Microscripts

(Author) (Illustrator)
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Product Details

Price
$24.95  $23.20
Publisher
New Directions Publishing Corporation
Publish Date
Pages
160
Dimensions
6.3 X 0.7 X 8.7 inches | 1.0 pounds
Language
English
Type
Paperback
EAN/UPC
9780811220330
BISAC Categories:

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About the Author

Born 1878 in Switzerland, Robert Walser was at various times in his life a bank teller, office clerk, scribe, house servant, machinist's assistant, and archivist. Although he wrote four novels and some poetry, his production consisted mainly of hundreds of small prose pieces. Being small was a key concern. His writing got smaller and smaller until, before he ceased writing altogether, he wrote a tiny script with letters about one millimeter high. By this time he had committed himself to a sanitarium where he remained for 27 years, mostly not writing. Always an avid taker of walks, Walser died in a snowdrift while out for a walk in 1956.
Maira Kalman illustrated William Strunk Jr's classic The Elements of Style and is the author of My Favorite Things, Principles of Uncertainty, and And the Pursuit of Happiness. She is also the author/illustrator of numerous children's books, and her artwork has graced a dozen covers of The New Yorker. Her watches, clocks, accessories, and paperweights have been featured at the Museum of Modern Art store. She lives in New York City.Alex Kalman is an artist, editor, designer, publisher, and curator, He is the founder of Mmuseumm and owner of What Studio? Learn more at alexkalman.com
For New Directions, Susan Bernofsky has translated Yoko Tawada's Where Europe Begins, The Naked Eye, and Memoirs of a Polar Bear (winner of the Warwick Prize for Women in Translation), eight titles by the great Swiss-German modernist Robert Walser, and five books by Jenny Erpenbeck, including The End of Days (winner of the Independent Foreign Fiction Prize). She is the author of Clairvoyant of the Small: The Life of Robert Walser, and teaches at Columbia University, where she also directs the literary translation program.

Reviews

The use of throwaway scraps and pencil also seems part of a deliberate espousal of the small and modest, an attention to the unnoticed, and the microscripts are, as this edition lets us see, objects of beauty, the pencillings precisely filling their allotted space, the different texts neatly fitted together on the same piece of paper like some kind of intricate insect construction whose purpose is absolutely necessary.... Walser has in recent years regained some of the status he enjoyed in the 1920s. Instead of Kafka and Benjamin, we have Sebald and Lydia Davis championing him. But we still don't know where we stand with him. Are we dealing with pure literature, the vagaries of the everyday, jokes, or empty fancies? The writing is radical and elegant enough to encompass all these possibilities and many more. Is it the stuff of life? Perhaps.
Walser vaulted new heights of expression with minuscule means.