Additional Book Information

Series: NYRB Classics
ISBN: 9780940322219
Pages: 200
Publication Date: September 30, 1999

Jakob von Gunten

by Robert Walser, translated and with an introduction by Christopher Middleton

Paperback

The Swiss writer Robert Walser is one of the quiet geniuses of twentieth-century literature. Largely self-taught and altogether indifferent to worldly success, Walser wrote a range of short stories, essays, as well as four novels, of which Jakob von Gunten is widely recognized as the finest. The book is a young man’s inquisitive and irreverent account of life in what turns out to be the most uncanny of schools. It is the work of an outsider artist, a writer of uncompromising originality and disconcerting humor, whose beautiful sentences have the simplicity and strangeness of a painting by Henri Rousseau. middleton

Praise

The moral core of Walser's art is the refusal of power; of domination.... Walser's virtues are those of the most mature, most civilized art. He is a truly wonderful, heartbreaking writer.
— Susan Sontag

If he had a hundred thousand readers, the world would be a better place.
— Hermann Hesse