Silver Rule Smyth thanks Golden Rule Jones:
For some years now I had given up on my conviction that I first learned of Walser from John Ashbery in the TLS Int’l Books of the Year. My dad, professor of Classics turned Kindergarten teacher, has been collecting the annual issue since (well, it turns out, with the exception of) its inception. In 2003, as Suhrkamp celebrated Walser’s 125th birthday and I began reading him in earnest, having acquired (at a library sale and a quarter apiece) their 20 volume edition of his Collected Works, I searched without avail in dad’s archive. Until yesterday I thought I’d made the whole thing up. Thanks to GRJ and the Flow Chart Foundation (see the poetry link in the last post) a little piece of my mind was restored.
Here, thanks to my dad’s archive (since restored), is a part of the piece:
Those familiar with the work of the Swiss-German writer Robert Walser (1878-1956), who led a life of obscurity but whose admirers included Kafka, Hesse, Musil and Walter Benjamin, won’t need to be prompted to procure his 1925 novel, The Robber, translated by Susan Bernofsky (University of Nebraska Press). It is one of his many posthumously discovered ‘microtexts’, written, we are told, ‘in a script that varied in height from one to two millimeters, executed with an often none-too-sharp pencil’…
John Ashbery, TLS “International Books of the Year” (December 1, 2000).