Robert Walser

1878 - 1956

Photo of Robert Walser

Icon of person Robert Walser

Robert Walser (15 April 1878 – 25 December 1956) was a German language Swiss writer. He additionally worked as a copyist, an inventor's assistant, a butler, and in various other low-paying trades. Despite marginal early success in his literary career, the popularity of his work gradually diminished over the second and third decades of the 20th century, making it increasingly difficult for him to support himself through writing. Read more on Wikipedia

Since 2007, the English Wikipedia page of Robert Walser has received more than 41,894 page views. His biography is available in 44 different languages on Wikipedia. Robert Walser is the 532nd most popular writer (down from 492nd in 2019), the 50th most popular biography from Switzerland (down from 45th in 2019) and the 6th most popular Swiss Writer.

Robert Walser is most famous for his work in the field of German Expressionism. He wrote in a variety of forms, including novels, short stories, and poetry.

Memorability Metrics

  • 42k

    Page Views (PV)

  • 66.34

    Historical Popularity Index (HPI)

  • 44

    Languages Editions (L)

  • 9.18

    Effective Languages (L*)

  • 2.56

    Coefficient of Variation (CV)

Notable Works

Geschwister Tanner
Fritz Kochers Aufsätze
Jakob von Gunten
Published in 1908, the novel is a notebook, a boy?s impressions of life at the school for servants run by the brother and sister Benjamenta. The lesson of the school is humility and the rejection of power and ambition. It is a lesson that the narrator, Jakob von Gunten, learns well. From his vantage point, he is able to see through the absurd posturings of his fellow students. Like his creation Jakob von Gunten, Robert Walser understood of the attractions of infinitesimal smallness and kept well away from the corruptions and temptations of literary life. An outsider who spent his last twenty-seven years in an asylum, Walser was a writer?s writer whose work was much admired by Kafka, Hesse and Mann. His voice appeals to all those who savour silence in an epoch of deafening noise. Now a major feature film directed by the Quay Brothers, Institute Benjamenta is Walser?s masterpiece. Ninety years after its first publication, this edition offers the chance to read a truly extraordinary classic.
Aus dem Bleistiftgebiet
German prose literature
Das Gesamtwerk
Short stories


Among writers, Robert Walser ranks 532 out of 7,302Before him are Imadaddin Nasimi, Pierre de Ronsard, Kumārajīva, Richard Bach, José Martí, and Tyrtaeus. After him are Franz Werfel, Jacob L. Moreno, Nathaniel Hawthorne, Kazuo Ishiguro, Lorenzo Da Ponte, and Paul Claudel.

Most Popular Writers in Wikipedia

Go to all Rankings


Among people born in 1878, Robert Walser ranks 13Before him are Pancho Villa, Werner von Blomberg, Gustav Stresemann, André Citroën, Pyotr Wrangel, and Lucien Febvre. After him are Ferenc Molnár, Alfred Döblin, Paul Reynaud, Milan Nedić, Shigeru Yoshida, and Gustav Radbruch. Among people deceased in 1956, Robert Walser ranks 13Before him are Pietro Badoglio, Jules Rimet, Emil Nolde, Frederick Soddy, Juho Kusti Paasikivi, and Lucien Febvre. After him are A. A. Milne, Risto Ryti, Alfred Kinsey, Konstantin Päts, Alexander Rodchenko, and Bela Lugosi.

Others Born in 1878

Go to all Rankings

Others Deceased in 1956

Go to all Rankings

In Switzerland

Among people born in Switzerland, Robert Walser ranks 50 out of 1,015Before him are Albert II, Duke of Austria (1298), Emil Theodor Kocher (1841), Elisabeth Kübler-Ross (1926), Benjamin Constant (1767), Auguste Piccard (1884), and Johannes Itten (1888). After him are Hans Albert Einstein (1904), Niklaus Wirth (1934), Henry Fuseli (1741), Johann Jakob Balmer (1825), Gabriel Cramer (1704), and Albert I of Germany (1255).

Among WRITERS In Switzerland

Among writers born in Switzerland, Robert Walser ranks 6Before him are Johanna Spyri (1827), Carl Spitteler (1845), Friedrich Dürrenmatt (1921), Erich von Däniken (1935), and Karl Barth (1886). After him are Alejo Carpentier (1904), Johann Ludwig Burckhardt (1784), Max Frisch (1911), Johann Kaspar Lavater (1741), Charles-Ferdinand Ramuz (1878), and Gottfried Keller (1819).