Robert Walser

“I've thought of myself a girl on several occasions because I like to polish shoes and find household tasks amusing. There was once even a time when I insisted on mending a torn suit with my own hands. And in winter I always light the heating stoves myself, as though this were the natural course of things. But of course I'm not a real girl. Please give me a moment to consider all this would entail. The first thing that comes to mind is the question of whether I might possibly be a girl has never, never, not for a single moment, troubled me, rattled my bourgeois composure or made me unhappy. An absolutely by no means unhappy person stands before you, I'd like to put quite special emphasis on this, for I have never experienced sexual torment or distress, for I was never at a loss for quite simple methods of freeing myself from pressures. A rather curious, that is to say, important discovery for me was that it filled me with the most delightful gaiety to imagine myself someone's servant.... My nature, then, merely inclines me to treat people well, to be helpful and so forth. Not long ago I carried with flabbergasting zeal a shopping bag full of new potatoes for a petit bourgeoise. She's have been perfectly able to tote it herself. Now my situation is this: my particular nature also sometimes seeks, I've discovered, a mother, a teacher, that is, to express myself better, an unapproachable entity, a sort of goddess. At times I find the goddess in an instant, whereas at others it takes time before I'm able to imagine her, that is, find her bright, bountiful figure and sense her power. And to achieve a moment of human happiness, I must always first think up a story containing an encounter between myself and another person, whereby I am always the subordinate, obedient, sacrificing, scrutinized, and chaperoned party. There's more to it, of course, quite a lot, but this still sheds light on a few things. Many conclude it must be terribly easy to carry out a course of treatment, as it were, upon my person, but they're all gravely mistaken. For, the moment anyone seems ready to start lording and lecturing it over me, something within me begins to laugh, to jeer, and then, of course, respect is out of the question, and within the apparently worthless individual arises a superior one whom I never expel when he appears in me....”


Robert Walser, The Robber
Read more quotes from Robert Walser


Share this quote:
Share on Twitter

Friends Who Liked This Quote


To see what your friends thought of this quote, please sign up!


This Quote Is From

The Robber The Robber by Robert Walser
507 ratings, average rating, 75 reviews

Browse By Tag