Early 20th century Swiss novelist
Swiss writer Robert Walser (1878-1956) worked as a bank clerk, a butler in a castle, and an inventor's assistant, and produced nine novels and more than a thousand stories. He stopped writing in 1933 when he was hospitalized for mental illness, declaring, "I am not here to write, but to be mad."
“A clairvoyant of the small.”
— W.G. Sebald on Robert Walser's
“Walser vaulted new heights of expression with miniscule means.”
— The Boston Globe on Robert Walser's
“Walser has in recent years regained some of the status he enjoyed in the 1920s. Instead of Kafka and Benjamin, we have Sebald and Lydia Davis championing him. But we still don't know where we stand with him. Are we dealing with pure literature,the vagaries of the everyday, jokes, or empty fancies? The writing is radical and elegant enough to encompass all these possibilities and many more. Is it the stuff of life? Perhaps. ”
— The Times Literary Supplement on Robert Walser's