Vol. 9 (2020)
CONDIZIONI DI POSSIBILITÀ – Tra rito e mito: il Carnevale nella cultura europea

Karnevaleske Gebärden Zur “Zungengelenkigkeit” des Schriftlichen von Robert Walsers “Seltsamkeitsstil”

Published December 31, 2020


At the beginning of Robert Walser’s piece of prose of 1925 “Walser about Walser”, the author writes: “Here you can hear the writer Robert Walser speak” (SW XVII, 182). The tension between speech and writing, which is so productive in the fictional space of the Swiss writer, is expressed with extreme clarity in this sentence. Many Walser exegetes have dealt with this false promise in different ways. This paper will explore how Walser laconically intensifies the aporia of not being able to genuinely make the spoken word speak literarily. It will be argued that Walser transforms this aporia into a “field of sculpturing letters” (SW XVII, 26), which in its “apparently [...] completely unintentional and yet captivating and spellbound linguistic overgrowth” (Benjamin 1978 [1929], 126) resembles carnivalesque gestures.


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