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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
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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
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... and whimsy, he is beginning to receive the attention he deserves. The latest contribution is Tom Whalen’s discerning selection, Girlfriends, Ghosts and Other Stories, many of them previously unavailable in English. Walser’s loopy associative energy, often on display in his talks with Seelig, is in evidence in a lovely sketch titled ‘The ...

Knights of the Road

Tom Clark: The Beat generation, 6 July 2000

This is the Beat Generation: New York, San Francisco, Paris 
by James Campbell.
Vintage, 320 pp., £7.99, May 2000, 0 09 928269 0
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... adopted religion into his writing. Heading to California, he backpacks with Zen companions Philip Whalen and Gary Snyder, but only gets drunker and lonelier and unhappier. When last we see him, he is typing up grandiose autodidactic meditation manuals and ‘spiritual bromide’ sutras in a rustic cabin in thought-free California, victim of a fear of ...

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