Tuesday, October 21, 2014

Walser walking

Speaking to the superintendent or inspector of taxes, the story’s narrator defends his habit of walking:

“Without walking and the contemplation of nature which is connected with it, without this equally delicious and instructive, equally refreshing and constantly admonishing search, I deem myself lost, and indeed am lost. With the utmost attention and love the man who walks must study and observe every smallest living thing, be it a child, a dog, a fly, a butterfly, a sparrow, a worm, a flower, a man, a house, a tree, a hedge, a snail, a mouse, a cloud, a hill, a leaf, or no more than a paltry discarded scrap of paper on which, perhaps, a dear good child at school has written his first clumsy letters.

“The highest and lowest, most serious as well as most hilarious things are to him equally beloved, beautiful, and valuable.”

Robert Walser, The Walk, trans. Christopher Middleton with Susan Bernofsky (New York: New Directions, 2012).
Robert Walser loved to walk. He died while walking on December 25, 1956.

Other Walser posts
Microscripts : “The most unimportant things” : On automobiles : On reading : On stationery stores : On staying small : On youth

comments: 2

JuliaR said...

Have you read "Reveries of a Solitary Walker" by JJ Rousseau? I have not (yet) but a prof recommended it once, possibly after I told her that my husband was hiking the Appalachian Trail.

Michael Leddy said...

No, but I think I’d like to. Thanks for the recommendation, Julia.