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That Walser is not today among the forgotten writers we owe primarily to the fact that Carl Seelig took up his cause. Without Seelig's accounts of the walks he took with Walser, without his preliminary work on the biography, without the selections from the work he published and the lengths he went to in securing the Nachlass—the writer's millions of illegible ciphers—Walser's rehabilitation could never have taken place, and his memory would in all probability have faded into oblivion.

W.G. Sebald

Carl Seelig

Carl Seelig (1894—1962) was a Swiss editor and writer and Robert Walser's friend, guardian, and literary executor. He was a selfless supporter of countless other writers, and was also Albert Einstein's first biographer.


Walks with Walser

Nonfiction by Carl Seelig

translated by Anne Posten

After a nervous breakdown in 1929, Robert Walser spent the remaining twenty-seven years of his life in mental asylums. In 1936, Carl Seelig an admirer who became Walser’s friend and eventually his literary executorbegan accompanying the great Swiss writer on his daily walks. As they strolled, Walser told stories, shared his daily experiences of the sanatorium, and expressed his opinions about books and art, writing and history. Filled with lively anecdotes and details, Walks with Walser offers the fullest available account of this wonderful writer’s inner and outer life.