The description applies to the present volume as well, as it does to a great deal of Walser’s work; again, therein lies the appeal. These stories, more than revealing the texture of Berlin life at the turn of the century, allow us a window into Walser’s states of mind and into the mechanics of his thought process (he wrote quickly and claimed he never corrected a single line of his writing). Whether he is observing an Abyssinian lion in the zoo, or complaining about pompous, self-important people, or thinking about a park, or observing a play, or assessing the character of the city street, it is always the quality of mind that holds us rapt.
A short note on Robert Walser’s Berlin Stories over at the Book Bench. [via The Book Bench]
Incidentally, the Enrique Vila-Matas book I was just reading is an excellent, excellent portrait of Walser.