A Little Ramble: In the Spirit of Robert Walser

Contemporary artists respond to the work of Robert Walser.

A Little Ramble: In the Spirit of Robert Walser was initiated by the gallerist Donald Young, who saw in Robert Walser an exemplary figure through whom connections between art and literature could be discussed anew. He invited a group of artists to create and exhibit work in response to the writings of Robert Walser. This book is a result of that collaboration.

A Little Ramble is a Walser reader of material chosen by the artists. There are Walser love stories discovered by Thomas Schütte in the 70s appearing here for the first time in English, translated by Susan Bernofsky; the poem Snow which inspired Rosemarie Trockel also newly translated for this edition by Christopher Middleton; the little known Walser story A Painter’s Life illustrated by Josiah McElheny; Pantoums by Rodney Graham based on the first line of Walser’s Berlin stories and excerpts from Wandering with Walser, conversations with Walser recorded by his guardian, Carl Seelig, chosen by Moyra Davey to name only a few. Also included in the book is an afterword by Lynne Cooke and an introduction by Donald Young.

Robert Walser (1878–1956) was born in Switzerland. He left school at fourteen and led a wandering and precarious existence working as a bank clerk, a butler in a castle, and an inventor’s assistant while producing essays, stories, and novels. In 1933 he abandoned writing and entered a sanatorium—where he remained for the rest of his life. “I am not here to write,” Walser said, “but to be mad.”

Distinguished poet and translator Christopher Middleton lives in Austin, Texas. His awards include the Geoffrey Faber Memorial Prize and the Schegel-Tieck Translation Prize.

Prize-winning translator Susan Bernofsky has translated numerous works by Robert Walser including The Microscripts, The Tanners, and The Assistant. She is currently at work on a biography of Robert Walser

A Little Ramble: In the Spirit of Robert Walser
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