A Schoolboy's Diary and Other Stories by Robert Walser

By Robert Walser

A Schoolboy's Diary brings jointly greater than seventy of Robert Walser's unusual and beautiful tales, such a lot by no means sooner than on hand in English. beginning with a chain from Walser's first ebook, "Fritz Kocher's Essays," the total lecture room assignments of a fictional boy who has met a tragically early dying, this option levels from sketches of uncomprehending editors, overly passionate readers, and dreamy artists to stories of devilish adultery, sexual encounters on a educate, and Walser's provider in global struggle I. all through, Walser's careening, confounding, scrumptious voice holds the reader transfixed.

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Inside, I stood up against the oily green wall. There were people shouting, protesting, mentioning hypothetical rights lost one afternoon, —— 51 —— who knows where. They were demanding lawyers, laws, constitutions, they were naming well-known people, they were proclaiming their innocence. I kept quiet all the time, immersed in their activities. I felt pity for a man, visibly agitated, nervous, who seemed on the verge of a heart attack; he was sweating in silence, like me; I imagined for him something important was being lost at that moment, there or in another part of the city; perhaps, like me, he was losing a book that he’d written, perhaps his mother was very sick, and he, in a hurry to go to see her, he’d forgotten his documents, and for that reason he couldn’t arrive on time to see her, he would not arrive on time to kiss her before she died; if he ever came out (when they felt like letting him out) she would be buried, and nothing in the world could allow him to see her, nothing would allow him to look at her again, to keep the last vision of her in a jewellery box, mother dying in the darkened room beside the night table with all the medicine bottles and a glass of water in case she was thirsty, mother with her grey transparent eyes looking at the last dust of the room, looking at the Virgin on the wall with a little olive branch and telling her that life was like this, that life was just that, to walk, to arrive and to abandon what was yours, the beloved, mother dying under the starched bedspread and everything so inevitable, it was all right to die if one was old or even if one was young, but who could resist the despair of not arriving on time, of being delayed, of having forgotten the documents?

Asked the other one, also continuing to eat: she was a blue dove. She was not concerned about the topic since they were exporting white ones. If she had been told that they’d be exporting blue ones, she would have caused a great commotion. “To India,” said the first one, who was better informed. “But anyway, even though it’s your turn, I’ll go,” said the younger old man, without getting up from his seat. It was very convenient, because the doves could continue eating without wasting their time skittering off, prompted by the old people’s movements.

So small she could barely be seen. As soon as she saw me outside, without saying a word, she sprang up on the jar’s lip and made it to the water. Since then she has been swimming there. She doesn’t wave to me anymore, when I come into the house or when I leave, and each day that goes by I notice her smaller, but at last she’s resting. Floating in the bottle’s water, she looks like a fallen animal, a tiny roving insect. But I know that she’s happy now. I went to the market today and bought a red fish.

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