To people sitting in a blustering automobile I always present an austere face. Then they believe that I am a sharp-eyed, malevolent spy, a plainclothes policeman, delegated by high officials to spy on the traffic, to note down the numbers of vehicles, and later to report them to the proper authorities. I always then look darkly at the wheels, at the car as a whole, but never at its occupants, whom I despise, and this in no way personally, but purely on principle, for I never shall understand, how it can be called a pleasure to hurtle past all the images and objects which our beautiful earth displays, as if one had gone mad and had to accelerate for fear of despair.The Walk (Der Spaziergang) was published in 1917 and again, revised, in 1920. Susan Bernofsky has revised Christopher Middleton’s translation to incorporate Walser’s revisions.
Robert Walser, The Walk, trans. Christopher Middleton with Susan Bernofsky (New York: New Directions, 2012).
Other Robert Walser posts
Microscripts : “The most unimportant things” : On reading : On stationery stores : On staying small : On youth
[I suspect that Daughter Number Three and l’astronave will enjoy this post.]