Robert Walser

The Walk

first published in 1917, revised edition in 1920
(German title: Der Spaziergang)
ca. 85 pages
Robert Walser
Foto: Robert Walser

Robert Walser was born in Biel/Bienne in Switzerland in 1878 and died on a solitary walk in the snow on Christmas Day, 1956, near the Herisau sanitarium.


»A Paul Klee in prose, a good-humored, sweet Beckett, Walser is a truly wonderful, heartbreaking writer. In Walser’s fictions one is always inside a head, but this universe – and this despar – is anything but solipsistic. It is charged with compassion: awareness of the creatureliness of life, of the fellowship of sadness« Susan Sontag

»Was Walser a great writer? If one is reluctant to call him great, said Canetti, that is only because nothing could be more alien to him than greatness.« J. M. Coetzee

»Robert Walser moves me more and more […] He is truthful without making a frontal attack on the truth, he becomes truth by walking around it.« Elias Canetti

»Be an Outsider! Be a Hero! Be Robert Walser!« Thomas Hirschhorn

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English rights (USA: New Directions, UK: Serpent’s Tail), Spanish world rights (Siruela), Catalan rights (El Flâneur), Chinese simplex rights (Shanghai Translation – published, rights reverted), Russia (pre-publication serial rights: Inostrannaja Literatura; volume rights: Ad Marginem), Brazilian Portuguese rights (Editora 34), France (Gallimard), Italy (Adelphi), Netherlands (Lebowski/Dutch Media Group), Denmark (Batzer), Norway (Bokvennen – published, rights reverted), Finnland (Teos), Czech Republic (Opus), Slovakia (Premedia), Hungary (Magvetö – published, rights reverted), Bulgaria (Critique & Humanism), Romania (Univers – published, rights reverted), Estonia (Tänapäev – published, rights reverted), Greece (Gavrilidis), Kosovo / Albanian rights (Pa), Ukraine (Meridian Czernowitz Literature Foundation), Belorussia (Logvinau), Georgia (Ibis), Armenia (Antares)

Domestic Rights Sales: Audiobook rights (Universal Music / Deutsche Grammophon)

»The Walk remains the best starting point for experiencing Walser's unique genius.« The Quarterly Conversation


A pseudo-biographical »stroll« through town and countryside rife with philosophic musings, The Walk has been hailed as the masterpiece of Walser's short prose. Walking features heavily in his writing, but nowhere else is it as elegantly considered. Without walking, »I would be dead,« Walser explains, »and my profession, which I love passionately, would be destroyed. Because it is on walks that the lore of nature and the lore of the country are revealed, charming and graceful, to the sense and eyes of the observant walker.« (from the book description of the US edition by New Direction Books)


Other publications

Im Bureau/In the Office (2011)

Sold to:

English world rights (New Directions), Spanish World Rights (Siruela), Italy (Adelphi), Bulgaria (Funtasy)

Domestic rights sales: German Audiobook (Diogenes)

Jakob von Gunten/Jakob von Gunten (1909)

Sold to:

English world rights (Serpent’s Tail / New York Review of Books), Spanish world rights (Siruela), Catalan world rights (Quaderns Crema), Basque world rights (Erein), Brazilian Portuguese (Companhia das Letras), Portugal (Relogio d’Agua), France (Gallimard), Italy (Adelphi), Netherlands (Lebowski), Denmark (Centrum - published, rights reverted), Sweden (Norstedts), Norway (Bokvennen), Iceland (Translation Centre at the University of Iceland), Japan (Choeisha), Thailand (Lighthouse Publishing), Poland (Poznanskie), Czech Republic (Opus), Hungary (Scolar), Bulgaria (Narodna Kultura), Estonia (Tänapäev), Lithuania (Vaga), Croatia (Naprijed), Slovenia (Beletrina), Bosnia (Gong), Turkey (Dogan), Greece (Printa), Macedonia (Templum), Georgia (Ibis)

Domestic Rights Sales: German Audiobook (DAV)

Der Gehülfe/The Assistant (1908)

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English world rights (New Directions), Spanish world rights (Siruela, Paperback Sublicense: Debolsillo, Latin American Sublicense: El Hilo de Ariadna), Catalan world rights (Ed. 1984), Brazilian Portuguese (Siciliano de Livros), Portugal (Relogio d’Agua), France (Gallimard), Italy (Einaudi), Sweden (Modernista), Norway (Bokvennen), Finland (Teos), Japan (Choeisha), Poland (PIW), Czech Republic (Opus), Hungary (Scolar), Bulgaria (G. Danov), Estonia (Perioodika), Lithuania (Pradai), Slovenia (Mihelač), Turkey (Can), Albania (Asdreni), Georgia (Ibis)

Geschwister Tanner/The Tanners (1907)

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English world rights (New Directions), Spanish world rights (Siruela, Paperback Sublicense: Debolsillo), Catalan world rights (Proa), Russia (Text), Brazilian Portuguese (Companhia das Letras), Portugal (Relogio d’Agua), France (Gallimard), Italy (Adelphi), Netherlands (Lebowski), Norway (Bokvennen), Japan (Choeisha), Poland (Poznańskie), Czech Republic (Opus), Slovakia (Smena), Hungary (Scolar), Bulgaria (Colibri), Estonia (Loomingu Raamatukogu), Slovenia (Pan), Bosnia (Connectum), Turkey (Can), Greece (Printa), Georgia (Ibis), India (Hindi), Israel (Am Oved)