My Heart Has So Many Flaws

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UPC: 9781955190664
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Authors: Robert Walser | Kristofor Minta (translator)
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My Heart Has So Many Flaws collects the early verse of Robert Walser, from his poetic beginnings to the first World War. These poems are Walser at his most unguarded, in which we might "find the intense and intensely odd person behind Walser’s work", a writer in the throes of self-creation, already laying claim to what Enrique Vila-Matas called “a commentary on the vanity of all initiative, the vanity of life itself".

This is the most complete volume of Walser's early verse to date, including all of his known poems written before World War I (with a single post-war poem included as a coda).

Robert Walser (1878 –1956) was a Swiss poet, novelist, and composer of a voluminous body of short prose pieces, ranging from complete short stories to feuilleton sketches to the well-known and uncategorizable microscripts. His life was marked by periods of resignation—he repeatedly secured gainful employment, then quit to concentrate on writing. He retreated from noteriety in the literary and social circles of Berlin by enrolling in a butler’s school (and then getting hired as a butler). Eventually, he renounced most worldly ambition, committing himself to the Waldau sanatorium in 1929 after a breakdown. There, he continued writing—enigmatically, cryptographically—the microscripts. Removed to an institution in his home canton, he ceased writing, famously telling Carl Seelig, "I am not here to write, but to be mad." He remained in the Herisau sanatorium from 1933 until his death.

Kristofor Minta is a poet and translator. He is a graduate of Syracuse University's Creative Writing program and has twice been a finalist in the National Poetry Series. His translations (with Herbert Pföstl) of Hans Jürgen von der Wense have been published as A Shelter for Bells (Epidote Press, 2020), and his translation of Rilke's The Voices and Other Poems (Sublunary Editions, 2021) was longlisted for the PEN America Poetry in Translation Award. His debut poetry collection, A Perfectly Ruined Solitude, was published in early 2023 by Sublunary Editions.