There Goes Valzer

László Krasznahorkai

translated by George Szirtes

My name is Róbert Valzer and I like walking, not that I have anything to do with the famous Robert Walser, nor do I think it strange that walking should be my favourite hobby. I call it a hobby but I accept – or rather I am prepared to entertain the fact – that where I live in this Central European country I am considered to be too unstable to be regarded as a normal person and that my hobby is not to be compared with other people’s hobbies. It is not a hobby, they claim, but a symptom of instability. That’s the word they use: instability. But they never tell me that to my face. They whisper it behind my back. That’s what they are constantly whispering: I can hear them perfectly clearly – there goes Valzer, he’s off again.

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