Tag Archives: Robert Walser

Marginalia, no.187

Nothing’s more insipid than a quick, cheap bit of permission.

~ Robert Walser, Jakob von Gunten

Small truths can unite distant constituencies. In this case, bluenoses who fret about the moral decline of society and art critics who pine for virgin taboos can both take heart. Permissiveness ends by permitting itself out of existence. New regimes of restriction, sensible or absurd, are inevitable, and the law of habit suggests that our new rules will read suspiciously like the old ones. Actual transgression may be unnecessary, but an Eden without forbidden fruit is a garden no one really cares to tend.

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Marginalia, no.92

It really is a pity that he hasn’t got a Twelfth Century at his disposal.

~ Robert Walser, Jakob von Gunten

My ophthalmologist will introduce me to his twelfth century later today when he removes a chalazion cyst from my left eyelid.  I made the grave mistake of watching a video clip of the procedure, which brilliantly combined memorable scenes from A Clockwork Orange and Un Chien Andalou.  My pain threshold is nothing exalted and I won’t get more than local anaesthesia.  But who could pass up the chance for a little time travel?

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Galloping

Bicycle

I would like to be rich, to ride in coaches and squander money.  I have discussed this with Kraus, my school friend, but he only shrugged his shoulders in scorn and did not honor me with a single word of reply.  Kraus has principles, he sits firmly in the saddle, he rides satisfaction, and that is a horse that people should not mount if they want to do some galloping.

~ Robert Walser, Jakob von Gunten

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