Oppressive Light

Selected Poems by Robert Walser

By Robert Walser; Daniele Pantano (Translator); Carolyn Forche (Introduction by)
(Black Lawrence Press, Paperback, 9781936873180, 200pp.)

Publication Date: February 2012

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Oppressive Light provides the literary world with the first English translation of Robert Walser’s poetry.

About the Author

Robert Walser: Robert Walser (1878-1956) is one of the most influential authors of modern literature. He was admired by Franz Kafka, Robert Musil, Hermann Hesse, and Walter Benjamin and has been acclaimed “unforgettable, heart-rending” (J. M. Coetzee), “a bewitched genius” (Newsweek), and “a major, truly wonderful, heart-breaking writer” (Susan Sontag). Walser left school at fourteen and led a wandering and precarious existence while producing poems, stories, essays, and three novels: The Tanners (1906), The Assistant (1908), and Jakob Von Gunten (1909). In 1933 he abandoned writing and entered a sanatorium, where he remained for the rest of his life. “I am not here to write,” Walser said, “but to be mad.”

Daniele Pantano: Daniele Pantano is a Swiss poet, translator, critic, and editor born of Sicilian and German parentage in Langenthal (Canton of Berne). His most recent works include The Possible Is Monstrous: Selected Poems by Friedrich Dürrenmatt and The Oldest Hands in the World (both from Black Lawrence Press, 2010). For more information, please visit www.danielepantano.ch.

Carolyn Forché: Carolyn Forché received her MFA from Bowling Green State University and is a professor at Georgetown University . She's published four collections of poetry: Gathering the Tribes (1976), The Country Between Us (1982), The Angel of History (1995), and Blue Hour (2004).

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