They Have All Been Healed

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ISBN 978-0-8101-3265-8

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ISBN 978-0-8101-3264-1

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ISBN 978-0-8101-3263-4
Publication Date
July 2016
Page Count
224 pages
Trim Size
6 x 9

They Have All Been Healed

Reading Robert Walser
Jan Plug

In perhaps the most provocative reading to date of the Swiss German modernist Robert Walser, Walter Benjamin asserted that Walser's figures "have all been healed." They Have All Been Healed takes up and extends Benjamin's assessment by following the figure of healing throughout major works by Walser, from his minidrama Snow White and his acknowledged masterpieces The Walk and Jakob von Gunten to his enigmatic last novel, The Robber. At the same time, Jan Plug reads Walser alongside his most compelling readers, tracing how not only Benjamin but also Giorgio Agamben, W. G. Sebald, and the Brothers Quay complicate, clarify, and enact that same process of healing in their own work. Working out the theological implications of Walser's work and of the tradition to which he gives rise, Plug at once recasts one of the major authors of the twentieth century and articulates a new conception of healing and salvation.
About the Author

JAN PLUG is a professor of English and director of the Centre for the Study of Theory and Criticism at the University of Western Ontario.

"The pulse of They Have All Been Healed is as fast and as relentless as Walser’s own… A wondrous symbiosis has emerged between critic and writer here that can hardly be matched.” —Paul North, author of The Yield: Kafka’s Atheological Reformation

"Plug offers a unique contribution to Walser scholarship, to the wider field of Sprachkrise in literature, and to theoretical and philosophical examinations of language and literature.  He demonstrates a clear awareness and detailed knowledge of the readings, and his daring moves into areas where few might follow is highly impressive.” — Kai Evers, author of Violent Modernists: The Aesthetics of Aggression in 20th Century German Literature