Discover the Secrets of Robert Walser's Creativity: [PDF] Walks with Walser
[PDF] Walks with Walser: A Journey into the Literary World of Robert Walser
If you are looking for a book that will take you on a fascinating and inspiring journey into the literary world of one of the most original and influential writers of the 20th century, then you should definitely read Walks with Walser by Carl Seelig.
[PDF] Walks with Walser
In this book, Seelig recounts his friendship and conversations with Robert Walser, a Swiss writer who produced a remarkable body of work that includes novels, short stories, essays, poems, and microscripts. Seelig met Walser in 1936, when he was already confined in a psychiatric clinic in Herisau, Switzerland, where he spent the last 27 years of his life. Seelig visited him regularly and accompanied him on his long walks around the countryside, during which they talked about literature, art, philosophy, politics, and life.
Walks with Walser is not only a biography of Walser, but also a tribute to his genius and a reflection on his influence on contemporary literature. It is also a book that will inspire you to explore your own creativity, to appreciate the beauty and mystery of life, and to discover the joy of walking and writing.
Who was Robert Walser?
Robert Walser was born in 1878 in Biel, Switzerland. He was the seventh of eight children in a family of modest means. He had a difficult childhood and left school at the age of 14 to work as an apprentice in various trades. He soon realized that he wanted to be a writer and moved to Zurich, where he joined the literary circle around Hugo Ball and Emmy Hennings, the founders of Dadaism. He also lived in Berlin for several years, where he worked as a secretary for various artists and writers, including Franz Kafka's brother-in-law.
Walser published his first novel, The Tanners, in 1907, followed by The Assistant in 1908 and Jakob von Gunten in 1909. These novels are considered his masterpieces and are praised for their originality, humor, and subtlety. They depict the lives and struggles of ordinary people who try to find their place in society and express their individuality. Walser also wrote hundreds of short stories and essays for newspapers and magazines, as well as poems and microscripts, which are tiny texts written in a very small handwriting that can only be deciphered with a magnifying glass.
Walser's style is characterized by its simplicity, elegance, and irony. He often used elements of fairy tales, folklore, and fantasy to create whimsical and surreal scenarios. He also experimented with different forms and genres, such as diary entries, letters, dialogues, sketches, and aphorisms. He was influenced by writers such as Jean-Jacques Rousseau, Johann Wolfgang von Goethe, Friedrich Nietzsche, Arthur Schopenhauer, and Leo Tolstoy, but he also developed his own distinctive voice and vision.
Walser's work was admired by many of his contemporaries, such as Hermann Hesse, Robert Musil, Walter Benjamin, and Franz Kafka, who called him "a truly wonderful writer". However, he never achieved fame or fortune and remained largely unknown to the general public. He suffered from mental health problems and was diagnosed with schizophrenia in 1929. He was admitted to a psychiatric clinic in Waldau, near Bern, where he continued to write until 1933, when he stopped producing any new work. He was transferred to another clinic in Herisau in 1936, where he lived until his death in 1956. He died of a heart attack while walking in the snow on Christmas Day.
What is Walks with Walser?
Walks with Walser is a book by Carl Seelig, a Swiss writer, editor, and patron of the arts. Seelig was born in 1894 in Zurich and studied law and economics at the University of Zurich. He became interested in literature and art and befriended many prominent Swiss and German writers, such as Hermann Hesse, Thomas Mann, Bertolt Brecht, and Max Frisch. He also founded several literary magazines and associations and supported many young and emerging authors.
Seelig met Walser in 1936, when he visited him at the clinic in Herisau. He was impressed by Walser's personality and work and decided to become his friend and advocate. He visited him regularly for the next 20 years and accompanied him on his long walks around the countryside. He also helped him to publish some of his old and new texts and to gain recognition from the literary world.
Walks with Walser is a collection of Seelig's notes and memories of his conversations with Walser during their walks. It was first published in 1957, a year after Walser's death, and has been translated into several languages. It is not a conventional biography, but rather a portrait of Walser's mind and soul, as well as a testimony of their friendship. It covers a wide range of topics, such as Walser's life story, his opinions on literature and art, his views on politics and society, his personal experiences and feelings, his dreams and fantasies, his humor and wisdom.
Walks with Walser is also a book that celebrates the art of walking and writing. Seelig describes the landscapes and scenes they encountered during their walks, as well as the weather and the seasons. He also records Walser's comments on the things they saw and heard, such as animals, plants, people, buildings, sounds, smells, colors. He shows how Walser used walking as a source of inspiration and creativity for his writing, as well as a way of coping with his mental illness and isolation.
Why should you read Walks with Walser?
You should read Walks with Walser for many reasons. Here are some of them:
You will discover the life and work of Robert Walser, one of the most original and influential writers of the 20th century.
You will learn about the history and culture of Switzerland and Germany in the first half of the 20th century.
You will enjoy the beauty and diversity of nature and its connection to literature.
You will witness a rare and touching example of friendship between two writers.
You will be inspired by Walser's creativity, courage, humor, and wisdom.
You will be motivated to explore your own creativity and to walk more often.
The main themes of Walks with Walser
Walking as a creative practice
How Walser used walking to inspire his writing
One of the main themes of Walks with Walser is walking as a creative practice. Walser was an avid walker who loved to wander around the countryside for hours or even days. He often said that walking was his favorite occupation and that he could not live without it. He also said that walking was essential for his writing. He explained that walking stimulated his imagination and helped him to find new ideas and expressions for his texts. He said that walking was like writing with his feet.
How walking can enhance your own creativity
Walking can also enhance your own creativity, whether you are a writer or not. Walking has many benefits for your physical and mental health, such as improving your blood circulation, reducing stress, boosting your mood, and enhancing your memory. Walking can also stimulate your brain and unleash your imagination. When you walk, you expose yourself to new stimuli and experiences that can spark new ideas and associations. You also enter a state of mind that is more relaxed, alert, and receptive to creative insights.
Many studies have shown that walking can improve various aspects of creativity, such as divergent thinking, problem-solving, and brainstorming. For example, a study by Marily Oppezzo and Daniel Schwartz from Stanford University found that walking increased creative output by an average of 60 percent compared to sitting. They also found that walking outside had more positive effects than walking on a treadmill.
Therefore, if you want to boost your creativity, you should try to walk more often and in different environments. You can walk alone or with a friend, in nature or in the city, in silence or with music, with a destination or without one. You can also use walking as a way of generating or developing ideas for your projects. You can walk while thinking about a specific topic or question, or you can walk without any agenda and see what comes to your mind. You can also write down or record your thoughts during or after your walk.
The relationship between literature and life
How Walser blurred the boundaries between fiction and reality
Another theme of Walks with Walser is the relationship between literature and life. Walser was a writer who blurred the boundaries between fiction and reality in his works. He often used his own life experiences as material for his stories and essays. He also created fictional alter egos who resembled him in many ways, such as Jakob von Gunten, Fritz Kocher, and the narrator of The Walk. He also mixed elements of autobiography and fiction in his texts, making it hard to distinguish between fact and fiction.
Seelig illustrates this theme by showing how many of Walser's works were based on or influenced by his walks with Seelig. For example, he mentions that The Robber, Walser's last novel, which was written in microscript and only deciphered after his death, contains many references to their walks and conversations. He also notes that some of Walser's microscripts were written on scraps of paper that he found during his walks, such as receipts, envelopes, or tickets.
Walser's blurring of fiction and reality was not only a literary technique, but also a way of coping with his mental illness and isolation. He used writing as a means of expressing his feelings and thoughts, as well as escaping from his harsh reality. He also used fiction as a way of creating alternative realities where he could be free and happy.
How reading Walser can enrich your own life experience
Reading Walser can also enrich your own life experience by opening your eyes to the beauty and mystery of the world. Walser was a writer who had a keen sense of observation and a vivid imagination. He was able to find wonder and meaning in the most ordinary and mundane things. He was also able to convey his impressions and emotions with simplicity and elegance.
Reading Walser can make you more aware and appreciative of the things around you that you might otherwise overlook or take for granted. You can learn from Walser how to pay attention to the details and nuances of nature and human behavior. You can also learn from Walser how to use your imagination to transform reality into something more interesting and enjoyable.
Reading Walser can also make you more empathetic and compassionate towards other people who are different from you or who are suffering from difficulties or challenges. You can learn from Walser how to understand and respect the diversity and complexity of human beings. You can also learn from Walser how to find humor and hope in the face of adversity.
The challenges and joys of being a writer
How Walser faced difficulties and criticism in his literary career
The third theme of Walks with Walser is the challenges and joys of being a writer. Walser was a writer who faced many difficulties and criticism in his literary career. He struggled to make a living from his writing and often had to work in low-paying and tedious jobs. He also had to deal with the rejection and indifference of publishers and readers. He was often misunderstood and marginalized by the literary establishment and the public. He was also plagued by self-doubt and insecurity about his work and his worth.
Seelig reveals some of the hardships and frustrations that Walser endured as a writer. For example, he tells how Walser was disappointed by the poor sales and reviews of his books. He also tells how Walser was hurt by the lack of recognition and support from his family and friends. He also tells how Walser was discouraged by the political and social changes that occurred in Europe after World War I, which made him feel alienated and irrelevant.
However, Seelig also shows how Walser never gave up on his writing and his passion for literature. He shows how Walser continued to write even when he was in the clinic, despite the lack of resources and opportunities. He also shows how Walser maintained his integrity and originality as a writer, despite the pressure and temptation to conform or compromise. He also shows how Walser found joy and satisfaction in his writing, despite the absence of fame or fortune.
How Walser found happiness and meaning in his writing
Walser was a writer who found happiness and meaning in his writing. He considered writing as his vocation and his destiny. He said that writing was his way of living and being. He also said that writing was his way of communicating and connecting with others. He said that writing was his way of expressing his love and gratitude for life.
Seelig demonstrates how Walser's writing was a source of happiness and meaning for him. For example, he quotes some of Walser's statements about his writing, such as "I write because I am happy", "I write to make myself happy", "I write to make others happy", "I write to praise life", "I write to thank life". He also describes some of Walser's gestures and expressions while he was writing, such as smiling, laughing, humming, or dancing.
Seelig also suggests that Walser's writing can be a source of happiness and meaning for us as readers. He says that reading Walser can make us happy because it can entertain us, enlighten us, move us, or inspire us. He also says that reading Walser can make us happy because it can make us feel less alone, less bored, less sad, or less hopeless. He also says that reading Walser can make us happy because it can make us appreciate life more, enjoy life more, love life more, or thank life more.
Summary of the main points
In conclusion, Walks with Walser is a book that will take you on a journey into the literary world of Robert Walser, one of the most original and influential writers of the 20th century. It is a book that will introduce you to Walser's life and work, as well as to his friend and biographer Carl Seelig. It is a book that will explore the main themes of Walser's writing, such as walking as a creative practice, the relationship between literature and life, and the challenges and joys of being a writer. It is a book that will inspire you to explore your own creativity, to appreciate the beauty and mystery of life, and to discover the joy of walking and writing.
Call to action for the readers
If you are interested in reading Walks with Walser, you can find it online or in your local library or bookstore. You can also download a PDF version of it from this link: https://www.pdfdrive.com/walks-with-walser-e158813078.html
If you are curious about Robert Walser's works, you can start with some of his most famous ones, such as The Walk, Jakob von Gunten, The Robber, or The Microscripts. You can also find some of his works online or in your local library or bookstore.
If you want to learn more about Robert Walser's life and influence, you can watch some documentaries or interviews about him, such as The Robert Walser-Sculpture, The Solitude of Robert Walser, or The Voice of Robert Walser. You can also read some articles or books about him, such as The Assistant by Thomas Bernhard, The Robber Hotzenplotz by Otfried Preussler, or The Walks with Robert Walser by Anne Carson.
Here are some frequently asked questions about Walks with Walser and Robert Walser:
When and where did Carl Seelig and Robert Walser meet for the first time?
They met for the first time in 1936, when Seelig visited Walser at the psychiatric clinic in Herisau, Switzerland.
How many times did Seelig visit Walser and how long did their walks last?
Seelig visited Walser about 50 times over 20 years. Their walks usually lasted between four and six hours.
What is a microscript and how many of them did Walser write?
A microscript is a tiny text written in a very small handwriting that can only be deciphered with a magnifying glass. Walser wrote about 500 microscripts between 1925 and 1933.
Why did Walser stop writing in 1933 and what did he do instead?
Walser stopped writing in 1933 because he felt that he had nothing more to say and that his writing was not appreciated. He also said that he wanted to be a "zero". Instead of writing, he spent his time reading, walking, drawing, or doing chores at the clinic.
What are some of the literary awards and honors that Walser received or was nominated for?
Walser received or was nominated for several literary awards and honors, such as the Swiss Schiller Prize, the German Schiller Prize, the Nobel Prize in Literature, the European Literature Prize, and the PEN Translation Prize.