Trove: Find and get Australian resources. Books, images, historic newspapers, maps, archives and more. Jakob von Gunten has ratings and reviews. Gaurav said: Jakob von GuntenRobert WalserJakob von Gunten dissects the remote and vulnerable regi.. . Among Walser’s works available in English are Berlin Stories and Jakob von Gunten (both available as NYRB classics), Thirty Poems, The Walk, The Tanners, .

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Jakob von Gunten the character is the most dull, fey, irritating, and obtuse example of a first-person narrator I have yet encountered in my literary sojourns. Jakob, with his bourgeois intellect, enters the Benjamenta Institute and soon contrives to become a mystery to himself.

But this man’s snobbishness is quite interesting to me and it is amazing to me how people can get these inflated ideas about themselves.

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He was a bit immature for my tastes though I did like his thinking. I think everything, everything is frail, everything must needs tremble like worms — April 19, Neither has quite the traditional take on institutions, a word that, for me, tends to conjure up images of Jack Nicholson in One Flew Over the Cuckoo’s Nest.

Coetzee’s review should give you ehglish there is to know about the Swiss-German writer, and even about this work. Our hero Jakob, a precocious middle-class teenager who runs away from the comforts of home and submits himself to the Benjamenta Institute to learn to be a servant, goes back and forth himself jalob his preference for being the master or the servant.


Walser created the world of dreams here, he gave himself the things he lacked in the real world. Clearly he was intrigued by institutional life and perhaps hopefully in his later years it brought him some solace.

Mar 17, Tanuj Solanki rated it liked it Shelves: He respects the people of the Benjamenta Institute. View all 17 comments. The entire book is a parade of seeming contradictions. Return to Book Page. And because Jakob can masquerade as a sympathetic listener, Schacht even betrays his shameful secret: For all their rules and regulations and daily routines, there’s also something freeing and comforting in that.

Jakob laughs when others are uncomfortable! Feb 12, Kimley rated it it was amazing Shelves: My love for Jakob jamob Gunten may simply arise from the fact that the school felt familiar.

Jakob von Gunten

Jakob von GuntenHerr Benjamenta. And that was something I kept waiting for, just how important the relationship would become.

How is this done? Was it a coming of age enflish Here’s the cover of the Vintage Books trade paperback I have pages. I provoke the frowning law to anger a little, afterwards I make the effort to pacify it. Jakob does not feel inferior. I believe my initial rejection to the Middleton translation had everything to do with being a Walser novice, as today I do not carry with me the same negative feelings for Middleton and his work that I did back uakob.


It is quite possible that the principal Herr Benjamenta is indeed in love with little Jakob. Supposedly that’s the excuse.

It has to be said as well that Christopher Middleton’s translation in the NYRB edition seems rather heavy-handed and, well, infelicitous at times. But one thing I do know for certain: View all 10 comments.

For those of you who may not be privy to this person, Holden was the famous character in J. Thus in the unholy triefecta between the Cocteau an siblings and himself, he slithers between sub and dom with remarkable dexterity.

Oops, I mean Swiss. The prose is an escapade built around idea of tales full of surprise, adventure and paradoxes; probably a mischievous blocking of dramatic thrust, also a parody of epic breath. One day I shall be laid low by a stroke, and then everything, all these confusions, this longing, this unknowing, all this, the gratitude and ingratitude, this telling lies and self-deception, this thinking that one knows and yet never knowing anything, will come to an end.

When Jakob is supposed to become the friend and confidante of the headmaster the pupil is hesitant.