By Robert Walser
A brand new York evaluation Books Original
In 1905 the younger Swiss author Robert Walser arrived in Berlin to affix his older brother Karl, already an enormous stage-set dressmaker, and instantly threw himself into the colourful social and cultural lifetime of the town. Berlin tales collects his alternately celebratory, droll, and satirical observations on each point of the bustling German capital, from its theaters, cabarets, painters’ galleries, and literary salons, to the metropolitan road, markets, the Tiergarten, rapid-service eating places, and the electrical tram. initially showing in literary magazines in addition to the feuilleton sections of newspapers, the early tales are characterised by means of a joyous urgency and the generosity of an unconventional advisor. Later items take the shape of extra own reflections at the writing strategy, thoughts, and personality reviews. All are jam-packed with counter-intuitive photographs and vignettes of startling readability, showcasing a distinct expertise for whom no aspect used to be trivial, at grips with a urban diving headlong into modernity.
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Extra info for Berlin Stories (New York Review Books Classics)
I can’t remember,’ I lied. ‘Yes you can. ’ ‘I was not! ’ ‘Because it’s the ordinary law-abiding people who go crazy and walk into primary schools and open fire on a class of kids; compared to that, crims use guns responsibly. ’ ‘You said criminals should have guns; that’s a quote. ’ ‘I don’t think it’s anything—’ ‘You probably missed the way we developed that,’ I told her. ‘We decided only extroverts and nutters should get guns, crims or not. Because it’s always the quiet ones that go mad. Ever noticed that?
Good point. ’ Kul asked. ’ I said. Kul had a bit of a sheen on him; looked a little glassy-eyed. It never did take much to get him drunk. ’ ‘Umm, well …’ Most of the people at the party were taking turns to throw things over the parapet. For a dedicatedly minimalist couple, Faye and Kul had a surprising amount of stuff they weren’t going to miss when they quit the loft: quite a lot of old kitchen bits and pieces, like bowls, plates, jars, a broken juicer, a defunct Thermos flask, some outdated goblets, a bilious green fondue set … then a handful of ornaments they’d been given by Faye’s parents, which they’d never liked or ever displayed but had kept in case the old couple ever came to visit (the ornaments were, like Faye’s parents, pretty hideous), followed by bigger stuff as Faye and Kul got into it and people started to cam-cord what was happening: an old hi-fi system, a bust TV, a misbehaving radio, and bottles; lots of bottles.
No. I see. Yeah. Yeah. ’ Kul asked, leaning on the parapet and glancing at Jo, who was a few paces away now and giving the finger to her phone while still making noises into it. ’ I looked at him. ’ I asked softly, also glancing at Jo. ’ He just grinned. I leaned on the parapet too, looking down at the gradually browning flesh of the apple. ‘I don’t think so. ’ My ex was currently shacked up with a cop in sunny Luton. ’ Kul asked. ’ I shrugged. Slightly dodgy territory here, as Jude and I did meet up now and again and on a few of those occasions had - despite all the bitterness and recriminations and other usual failed-marriage stuff - ended up falling into bed.