Jakob von Gunten
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... show more
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.
Publish date: September 30th 1999
Publisher: NYRB Classics
Pages no: 176
Edition language: English
I know I have produced some cringe-worthy reviews lately, but I have been in a cringe-worthy state of mind with some unruly fingers to top it off, so there goes another one.As much as I love literature, I have always felt that it has the tendency to mislead and subsequently create victims of society...
Imagine the school scenes from Gormenghast rewritten by Kafka and you'll have a good idea of the atmosphere of Jakob von Gunten, a short and stodgy philosophical fable of a very Germanic kind. It's easy to see why Kafka and Hesse were such fans; I wasn't quite so convinced, although I can understand...
http://msarki.tumblr.com/post/55017000547/jakob-von-gunten-by-robert-walserThe publisher claims this German work Jakob von Gunten as Robert Walser's finest work. Other reviewers speak of the wondrous language and how the title character Jakob reminds them of Holden Caulfield, among others. For those...
"Klein sein und klein bleiben. Und höbe und trüge mich eine Hand, ein Umstand, eine Weile bis hinauf, wo Nacht und Einfluß gebieten, ich würde die Verhältnisse, die mich bevorzugten, zerschlagen, und mich selber würde ich hinabwerfen ins niedrige, nichtssagende Dunkel. Ich kann nur in den untern Reg...
How does one begin to write even an on-the-fly review of such a novel, one that should be experienced as a series of deceptively simple vignettes in the young life of the titular character and be relished as Walser carries one along with Jakob’s singular voice? Jakob von Gunten is also a difficult n...