“Littledaughterlinesses” and “corridoricities” and other coinages & portmanteaux in the luminous Walser universe: My review of Susan Bernofsky’s Walser biography at The American Scholar, “Lessons in Abstraction”
I recently wrote an essay on a new English translation of Robert Walser’s The Walk, which was first published in The Rumpus:
And a short time later in The Brooklyn Rail:
Walser’s “walk” is many things at once: the walk of life as in Dante’s cammin di nostra vita; the fusion of a Romantic’s celebration of nature as the source of all knowledge and inspiration with a Modernist’s playful intertextuality and layering of language; the artistic process in conflict with the conditions of material existence. Palpable throughout the story are echoes of wanderers and outsiders that have always been suspect to settled society: the vagabonds, artisans, circus performers, journeymen, and nomads who were exempt from the duties and moral codes that order, tame, and impose limitations on human coexistence.