Susan Bernofsky

Renowned translator discusses her anticipated biography of Robert Walser
Susan Bernofsky Center for the Art of Translation
Thursday, June 3, 2021 - 6:30pm
Crowdcast

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The Center for the Art of Translation presents renowned translator Susan Bernofsky in this celebration of her long-awaited biography of the modernist writer Robert Walser, Clairvoyant of the Small (Yale UP).

“Robert Walser is the perfect pathetic poet: pithy, awkward, drinks too much, sibling rivalrous, ambitious, broke, and mentally ill. Was he proto queer or trans, this red headed writer who next to Gertrude Stein might be the most influential writer of our moment? Riveting and heart-breaking, this biography kept me drunk for days.”—Eileen Myles

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About Clairvoyant of the Small: The Life of Robert Walser

The great Swiss-German modernist author Robert Walser lived eccentrically on the fringes of society, shocking his Berlin friends by enrolling in butler school and later developing an urban-nomad lifestyle in the Swiss capital, Bern, before checking himself into a psychiatric clinic. A connoisseur of power differentials, his pronounced interest in everything inconspicuous and modest—social outcasts and artists as well as the impoverished, marginalized, and forgotten—prompted W. G. Sebald to dub him “a clairvoyant of the small.” His revolutionary use of short prose forms had an enormous influence on Franz Kafka, Walter Benjamin, Robert Musil, and many others.

He was long believed an outsider by conviction, but Susan Bernofsky presents a more nuanced view in this immaculately researched and beautifully written biography. Setting Walser in the context of early twentieth century European history, she provides illuminating analysis of his extraordinary life and work, bearing witness to his “extreme artistic delight.”

About Susan Bernofsky

Susan Bernofsky is associate professor of writing at Columbia University School of the Arts and director of the literary translation program at Columbia’s MFA Writing Program. She has translated over twenty books.

Clairvoyant of the Small: The Life of Robert Walser Cover Image
$35.00
ISBN: 9780300220643
Availability: Coming Soon - Available for Pre-Order Now
Published: Yale University Press - May 25th, 2021

The Tanners Cover Image
By Robert Walser, Susan Bernofsky (Translated by), W. G. Sebald (Introduction by)
$16.95
ISBN: 9780811215893
Availability: On Our Shelves Now
Published: New Directions - August 31st, 2009

The Assistant Cover Image
By Robert Walser, Susan Bernofsky (Translated by)
$16.95
ISBN: 9780811215909
Availability: On Our Shelves Now
Published: New Directions - July 17th, 2007

Microscripts Cover Image
By Robert Walser, Susan Bernofsky (Translated by), Maira Kalman (Illustrator)
$24.95
ISBN: 9780811220330
Availability: On Our Shelves Now
Published: New Directions / Christine Burgin - November 21st, 2012

Berlin Stories Cover Image
By Robert Walser, Susan Bernofsky (Translated by), Susan Bernofsky (Introduction by), Jochen Greven (Editor)
$17.55
ISBN: 9781590174548
Availability: Special Order
Published: NYRB Classics - January 24th, 2012

The Robber Cover Image
By Robert Walser, Susan Bernofsky (Translated by), Susan Bernofsky (Introduction by)
$18.95
ISBN: 9780803298095
Availability: Usually Ships in 1-5 Days
Published: Bison Books - March 1st, 2000