Translated by Daniele Pantano and James Reidel
With an afterword by Reto Sorg
6 x 7.5 inches, 224pp. April 2018
ISBN : 9780857424693
Rs 599.00 (HB)
Few writers have ever experienced such a steady rise in their reputation and public profile as Swiss writer Robert Walser (1878–1956) has seen in recent years. As more of his previously little-known work has been translated into English, readers have discovered a unique writer whose off-kilter sensibility and innovations in form are perfectly suited to our fragmented, distracted, bewildered era.
Comedies brings English-language readers work by Walser in yet another form: dramolette. The short plays presented here, inspired by the German theatre Walser enjoyed in his youth, while never meant to be performed, present scenes, characters and situations that comment on the brutality of fairy tales, the impossibilities of love, the dark fate of the Christ child (and Walser himself) and more. At the same time, like all of Walser’s work they are shot through with a humour that is wholly genuine despite its shades of darkness. Gathering all of Walser’s plays, as well as his later, fragmentary dramatic writings, this volume will be celebrated by the many devoted fans of this lately rediscovered master.
Robert Walser (1878–1956) was a Swiss writer who wrote seven novels and more than a thousand short stories and prose pieces.
Daniele Pantano is a Swiss poet who writes in English and has published a selection of Walser's verse translated from the German.
James Reidel is poet, translator, editor and biographer. In addition to the works of Georg Trakl, he has translated novels by Franz Werfel and poetry by Thomas Bernhard, among others. He is the biographer of poet Weldon Kees and author of two volumes of poetry.
Reto Sorg is the director of Robert Walser Center, Switzerland.