Andrea Scrima on The Walk

The Walk really is an awesome little book, possibly my favorite Walser book ever. Andrea Scrima at The Brooklyn Rail:

Here, at the very latest, Thomas Bernhard’s gleeful tirades spring to mind. The original version of Der Spaziergang makes it evident that Walser’s influence on Bernhard was a decisive moment in the development of the younger author’s own inimitable voice. Walser’s convoluted grammatical configurations and sequences of participles; his merrily cumbersome neologisms, regionalisms, and manic chattiness give rise to an intricately embellished language in which the comic and tragic, ridiculous and heartrending become indistinguishable. But while Walser deftly implemented exaggeration as a means to satirize the social order and his own precarious position within it, and occasionally pared down the verbiage of his style in a humble exploration of the human condition, Bernhard would take hyperbole to its bitterest extreme to expose the hypocrisy endemic to European, and particularly Austrian, postwar society with a ruthlessness that would have been alien to Robert Walser.


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