Carl Seelig (1894-1962) was a Swiss editor and writer and Robert Walser's friend, guardian, and literary executor. He was a selfless supporter of countless other writers, and was also Albert Einstein's first biographer. Anne Posten is a literary translator based in New York.
"[Carl Seelig's] personal, firsthand account is the closest we will ever have to a Walser memoir. The questions he poses to Walser, regarding his personal and professional history and his literary and political opinions, seem like those of an oral historian, and Walser, trusting his companion, answers with presence of mind, inflecting the conversation with his characteristic humor and unusual observations." -- Sarah Cowan - Bookforum "[A]n invaluable text for any serious reader of Walser..." -- Literary Hub "To use a word much favoured by Walser himself, it's delightful." -- Dorian Stuber - Numero Cinq "That Walser is not today among the forgotten writers we owe primarily to the fact that Carl Seelig took up his cause. Without Seelig's accounts of the walks he took with Walser, without his preliminary work on the biography, without the selections from the work he published and the lengths he went to in securing the Nachlass-the writer's millions of illegible ciphers-Walser's rehabilitation could never have taken place, and his memory would in all probability have faded into oblivion. " -- W. G. Sebald "Seelig kindly visited Walser and started keeping a record of his opinions, creating over the course of time an indispensable document for all those who love Walser's surprising prose, which, silent as snowfall, cries out from the nothingness. Walser-as can be observed in Seelig's book-lectured on beer and twilight. " -- Enrique Vila-Matas "Walks with Walser is filled with Walser's philosophy about leading a modest life, finding beauty in mundane things, and getting by with less." -- Moyra Davey "Robert Walser, who spent much of his adult life in Swiss mental hospitals, is now revered for his prose miniatures and his bizarre and haunting novel, Jakob von Gunten, set in a training school for servants. These reminiscences, by his literary executor, preserve Walser's conversation, especially about writers and writing, as well as Seelig's memories of his friend trudging along like 'a weary Sherpa' or suddenly calling for 'beer and twilight.'" -- The Washington Post