Selected Stories

ISBN-10: 0374533628
ISBN-13: 9780374533625
Edition: 2012
List price: $15.00 Buy it from $13.55
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Description: In her preface to Robert Walser’s Selected Stories, Susan Sontag describes Walser as “a good-humored, sweet Beckett.” The more common comparison is to “a comic Kafka.” Both formulations effectively describe the reading experience in these stories:  More...

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Book details

List price: $15.00
Copyright year: 2012
Publisher: Farrar, Straus & Giroux
Publication date: 10/30/2012
Binding: Paperback
Pages: 208
Size: 7.00" wide x 4.75" long x 0.50" tall
Weight: 0.638

In her preface to Robert Walser’s Selected Stories, Susan Sontag describes Walser as “a good-humored, sweet Beckett.” The more common comparison is to “a comic Kafka.” Both formulations effectively describe the reading experience in these stories: the reader is obviously in the presence of a mind-bending genius, but one characterized by a wry, buoyant voice, as apparently cheerful as it is disturbing.Walser is one of the twentieth century’s great modern masters—revered by everyone from Walter Benjamin to Hermann Hesse to W. G. Sebald—andSelected Storiesgives the fullest display of his talent. “He is most at home in the mode of short fiction,” according to J. M. Coetzee inThe New York Review of Books. The stories “show him at his dazzling best.”

Susan Sontag, an influential cultural critic with a Harvard master's degree in philosophy, is noted for taking radical positions and venturing outrageous interpretations. Proclaiming a "new sensibility," she supported the cause of pop art and underground films in the 1960s. Her reputation as a formidable critic has been established by numerous reviews, essays, and articles in the New York Review of Books, the N.Y. Times, Harper's, and other periodicals. Against Interpretation (1966) includes her controversial essay "Notes on Camp," first published in Partisan Review. The title of the book introduces her argument against what she sees as the distortion of an original work by the countless critics who bend it to their own interpretations. "The aim of all commentary on art," she writes, "should be to make works of art---and, by analogy, our own experience---more, rather than less, real to us." Sontag has a mature modernist sensibility, but manages to depict the avant-garde in language accessible to any reader. She has lectured extensively around the United States and has taught philosophy at Harvard, Sarah Lawrence, and Columbia. She is a frequent and popular television discussion personality, particularly on contemporary issues of illness or feminism, although many feminists are unhappy that she does not declare herself to be a "feminist critic." She is also, less successfully, a fiction writer.

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