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5 of 6 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Measures of zeitgeist
Unlike other Walser novels or collections, the effect of a completely Berlin orientated prose collection could easily have felt like an historical series of newspaper articles, worthy in their factual detail. But lets's not forget this is Robert Walser. And in no way could it be simply said 'this was Berlin at the time', or perhaps 'Walser was at these times precisely...
Published on 11 Jun 2012 by Zaroff

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1 of 3 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Quirky
Fascinating but strangely unemotional until you get to near the end when he forms attachments with old ladies. No hint of upcoming war, more the gay life of Berlin in the early 20th century...
Published 6 months ago by Christopher Aloysius John


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5 of 6 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Measures of zeitgeist, 11 Jun 2012
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This review is from: Berlin Stories (New York Review Books Classics) (Paperback)
Unlike other Walser novels or collections, the effect of a completely Berlin orientated prose collection could easily have felt like an historical series of newspaper articles, worthy in their factual detail. But lets's not forget this is Robert Walser. And in no way could it be simply said 'this was Berlin at the time', or perhaps 'Walser was at these times precisely like this'. Walser has, as a part or as a whole, stepped outside of history with his style. As ever he has effusive commentary, detached, almost Sherlock Holmes attention to details, waylaid with absolutely no ambition whatsoever to come across as superior to his material.

There is a journalistic feel to the pieces of work, at varying periods, some reflective & from a distance. Taken piecemeal, the pieces may register as glimpses of the times, but of course Walser's rendering is both expressionist and impressionist. The resulting overview from this Berlin state of being, if i may be so bold, reflects and renders clearer his swiss and very personal flavour, even going so far as putting him in sharper relief.

And why read Walser at all, even if German bourgeois critique is not your bag?...This is not the best place to start for Walserianness, but any appreciation of his style, his sheer enthusiasm & enjoyment in the minutae of everything, his mood sways (more dance than swing), all accumulate to form an honest & pleasant human whose efforvescent expression could scarce be limited by paper borders or history itself. A keen observer & incisive outsider, should appeal to same.
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3 of 4 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Uneven but never tedious, 28 Jan 2013
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This review is from: Berlin Stories (New York Review Books Classics) (Paperback)
Most of these pieces started life as 'feuilleton' essays in Berlin papers, and are impressionistic sketches of various aspects of life in the city early in the twentieth century, As such they often contain insights into the corners of life in urban Germany seen form the perspective of a sensitive and witty provincial lad from Switzerland, in awe perhaps of the bright lights and artistic celebrities he came into contact with, but also paradoxically unimpressed by the posers and braggarts. There are also some fascinating short pieces of fiction, told from a range of points of view: delicate, poised and slightly strange.
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1 of 3 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Quirky, 9 Jun 2014
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Fascinating but strangely unemotional until you get to near the end when he forms attachments with old ladies. No hint of upcoming war, more the gay life of Berlin in the early 20th century...
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Berlin Stories (New York Review Books Classics)
Berlin Stories (New York Review Books Classics) by Robert Walser (Paperback - 8 Mar 2012)
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