Looking at Pictures - Robert Walser

New Directions


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Looking at Pictures, by Robert Walser, translated by Susan Bernofsky / ISBN 9780811224246 / small 144-page hardcover from New Directions/Christine Burgin


"Written between 1902 and 1930 and, with two exceptions, previously untranslated, the pieces gathered here elaborate a nervous, slapstick sort of hack journalism that set the stage for a fabulously experimental modernist writing situation whose fans included Kafka, Musil, and Benjamin."--John Kelsey, Artforum

A beautiful and elegant collection, with gorgeous full-color art reproductions, Looking at Pictures presents a little-known side of the eccentric Swiss genius: his great writings on art. His essays consider Van Gogh, Cezanne, Rembrandt, Cranach, Watteau, Fragonard, Brueghel and his own brother Karl and also discuss general topics such as the character of the artist and of the dilettante as well as the differences between painters and poets. Every piece is marked by Walser’s unique eye, his delicate sensitivity, and his very particular sensibilities―and all are touched by his magic screwball wit.

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