04/15/1878Born Robert Otto Walser in Biel, Switzerland.
1892Apprenticeship at the local branch of the Berner Kantonalbank, Biel (until 1895).
10/22/1894Death of mother, Elisa Walser Marti.
1895/96Fails to become an actor in Stuttgart, Germany. Returns to Switzerland, on foot, in early October 1896. Lives mostly in Zurich until 1905.
5/8/1898First publication: several unsigned poems in the Sunday newspaper of “Der Bund”, Bern. Meets Franz Blei, first contact with editors at the journal “Die Insel” in Munich.
1899Spends several months in Thun, Switzerland. Autumn until spring 1900, lives in Solothurn, Switzerland.
1901Travels to Munich and Berlin.
1902Fritz Kocher’s Aufsätze, Der Commis and Ein Maler published in the Sunday newspaper of “Der Bund”; further publications in “Die Insel”.
1903Spends several months working in a factory in Winterthur, Switzerland. Later that year, clerk to the inventor Carl Dubler in Wädenswil, near Zürich.
1904Clerk at the Zürcher Kantonalbank in Zurich. First book, Fritz Kochers Aufsätze, is published by Insel Verlag, Leipzig. Also publishes several shorter pieces.
1905Moves to Berlin. Attends a school for servants, spends the rest of the year working as a servant at Schloss Dambrau in Oberschlesien (now located in Poland).
1906Writes first novel, The Tanners. Walser’s editor at Bruno Cassirer is the poet Christian Morgenstern.
1907First novel, The Tanners, is published by Verlag Bruno Cassirer in Berlin. Until 1910, various contributions to literary journals and magazines (“Schaubühne”, “Kunst und Künstler”, “Zukunft”, “Simplicissimus”, etc.).
1908Second novel, The Assistant, is published by Bruno Cassirer in Berlin.
1909Third novel, Jakob von Gunten, as well as the collection of poems Gedichte, are published by Bruno Cassirer, Berlin.
1913Returns to Switzerland. First lives with his sister Lisa in Bellelay in the Bernese Jura, then moves to an attic room at the Hotel Blaues Kreuz in Biel. Beginning of friendship with Frieda Mermet. Aufsätze is published by Kurt Wolff Verlag, Leipzig.
01/28/1914Death of father, Adolf Walser. After the outbreak of WWI, several weeks of military service per year. Geschichten is published by Kurt Wolff, Leipzig. Prepares the collection Kleine Dichtungen for Kurt Wolff, for which he receives, based on a recommendation by Hermann Hesse, the inaugural prize from “The Women’s League to Honor Rhineland Poets” (second impression, 1915).
1916Prosastücke is published by Rascher Verlag, Zurich. Various publications, mainly in Swiss periodicals.
1917Der Spaziergang is published by Huber Verlag, Frauenfeld, Switzerland, and Kleine Prosa by Francke Verlag, Bern.
1918Poetenleben is published by Huber Verlag. Writes his novel Tobold (lost).
1920The collection of plays Komödie is published by Bruno Cassirer, Berlin, as well as the prose collection Seeland, Rascher, Zurich (now backdated to 1919) .
1921Moves to Bern. Writes the novel Theodor (lost).
1925Die Rose, his last book, is published by Rowohlt Verlag in Berlin. Writes, in a highly miniaturized Sütterli script, the still unpublished novel Der Räuber. Continues to write the so-called “microscripts”.
1929Enters the Waldau asylum in Bern, after a severe mental crisis. Significant decline in literary production and publication.
1933Transfer to the Herisau sanitarium, and placed under guardianship. Abandons all literary activities.
1936Receives first visit by the journalist Carl Seelig. Beginning of their long walks through eastern Switzerland.
1944Carl Seelig is declared Walser's legal guardian, after a comprehensive declaration of surety.
12/25/1956Walser dies on a walk through the snow. Carl Seelig oversees Walser’s literary estate.
1966The lawyer Elio Fröhlich establishes the Carl Seelig Foundation.
1973The Carl Seelig Foundation establishes the Robert Walser Archive.
2004The Carl Seelig Foundation is renamed The Robert Walser Foundation Zurich.
2009After the Foundation’s relocation to Bern, it is renamed The Robert Walser Foundation Bern.
09/18/2009Opening of the Robert Walser Center in Bern.