“Story,” by Robert Walser

A girl and a young man were very unhappy. He was supposed to abduct her, but hadn’t quite made up his mind. She wanted to be abducted, but already suspected how difficult this might be. I don’t know in what era this transpired; at any rate, a decision was made, the hour struck, it was nighttime, of course, wind howling, the nearby woods dark as can be. Moonlight was supposed to gleam, but alas, this was not the case. And what did our lovers do? They gazed at one another for a long time, their eyes filled with doubt and apprehension. Finally they took flight, but it was as if they were fleeing their own uncertainty, and in what direction? They came to a field, the grass was fragrant, it was the time of the hay harvest. Already they began to grow weary and to feel a bit bored…

Read more in Little Star Weekly (#7)!

And admire a lovely complementary painting by Thomas Schütte, commissioned by the Donald Young Gallery as part of a multi-genre reflection on the the work and legacy of Robert Walser, soon to be published by New Directions.

Translated by Susan Bernofsky.
Susan Bernofsky has translated many works by Robert Walser, as well as Kafka, Hesse, and von Rezzori.


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