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Masquerade and Other Stories Robert Walser

Masquerade and Other Stories By Robert Walser

Masquerade and Other Stories by Robert Walser

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Masquerade and Other Stories Summary

Masquerade and Other Stories by Robert Walser

Born in Switzerland in 1878, Robert Walser worked as a bank clerk, a butler in a castle, and an inventor's assistant before discovering what William H. Gass calls his true profession. From 1899 until he was misdiagnosed a schizophrenic and hospitalized in 1933, Walser produced nine novels and more than a thousand short stories and prose pieces. Walser's contemporary admirers were few but well-placed. They included Franz Kafka, Hermann Hesse, Robert Musil, and Walter Benjamin. Today Robert Walser is widely regarded as one of the most important and original literary voices of the twentieth century. In Masquerade and Other Stories, Susan Bernofsky presents a representative selection of Walser's work, from his first published fiction to the stately prose of the last years before his voice vanished forever behind the asylum walls. Written between 1899 and 1933, these 64 sketches, scenes, stories, and wanderings through landscapes and dreamscapes are characterized by startling, skewed comparisons, warpings of syntax, vagaries of perspective, and a delight in contradiction. Quirky, playful, and sometimes bizarre, Walser's texts were unconventional by the standards of the early twentieth century. They are still innovative in the context of today's fiction.

Masquerade and Other Stories Reviews

This newly translated collection draws upon [Walser's] writing in Zurich, Berlin, Bern and elsewhere between 1899 and 1933. Reading the pieces, the artistry of a contemporary Swiss observer, Paul Klee, comes to mind. Walser's persona and vague human sketches and Klee's whimsical and fantastic images seem kin. New York Times

About Robert Walser

Robert Walser (1878-1956) was born in Biel, Switzerland. Among his four surviving novles in Jakob von Gunten. Susan Bernofsky's fiction, poetry, and translations have appeared in journals in the United States and abroad.

Table of Contents

Foreword, by William H. Gass
Zurich (1896-1905)
Berlin (1905-1913)
Biel (1913-1921)
Berne (1921-1933)

Additional information

Masquerade and Other Stories by Robert Walser
Johns Hopkins University Press
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