Tag Archive for 'Robert Walser'

Some important people in this workshop: Robert Walser

I would wish it on no one to be me.
Only I am capable of bearing myself.
To know so much, to have seen so much, and
To say nothing, just about nothing.

 

The Genius of Robert Walser

NOVEMBER 2, 2000, for the New York Review Of Books

J. M. Coetzee

 

On Christmas Day, 1956, the police of the town of Herisau in eastern Switzerland were called out: children had stumbled upon the body of a man, frozen to death, in a snowy field. Arriving at the scene, the police took photographs and had the body removed.

The dead man was easily identified: Robert Walser, aged seventy-eight, missing from a local mental hospital. In his earlier years Walser had won something of a reputation, in Switzerland and even in Germany, as a writer. Some of his books were still in print; there had even been a biography of him published. During a quarter of a century in mental institutions, however, his own writing had dried up. Long country walks—like the one on which he had died—had been his main recreation. Continue reading ‘Some important people in this workshop: Robert Walser’