The Mighty Walser: From a Short Story by Robert Walser, a Choreographer and Director Have Made a Mesmerizing Piece of “Perambulatory Poetics.”

Sukhdev Sandhu


By Christmas Day 1956, when his frozen body was found by schoolchildren in a field of snow near the asylum where he had resided for more than twenty years, the Swiss writer Robert Walser had been largely forgotten. There had been a time when the failed actor and former butler, born in 1878, was well known among Europe’s literary intelligentsia: Robert Musil, Herman Hesse, Stefan Zweig, Franz Kafka, and Walter Benjamin all admired his short stories and novels. During the 1920s, though, he was increasingly afflicted by hallucinations. In 1933 he entered a sanatorium, announcing: “I am not here to write, but to be mad.”[i]

[i] Middleton, introduction, 12.


Robert Walser; All This Can Happen; Siobhan Davies; David Hinton; perambulatory poetics; archive film; split-screen; review

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Copyright (c) 2016 Sukhdev Sandhu

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ISSN: 2154-6878