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"Masquerade" and Other Stories

By: Robert Walser, Susan Bernofsky (Translator)

Paperback Published: 1st February 1990
ISBN: 9780801839771
Number Of Pages: 232
For Ages: 22+ years old

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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.

Industry 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 *

Forewordp. ix
Prefacep. xxi
Zurich (1896-1905)
Lake Greifenp. 3
From Fritz Kocher's Essaysp. 5
Two Storiesp. 11
Simonp. 15
The Glovesp. 20
Berlin (1905-1913)
"Good Morning, Giantess!"p. 23
Comedy Eveningp. 26
Aschingerp. 30
Mountain Hallsp. 33
Marketp. 35
The Battle of Sempachp. 37
Tableau Vivantp. 43
Food (I)p. 46
Biel (1913-1921)
Johannap. 51
The Violetp. 53
Mariep. 55
Fraulein Knuchelp. 69
Bastap. 71
Fritzp. 74
Tobold (II)p. 80
The End of the Worldp. 101
I Have Nothingp. 103
The Auntp. 105
The Old Fountainp. 109
The Dinner Partyp. 111
The Last Prose Piecep. 113
Berne (1921-1933)
The Alphabetp. 121
Ladies' Shoesp. 122
Energeticp. 123
Robert the Rascalp. 125
Fridolinp. 127
Should Promises Be Broken?p. 130
The Elephantp. 132
The Sweetheartp. 134
The One of Fairy Talesp. 136
The Green Spiderp. 139
She's such a nice woman ...p. 141
Goddess of Poetry ...p. 143
The Strange Girlp. 149
The Chinese Woman, the Chinamanp. 151
A Lump of Sugarp. 154
Je t'adorep. 156
Kurtp. 157
Horse and Bearp. 158
Sunday Walk (I)p. 159
Letter to Edithp. 162
Salon Episodep. 165
Birthday Prose Piecep. 168
An Immortalp. 170
There exist drunken geniuses ...p. 171
All those who like to laugh while crying ...p. 173
A Flaubert Prose Piecep. 176
Minotaurp. 180
Masqueradep. 182
Sampler Platep. 184
Prose Piecep. 185
Moonlight Storyp. 186
Beneath a Lindenp. 189
I Was Reading in the Forestp. 191
The Boy (II)p. 193
A Small Townp. 195
The Worn-out Manp. 197
Boat Tripp. 199
The Girl (II)p. 201
Table of Contents provided by Syndetics. All Rights Reserved.

ISBN: 9780801839771
ISBN-10: 0801839777
Audience: General
For Ages: 22+ years old
Format: Paperback
Language: English
Number Of Pages: 232
Published: 1st February 1990
Publisher: Johns Hopkins University Press
Country of Publication: US
Dimensions (cm): 21.6 x 13.3  x 1.91
Weight (kg): 0.3