Penn State

Samuel Frederick - Associate Professor of German, Penn State University Park

Book Title: Aus dem Bleistiftgebiet, vols. 5 & 6

Author: Robert Walser

Book Description:

It took 14 years for two scholars to decipher 526 pages (mostly used scraps, backs of calendars, some as small as business cards) of Swiss author Robert Walser's writings, composed with a dull pencil in a one to two-millimeter-high cursive. The body of works hidden in these apparent scribbles includes entire plays, a novel, and many short prose pieces and poems. They are among the most radical and at the same time delightful works of German-language modernism. These two volumes, published in 2000, were the final publications in the six-volume series, closing out the project. Already an avid reader of Walser, I bought these just before beginning graduate school. They ended up becoming central to my research — and still are. The library already has the first four volumes. This occasion seemed to me a fitting way to complete the set.


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