Jakob Von Gunten

Front Cover
New York Review of Books, 1999 - Fiction - 176 pages
8 Reviews
The Swiss writer Robert Walser is one of the quiet geniuses of twentieth-century literature. Largely self-taught and altogether indifferent to worldly success, Walser wrote a range of short stories, essays, as well as four novels, of which Jakob von Gunten is widely recognized as the finest. The book is a young man's inquisitive and irreverent account of life in what turns out to be the most uncanny of schools. It is the work of an outsider artist, a writer of uncompromising originality and disconcerting humor, whose beautiful sentences have the simplicity and strangeness of a painting by Henri Rousseau.
 

What people are saying - Write a review

User ratings

5 stars
2
4 stars
4
3 stars
2
2 stars
0
1 star
0

LibraryThing Review

User Review  - le.vert.galant - LibraryThing

A strange book with a great tone. A disturbing, playful, and profound book. There is very little story but rather a disquieting series of vignettes about a school for servants narrated by one of the students. Read full review

LibraryThing Review

User Review  - Widsith - LibraryThing

Imagine the school scenes from Gormenghast rewritten by Kafka and you'll have a good idea of the atmosphere of Jakob von Gunten, a short and stodgy philosophical fable of a very Germanic kind. It's ... Read full review

Selected pages

Contents

Section 1
5
Section 2
15
Section 3
48
Section 4
51
Section 5
53
Section 6
56
Section 7
59
Section 8
71
Section 14
117
Section 15
119
Section 16
121
Section 17
124
Section 18
127
Section 19
139
Section 20
155
Section 21
179

Section 9
76
Section 10
83
Section 11
94
Section 12
97
Section 13
115
Section 22
180
Section 23
181
Section 24
182
Copyright

Other editions - View all

Common terms and phrases

References to this book

All Book Search results »

About the author (1999)

Robert Walser (1878-1956) was born into a German speaking family in Biel, Switzerland. He left school at fourteen and led a wandering, precarious existence while writing his poems, novels, and vast numbers of the "prose pieces" that became his hallmark. In 1933 he was confined to a sanatorium, which marked the end of his writing career. Among Walser's works available in English are Berlin Stories and Jakob von Gunten (both available as NYRB classics), Thirty Poems, The Walk, The Tanners, Microscripts, The Assistant, The Robber, Masquerade and Other Stories,
and Speaking to the Rose: Writings, 1912-1932.

Christopher Middleton (b. 1926) is a poet, essayist, and translator. He teaches Germanic languages and literature at the University of Texas at Austin and has translated numerous works, including Jakob von Gunten by Robert Walser.

Bibliographic information