Though praised by Franz Kafka, Hermann Hesse, W.G. Sebald, J.M. Coetzee, and many other significant writers of the late 19th through the mid-20th century, Robert Walser, the Swiss German modernist author of “The Robber,” among other works, is not widely read today outside of the classroom — although interest in his work remains as evidenced by last year’s publication of “Microscripts,’’ a series of his short manuscripts illustrated by Maira Kalman.
This latest collection from New York Review Books gathers more than 70 of the author’s short works, many of which are published in English for the first time. The book presents a rangy demonstration of Walser’s penchant for apparently serene portraits of quotidian moments that often mask existential quandaries.