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Christopher Middleton

Christopher Middleton is a poet and translator, especially of German literature. He was born in Truro, Cornwall, in 1926. He studied at Merton College, Oxford, then held academic positions at the University of Zürich and King’s College London. He became Professor of Germanic Languages at the University of Texas, Austin, retiring in 1998. Middleton has published translations of Robert Walser, Nietzsche, Hölderlin, Goethe, Gert Hofmann and many others. He has received various awards, including the Geoffrey Faber Memorial Prize and the Schlegel-Tieck Translation Prize.


Looking at Pictures

by Robert Walser

translated by Susan Bernofsky, Lydia Davis and Christopher Middleton

An elegant collection, with gorgeous full-color art reproductions, Looking at Pictures presents a little-known aspect of the eccentric Swiss writer's genius. His essays consider Van Gogh, Manet, Rembrandt, Cranach, Watteau, Fragonard, Bruegel, and his own brother Karl. The pieces also discuss general topics such as the character of the artist and of the dilettante as well as the differences between painters and poets. Each piece is marked by Walser's unique eye, his delicate sensitivity, and his very particular sensibilities—and all are touched by his magic screwball wit.



A Little Ramble

Fiction by Robert Walser

translated by Christopher Middleton and Susan Bernofsky

A Christine Burgin co-publication

A Little Ramble: In the Spirit of Robert Walser is a project initiated by the gallerist Donald Young, who saw in Walser an exemplary figure through whom connections between art and literature could be discussed anew. He invited a group of artists to respond to Walser’s writing. A Little Ramble is a result of that collaboration.The artists have chosen stories by Robert Walser as well as excerpts from Walks with Robert Walser, conversations with the writer recorded by his guardian Carl Seelig. Much of this material appears in English for the first time. Accompanying these pieces are over fifty color artworks created specifically for this project, a preface by Donald Young, and an afterword by Lynne Cooke.

Original art by Peter Fischli & David Weiss, Thomas Schütte, Moyra Davey, Tacita Dean, Mark Wallinger, Rodney Graham, Rosemarie Trockel, and Josiah McElheny.



Thirty Poems

Poetry by Robert Walser

translated by Christopher Middleton
with a contribution by Christopher Middleton

A Christine Burgin co-publication

In a small, exquisite clothbound format resembling the early Swiss and German editions of Walser’s work, Thirty Poems collects famed translator Christopher Middleton’s favorite poems from the more than five hundred Walser wrote. The illustrations range from an early poem in perfect copperplate handwriting, to one from a 1927 Czech-German newspaper, to a microscript.



The Walk

by Robert Walser

translated by Susan Bernofsky and Christopher Middleton
with a contribution by Susan Bernofsky

A pseudo-biographical "stroll" through town and countryside rife with philosophic musings, The Walk has been hailed as the masterpiece of Walser’s short prose. Walking features heavily in his writing, but nowhere else is it as elegantly considered. Without walking, "I would be dead," Walser explains, "and my profession, which I love passionately, would be destroyed. Because it is on walks that the lore of nature and the lore of the country are revealed, charming and graceful, to the sense and eyes of the observant walker." The Walk was the first piece of Walser’s work to appear in English, and the only one translated before his death. However, Walser heavily revised his most famous novella, altering nearly every sentence, rendering the baroque tone of his tale into something more spare. An introduction by translator Susan Bernofsky explains the history of The Walk, and the difference between its two versions.



Thirty Poems

Poetry by Robert Walser

translated by Christopher Middleton
with a contribution by Christopher Middleton

A Christine Burgin co-publication

In a small, exquisite clothbound format resembling the early Swiss and German editions of Walser’s work, Thirty Poems collects famed translator Christopher Middleton’s favorite poems from the more than five hundred Walser wrote. The illustrations range from an early poem in perfect copperplate handwriting, to one from a 1927 Czech-German newspaper, to a microscript.