Robert Walser

Robert Walser

A Companion
Edited by Samuel Frederick and Valerie Heffernan

The Swiss writer Robert Walser (1878-1956) is now recognized as one of the most important European authors of the modernist period, having garnered high praise from such prominent voices as Susan Sontag, W. G. Sebald, and J. M. Coetzee. Robert Walser: A Companion is the first comprehensive guide to Walser’s work in English. The twelve essays in this collection examine Walser’s literary output, historical milieu, and idiosyncratic writing process, addressing aspects of his biography; discussing the various genres in which he wrote (the novel, short prose, drama, lyric poetry, and letters); and analyzing his best-known novels and short stories alongside lesser-known but no less fascinating poems, plays, and prose pieces.

An essential addition to the scholarship about this eccentric, prolific, and influential writer’s work, Robert Walser: A Companion will be of interest both to established scholars and to those coming to Walser for the first time.

About the Author

SAMUEL FREDERICK is an associate professor of German at the Pennsylvania State University. He is the author of Narratives Unsettled: Digression in Robert Walser, Thomas Bernhard, and Adalbert Stifter.

VALERIE HEFFERNAN is a senior lecturer in German studies at the National University of Ireland, Maynooth. She is the author of Provocation from the Periphery. Robert Walser Re-examined.


“A book like this is not only due but overdue. It is a valuable companion to many of Walser’s best-known works, and offers insightful accounts of some lesser known ones that are genuinely helpful. Indeed, part of the value of the book lies in the variety of its contributions, a variety that mirrors the great diversity of Walser’s writings.” —Jan Plug, author of They Have All Been Healed: Reading Robert Walser