Close
Close

Search Results

Advanced Search

1 to 13 of 13 results

Sort by:

Filter by:

Contributors

Article Types

Authors

Subjects

I’m here to be mad

Christopher Benfey: Robert Walser, 10 May 2018

Walks with Robert Walser 
by Carl Seelig, translated by Anne Posten.
New Directions, 127 pp., £11.99, May 2017, 978 0 8112 2139 9
Show More
Girlfriends, Ghosts and Other Stories 
by Robert Walser, translated by Tom Whalen, Nicole Köngeter and Annette Wiesner.
NYRB, 181 pp., £9.99, October 2016, 978 1 68137 016 3
Show More
Show More
... Best known​ for his short prose sketches, the idiosyncratic Swiss writer Robert Walser (1878-1956) liked to call himself a ‘craftsman novelist’, cobbling together ‘a long, plotless, realistic story’. He insisted that his varied sketches – prose poems, portraits of friends and strangers, detailed accounts of walks through the city or countryside, stray bits of literary or art criticism, oddball fantasies – were actually fragments of a single work, which ‘might be described as a variously sliced up or torn apart book of myself ...

Perfect and Serene Oddity

Michael Hofmann: The Strangeness of Robert Walser, 16 November 2006

Speaking to the Rose: Writings, 1912-32 
by Robert Walser, translated and edited by Christopher Middleton.
Nebraska, 128 pp., £9.99, November 2005, 0 8032 9833 1
Show More
Show More
... So irregular, appealing and – if one may say – so pitiable a figure is the Swiss writer Robert Walser (1878-1956) that he comfortably resists summary description. Even his biographer, Robert Mächler, begins by warning himself, via a feisty sentence of his subject’s: ‘No one is entitled to behave towards me as if they knew me ...

There Goes Valzer

László Krasznahorkai, translated by George Szirtes: A Story, 20 March 2014

... 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 ...

Agent Bait

Christopher Tayler: Nell Zink, 2 March 2017

Nicotine 
by Nell Zink.
Fourth Estate, 288 pp., £14.99, October 2016, 978 0 00 817917 5
Show More
Private Novelist 
by Nell Zink.
Ecco, 336 pp., $15.99, October 2016, 978 0 06 245830 8
Show More
Show More
... belatedness with regard to her favourite writers – they include Dostoevsky, Platonov, Kafka and Robert Walser – and a firm grasp of all the aesthetic and intellectual-historical explanations of Why One Can’t Write Like Tolstoy Any More. ‘This story will be composed in bad English,’ one of the two novellas in Private Novelist begins, ‘the ...

At the Orangerie

Michael Hofmann: Marc and Macke, 20 June 2019

... and Macke are shown looking in the direction of Cézanne, Matisse, Gauguin, Rousseau, Sonia and Robert Delaunay. It wasn’t so much about France as it was about making oneself modern – which, at least up until the Second World War, was impossible without France. Nationalist painters and critics attacked Marc, Macke and their followers for selling Germany ...

Behind the Gas Lamp

Julian Barnes: Félix Fénéon, 4 October 2007

Novels in Three Lines 
by Félix Fénéon, translated by Luc Sante.
NYRB, 171 pp., £7.99, August 2007, 978 1 59017 230 8
Show More
Show More
... aspire only to silence.’ A reply on a par with that of his near contemporary, the Swiss writer Robert Walser, who was once visited in the lunatic asylum to which he had retreated by a friend who asked how his work was coming along. ‘I’m not here to write,’ Walser replied, ‘but to be mad.’ Fénéon’s ...

Under the Flight Path

August Kleinzahler: Christopher Middleton, 18 May 2016

... trip. Perhaps it was always unlikely that someone whose models were Hölderlin, Mallarmé, Tzara, Robert Walser and Gottfried Benn would win prizes, honours or even a sizeable readership in Britain or the US. And his poetry has a prickliness about it, as did the poet: a quality of neither asking nor needing to be liked. In any event he would have been ...

Love Stories

Edmund White, 4 November 1993

To the Friend Who Did Not Save My Life: A Novel 
by Hervé Guibert, translated by Linda Coverdale.
Quartet, 246 pp., £12.95, November 1991, 9780704370005
Show More
The Man in the Red Hat 
by Hervé Guibert, translated by James Kirkup.
Quartet, 111 pp., £12.95, May 1993, 0 7043 7046 8
Show More
The Compassion Protocol 
by Hervé Guibert, translated by James Kirkup.
Quartet, 202 pp., £13.95, October 1993, 9780704370593
Show More
Show More
... Lubies d’ Arthur but similarly imagined, Des aveugles is about a young blind couple, Josette and Robert, who live in an institution for the blind. When another blind man, Taillegeur, falls in love with Josette, he sets up an elaborate series of obstacles designed to kill Robert, but ...

Vendlerising

John Kerrigan, 2 April 1987

The Faber Book of Contemporary American Poetry 
edited by Helen Vendler.
Faber, 440 pp., £9.95, November 1986, 0 571 13945 0
Show More
Selected Poems 
by John Ashbery.
Carcanet, 348 pp., £16.95, April 1986, 0 85635 666 2
Show More
The Poetry Book Society Anthology 1986/87 
edited by Jonathan Barker.
Hutchinson, 94 pp., £4.95, November 1986, 0 09 165961 2
Show More
Two Horse Wagon Going By 
by Christopher Middleton.
Carcanet, 143 pp., £5.95, October 1986, 0 85635 661 1
Show More
Show More
... Vendler to distort major figures helps her discriminate among lesser planets. Her inclusion of Robert Hayden, for example, is bold and welcome. Moreover, her promise to present writers ‘whole’ has more chance of being fulfilled with subsidiary figures. When Eliot judged anthologies less just to major than minor poets, he was, as often, lending his ...

Before I Began

Christopher Tayler: Coetzee Makes a Leap, 4 June 2020

The Death of Jesus 
by J.M. Coetzee.
Harvill Secker, 208 pp., £18.99, January, 978 1 78730 211 2
Show More
Show More
... discussions of Don Quixote, and the cryptic allusions to the gospels, there are faint echoes of Robert Walser, W.G. Sebald and others, and nods to Kleist’s essay ‘On the Marionette Theatre’, to Wittgenstein and Heidegger, and to the Spanish poet Rafael Alberti. ‘There is no such thing as a llave universal,’ Simón is told when he gets the ...

On Putting Things Off

Robert Hanks, 9 September 2015

... along with all the ‘writers of the no’, writers who turned their backs on writing, Rimbaud and Walser among them – is not in the same game as me. Or if we are in the same game, I’m not playing it right. I don’t turn my back on writing. I don’t say no. I say yes and fail to follow through. I sit suspended between preferring not to and not preferring ...

Desperately Seeking Susan

Terry Castle: Remembering Susan Sontag, 17 March 2005

... of her career: the Autodidact of all Autodidacts. The quizzing was relentless. Had I read Robert Walser? (Ooooh errrg blush, ahem, little cough, um: No, I’m ashamed to say . . .) Had I read Thomas Bernhard? (Yes! – Yes, I have! ‘Wittgenstein’s Nephew’! Yay! Yippee! Wow! Phew! – dodged the bullet that time!) It seemed, for a while at ...

Getting back

Adrian Poole, 1 July 1982

A crowd is not company 
by Robert Kee.
Cape, 240 pp., £7.50, May 1982, 9780224020039
Show More
Bedbugs 
by Clive Sinclair.
Allison and Busby, 109 pp., £6.95, May 1982, 0 85031 454 2
Show More
New Writing and Writers 19 
John Calder, 262 pp., £6.95, April 1982, 0 7145 3811 6Show More
Zhenia’s Childhood 
by Boris Pasternak, translated by Alec Brown.
Allison and Busby, 115 pp., £6.95, May 1982, 0 85031 466 6
Show More
Show More
... have done, a life undivided by such a cataract. In his introduction to A crowd is not company, Robert Kee voices some similar thoughts about the experience of war in youth. In fact, the subject of his book is not so much ‘death, fear, hunger’, as the effects of a unique kind of confinement on a young middle-class Englishman of his generation ...

Read anywhere with the London Review of Books app, available now from the App Store for Apple devices, Google Play for Android devices and Amazon for your Kindle Fire.

Read More

Sign up to our newsletter

For highlights from the latest issue, our archive and the blog, as well as news, events and exclusive promotions.

Newsletter Preferences