Episode 5: Robert Walser - Matinee by and with Maria Hartmann, as guest: Michael Rotschopf
He was born in Biel, Switzerland, in 1878 and can confidently be described as one of the greatest and most idiosyncratic writers in the German language.
During his lifetime, his brother Karl - painter, stage designer and illustrator - was considered the better known of the two. He was also the one who brought Robert into contact with publishers, writers and theater people in Berlin at the beginning of the 20th century.
The brothers not only shared an artistic passion, but also an apartment in Charlottenburg for a while.
Robert Walser's career by no means followed a familiar pattern. He went through many jobs: he completed a bank apprenticeship and trained as a servant, worked as a typist and office clerk. He was one of the first to make the employee his literary subject.
Robert Walser's work and life seem unmistakable to us. Not only in his books, but also in his biography, we repeatedly come across mysterious things.
He spent the last part of his life - from 1929 until his death in 1956 - in sanatoriums and stopped writing in 1933.
He was found dead on one of his beloved walks at Christmas 1956.