Robert Walser

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"If you read only one writer or one book in all of Earthly existence, let it be by Robert Walser, a humble man with an inborn pride of thieves; who takes from his own rich Heart and gives Poetic alms to those poorer in spirit . . ." Anita Fix

I once went and saw the Brothers Quay only "real life" film called "Institute Benjamenta" based on Walser's "Jacob Von Guten" at the Clinton Street Theatre. There were about 12-15 people at the beginning of the movie and only about 3-4 by the end. A brilliant movie, almost as good, though less profound and less clever, as the book.

Last night I picked up the newest translations of Robert Walser by Christopher Middleton,"Speaking to the Rose," at Powell's along with a hard to find copy of Rachel Blau DuPlessis's "Tabula Rosa." It's funny, really. I've been reading Samuel Beckett's collected short prose a lot lately and some of his earlier work reminds me of Walser's work. At the time of his living, Walser was often considered a writer's writer, a hack, a fool or worse, but I think he was/is a writer's poet or a poet's writer and one of THE writers/poets creating during the 20th Century.

In the end, Walser is why I began.

Thank you for reminding me, Mr. Middleton.

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