Celebration Giveaway: Walser and Bolaño

On July 1, this blog had its two-year anniversary.  To celebrate I thought that today, rather than post a review (though a review of a really really good book will be up in a couple of days), I would celebrate the anniversary with a giveaway of not one but two books.

First, Robert Walser’s Microscripts.  I have an unread copy still in its shrinkwrap.

Last year I read and completely enjoyed Walser’s The Tanners.  It is a classic book that finally made its way to the English language with the help of New Directions Publishing and through the wonderful talents of Susan Bernofsky.  I recommend it completely.  A month or so ago, New Directions released another Walser collection, Microscripts.  Walser developed a minute script he used so he could write stories on any found paper lying around.  An entire story might find itself on a postcard,  or a ticket stub, whatever was there.  For years the script was thought indecipherable, but through years of diligent scholarship and scrutiny, these texts were produced in intelligible German.  Again through the talents of Susan Bernofsky, these short stories are available to us. 

But this book is more than just text.  New Directions, with its usual high standards of publishing has created a beautiful book (it also just released the gloriously produced Nox by Anne Carson, which I hope to review soon).  This is hardbound and contains complete color scans of the original microscripts in their original size.  So we get to see that business card Walser wrote on and his tiny script.  On the facing page is the translation.  At the back of the book, along with an essay by Walter Benjamin, are the German translations of the text.

I’m afraid that I can’t offer an opinion on the stories themselves because I haven’t read most of them, but what I’ve sampled is quirky and astoundingly intricate.

Second, Roberto Bolaño’s Amulet.  I have an extra unread paperback edition for someone.

New Directions is also the publisher behind this giveaway.  Over the past few years they’ve steadily released Bolaño’s work for us, and I’m always anxious to see what’s next.  This is one of the ones I haven’t read yet.  I’ve been saving this book for a bit of a dry spell.  Several trusted sources claim it is one of his best, and since I don’t have many more of his works to read, I’ve been saving it — but not for too much longer.  Perhaps whoever wins my extra copy of Amulet will accompany me in a read-along when the time comes.

Now, imagine I have two hats, one for Walser and one for Bolaño.  To win, leave a comment below indicating which hat  you’d like to throw your name in.  You can, by the way, through your name in each hat if you’re interested in both titles, though you will only be allowed to win one of them.  So your chances of winning will go up since you’ll put your name in each of the two hats.  However, your name won’t be entered to the same hat twice, so multiple comments be counted (though you can certainly leave multiple comments about the books or the process or whatever).

I will draw the two winners on this Friday, July 9.  Since I’m not sure when I’ll do the drawing, whether early that day or late, please feel free to enter until I’ve announced the winners.

31 thoughts on “Celebration Giveaway: Walser and Bolaño”

  1. Joe says:

    Happy anniversary and congratulations! I really enjoy this blog and I thank you for the time and effort you put into it.

    I’d love to throw my name into the Microscripts hat, please. (I’ve already read the Bolaño.) Thanks for running another contest!

  2. Anthony says:

    A new Walser? Before I rush out and buy it I’d like to place my name into the Microscripts hat, please.

  3. Lizzy Siddal says:

    2 years is a milestone to be proud of! Congratulations and what a fantastic giveaway.

    The Germanophile in me is visualising the Walser in my hands so very hard …. but as I haven’t read any Bolaño perhaps I should put my name in that hat also.

    So that’s what I’ll do. Please enter my name in both hats.

  4. Ronak M Soni says:

    Name in both hats. Both books sound awesome. Thanks for the offer, Trevor (and New Directions)!

  5. selena says:

    Two years is quite the feat – and still running strong! I’ve been lurking around the website for a while but thought now was as good a time as any to say hello and send good words your way.

    I’d love to throw my name in for the Bolano. I’m reading his 2666 right now and thoroughly enjoying. I can’t wait to read everything else he’s written after I’m done with 2666.

    Congratulations again. I hope you’ll be around for at least two more years!

  6. Smithereens says:

    happy blogiversary! Please put my name in the Walser hat!

  7. leroyhunter says:

    Congratulations on your anniversary Trevor, and a very generous way to mark the occasion. I’ve been following you for a while but have yet to get to any of the books I’ve picked up from your reviews (Aira, Wharton, Williams and the Zuckerman series). Looking forward to them all.

    I’m also keenly anticipating The Tanners, which is near the top of my TBR pile, and it has the added attraction of the accompanying Sebald introduction. So I’ll throw my name in the Walser hat if that’s OK.

  8. Dear Blogkeeper,

    Congratulations on two years of work in the mines of blog. I hope you’ve found it rewarding and worthwhile–I’ve been around the blogworld for about 8 years now–but only a few months in my most recent incarnation, which I am enjoying immensely.

    shalom,

    Steven

  9. Wilson Knut says:

    I’d like to throw my name in the Bolano hat. I’ve heard so many good things about him, but I still haven’t gotten around to reading him yet.

  10. Lynda says:

    Congratulations on your anniversary and thank you for all of your hard work!
    I would like to put my name in the Bolano hat. Thanks!

  11. Jimmy Lo says:

    Happy anniversary. I’d like to put my name in the Bolano hat, since I already own the Walser book (it’s good!).

  12. Edward S. says:

    Congratulations on your blogiversary! Your blog is essential reading for me these days.

    Please put my name in the Walser hat. And in the Bolano one too, because why not?

  13. Nena says:

    Bolano Please!

  14. Sarah says:

    Congratulations!

    Please can i be entered into the draw to win a copy of Microscripts?

  15. stujallen says:

    well done on two years ,first found you via stewarts booklit blog I think ,can i enter for walser please got bolano already but been wanting to read wasler for a while ,all the best and many years to come trevor ,stu

  16. Well done on the milestone, Trevor and I enjoyed your selections on Reading Matters today too. As I’ve already read Amulet could you please put me in the Microscripts hat, it sounds intriguing.

  17. 4th guy says:

    I’d like to be entered in the ‘Amulet’ hat please.

  18. Lee Monks says:

    First up, congrats Trevor. Excellent blog that I always look forward to checking out, and long may you continue. Well done!

    Secondly, since I love both writers in question and haven’t read either book, I’d certainly appreciate having my name thrown in there. Thanks!

  19. kimbofo says:

    No need to put me in the draw, Trevor, I just wanted to offer my congratulations! The years fly by, don’t they? I’ve been blogging since 2004, but had an online presence (ie. personal website) since 2001.

  20. claire says:

    Happy anniversary, Trevor! It’s almost been two years now, too, since I’ve been reading your blog. I’d love to be entered in both hats please, thanks!

  21. Adrian says:

    Both hats please! Congratulations on your blog’s anniv!

  22. brent says:

    Not to sound like a broken record, but what the heck…Happy 2nd Anniversary, Trevor. Please put my name in both hats!

  23. Trevor says:

    Thanks to everyone for the happy wishes and for joining in on the fun! I’ve just posted anothe review, so that moves this post down a bit — your chances of winning are increased since fewer people will even notice this post!

  24. Sasha says:

    Congratulations on your 2nd anniversary! :] Thanks for your generosity, and fingers are crossed that I may be on its receiving end, haha. I am putting my name in both proverbial hats [though fingers are crossed extra hard for Walser!] :)

  25. Stephanie says:

    Congratulations on your anniversary! I would like to put my name in both “hats” ThankS!~

  26. R. Tsivkin says:

    Both hats, please, if it’s not too late. I love Walser, but have been meaning to read some Bolano, too, as he seems to be all the rage nowadays (gotta keep up!).

    Cheers for a very nice blog for serious readers!

    –Roman

  27. Walser has inspire my own writing; his small but grand style a mix between Proust and Dante, yet somehow more enticing.

    I’d take a Walser any day, please.

    Stephen R. Rowntree

  28. Lee Monks says:

    PS I can’t wait – having had a quick look at it – your review of Nox.

  29. Trevor says:

    Okay, no more entries are being accepted because I’m about to run the drawing with the names here. Winners will be announced here in a bit!

  30. Trevor says:

    So, using random.org I plugged in the appropriate numbers for each hat. I’m announcing it in a post on the front page.

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