March 25, 2023

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Robert Walser’s novel “The Tanners” appears in Persian

TEHRAN – “The Tanners” by Swiss writer Robert Walser has been published in Persian by Now.

First published in 1907, the novel was translated into Persian by Ali Abdollahi.

“The Tanners”, Walser’s amazing novel of twenty chapters, is now presented in English for the very first time, by the award-winning translator Susan Bernofsky. 

Three brothers and a sister comprise the Tanner family—Simon, Kaspar, Klaus and Hedwig: their wanderings, meetings, separations, quarrels, romances, employment and lack of employment over the course of a year or two are the threads from which Walser weaves his airy, strange and brightly gorgeous fabric. 

“Walser’s lightness is lighter than light,” as Tom Whalen said in Bookforum, “Buoyant up to and beyond belief, terrifyingly light.”

Walser, admired greatly by Kafka, Musil and Walter Benjamin, is a radiantly original author. 

He has been acclaimed as “unforgettable, heart-rending” (J.M. Coetzee), “a bewitched genius” (Newsweek) and “a major, truly wonderful, heart-breaking writer” (Susan Sontag). 

Considering Walser’s “perfect and serene oddity,” Michael Hofmann in The London Review of Books remarked on the “Buster Keaton-like indomitably sad cheerfulness [that is] most hilariously disturbing.” 

The Los Angeles Times called him “the dreamy confectionary snowflake of German language fiction. He also might be the single most underrated writer of the 20th century…The gait of his language is quieter than a kitten’s.”

“A clairvoyant of the small” W. G. Sebald calls Robert Walser, one of his favorite writers in the world, in his acutely beautiful, personal and long introduction, studded with his signature use of photographs.

Photo: A combination photo shows Robert Walser and the front cover of the Persian edition of his novel “The Tanners”.


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