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Anna Kavan
Wittgenstein's Nephew
David McLintock, Thomas Bernhard

Selected Stories

Selected Stories - Robert Walser, Susan Sontag, Christopher Middleton Oscar Wilde is not the only writer to have made the paradox into a kind of art form. Walser walks a line in these very short stories between looking inward and outward, happiness and sadness, connection and loneliness. In a sketch called "Nervous" a sentence that begins "I am not old, not in the least..." leads to the next one where he reflects "Quite definitely I am a little old and used up."

Walser's touch is always light enough that this endless negotiation inside the self doesn't become navel-gazing, but a search for balance and awareness in an uncertain world that's nonetheless often beautiful. Despite the mental suffering in his life, spending his last 23 years in a mental institution, Walser managed wit, charm, a sense for the absurd and often humor in his writing.

I could have marked passages on every other page, but it's a library book. I seldom buy copies of books I've read after the fact. This one I will.