Damion Searls is a writer and a translator of many classic twentieth-century authors, including Proust, Rilke, Robert Walser, Ingeborg Bachmann, and Thomas Bernhard. His translation of Hans Keilson’s Comedy in a Minor Key was a New York Times Notable Book of 2010 and a National Book Critics Circle Award finalist. He also edited Henry David Thoreau’s The Journal: 1837–1861, available as an NYRB Classic.
Walser is the champion of the small, the insignificant, and the overlooked. This original collection shows just how much breadth, though, he brought to his characteristic subject, ranging from some of his very first works, the “Fritz Kocher” sequence—the “collected works” of a boy who died young—to tales of the Swiss countryside, love triangles, and memoirs of his WWI–era military service.
The first English-language translation of a writer whose growing reputation and cult readership have marked him as a figure in world literature. Nescios stories are inhabited by wastrels and charmers, the young and the no-longer-young, the bourgeois and the bohemian. He is a great stylist, capturing the mercantile city of Amsterdam and its bucolic surrounding countryside with equal vitality.
A magical and vivid adventure story set among the bandits, scholars, and monks of the fabled Silk Road. All seems lost when Chao Hsing-te sleeps through the exams that are to launch his career. But then a beautiful woman hands him a scrap of paper, written in a mysterious language, and he follows her into the desert…
To understand Thoreau, one must read his journals—but until now they have never been available in a one-volume reader’s edition that draws on the entirety of his 14-volume journal. Here at last is the essence of the great naturalist’s thoughts, accumulated over the span of a life time