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The Assistant

Written by Robert Walser

Part of the Penguin Modern Classics Series

The Assistant Synopsis

Dressed in his cheap, battered suit, Joseph Marti arrives at the impressive villa of Karl Tobler, an enthusiastic but ill-starred inventor, to begin employment as his clerk. Tobler is determined to finance his family's lavish lifestyle with the proceeds from his latest idea - a clock adorned with advertisements. But Tobler's grand plans are destined for failure and the household, including Marti, refuse to acknowledge their approaching ruin. Robert Walser claimed to have written The Assistant, a semi-autobiographical work, in just six weeks as an entry for a literary competition. The second of his few surviving novels, it is now regarded as major work of modernist literature.

The Assistant Press Reviews

Essential, exquisitely poised absurdity. --Christian Carly

Book Information

ISBN: 9780141189284
Publication date: 6th March 2008
Author: Robert Walser
Publisher: Penguin Classics an imprint of Penguin Books Ltd
Format: Paperback / softback
Pagination: 304 pages

About Robert Walser

Robert Walser was born in Switzerland in 1878 and worked as a bank clerk before becoming a writer. In 1929 he was diagnosed as `schizophrenic' and lived the last twenty years of his life in hospital. His novels include Jakob von Gunten and The Assistant. Robert Walser died in 1956. 'A truly wonderful, heart-breaking writer' -- Susan Sontag Susan Bernofsky is the translator of books by Robert Walser, Gregor von Rezzori, Yoko Tawada, and others. Her translations have appeared in numerous literary journals. She is the author of Foreign Words: Translator-Authors in the Age of Goethe, and is the recipient of a PEN ...

More About Robert Walser

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