How artless or artful he is is a judgment that each reader can make for him- or herself, and I suspect that much depends on the serenity of one’s own disposition. Sontag called him an ‘anti-gravity’ writer, both in that he is against seriousness as well as being unbound to the ground. And in this unbelievably delightful and timeless collection of short pieces, we can recover the delight of ordinary, uncondescending appreciation, places where the vacant-minded stroller can take ‘peculiar pleasure’. The tram, the theatre, the train station, the park … (‘Beautiful park, I think, beautiful park,’ is how he ends “The Park”.) One thing and then another. Isn’t that nice?
- so says Nicholas Lezard in his review of Robert Walser’s Berlin Stories for The Guardian. And we completely agree with his last sentence; if you read on the train, or any form of public transport, this is a book for you.