume demonstrates Walser's uncanny ability to capture both life's strangeness and its small joys.

 

About Robert Walser

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Robert Walser was born in Switzerland in 1878 and worked as a bank clerk before becoming a writer. In 1929 he started hearing voices, was diagnosed as schizophrenic and - like his contemporary Ezra Pound - lived the rest of his life in a psychiatric hospital, where he continued to write. His novels include Jakob von Gunten (published by Serpent's Tail as Institute Benjamenta - 9781852425050) and The Assistant. He died in 1956.
 
Published May 2, 2013 by Serpent's Tail. 209 pages
Genres: Literature & Fiction. Fiction
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Guardian

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Reviewed by Alfred Hickling on Jun 28 2013

Only Walser could conceive a story in the form of a job application, in which he admits to having no aptitude or abilities whatsoever...

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