Damion Searls on Robert Walser

Tuesday 10 September, 2013
7pm, $0

192 Books
192 10th Avenue at 21 Street

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A School Boy's Diary brings together more than seventy of Robert Walser's strange and wonderful stories, most never before available in English. Opening with a sequence from "Fritz Kocher's Essays," the complete classroom assignments of a fictional boy who has met a tragically early death, this selection ranges from sketches of passionate readers and dreamy artists to tales of develish adultery, sexual encounters on a train, and Walser's service in World War I. Throughout, Walser's careening, confounding, delicious voice holds the reader transfixed.

Robert Walser (1878-1956) was born into a German-speaking family in Biel, Switzerland. He left school at fourteen and led a wandering, precarious existence while writing his poems, novels and vast number of the "prose pieces" that became his hallmark. In 1933 he was confined to a sanitorium, which marked the end of his writing career. Among Walser's works available in English are Jakob von GuntenBerlin StoriesThe TannersMicroscripts, and The Assistant.

Damion Searls has translated many classic twentieth century writers, including Proust, Rilke, Elfriede Jelinek, Nescio, Christa Wolf, Hans Keilson, and Herman Hesse. He has received Guggenheim, National Endowment for the Arts, and Cullman Center Fellowships. He is currently writing a book about Hermann Rorschach and the cultural history of the Rorschach test.

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