Robert Walser – Intersections of Life and Literature, Art and Psychiatry.

The singular work and exceptional biography of the Swiss author Robert Walser (1878-1956) have in recent decades attracted the interest of a wide, international readership. During his lifetime, however, Walser lived and wrote at the margins of society. Many of Walser's most prominent admirers have, therefore, portrayed him as the prototype of the modern writer's tragic fate. Considering the central importance of writing and psychiatry in his life, Walser's work and biography invite discussions from perspectives that combine artistic productivity with psychopathology. This conference will thematize ongoing debates on genius and insanity with regard to Walser's mysterious micrograms and his decision to turn silent as an author. We will also reflect on the possibilities of translating Walser's unique work into the present day via other languages and art. This conference intends to foster a dialogue across disciplinary borders and to generate new insights into the relationship between art, deviation and insanity by linking historical perspectives in the fields of literature and psychiatry to contemporary artistic and literary activities and projects. A select group of scholars, critics, and artists has been invited to discuss the topic of this conference from a multiplicity of perspectives including translation, literary writing, plastic art, psychiatry, and academia. The conference has two parts: The morning and afternoon program will take place on the campus of the University of California, Berkeley, with a series of lectures. From there, the conference will move to San Francisco, where it will continue with a special evening program. <media 449 - - "SONSTIGES, Robert Walser Conference Program, Robert_Walser_Conference_Program.pdf, 42 KB">Program</media>
<media 448 - - "SONSTIGES, Robert Walser Conference Flyer, Robert_Walser_Conference_Flyer_web.pdf, 4.3 MB">Flyer</media>