“The Gnarled Trunks Were Speaking a Primordial Language”

Trees in Robert Walser’s Texts.

  • Anna Fattori University of Rome Tor vergata


The essay examines the relationship between trees and the human in the work of the
Swiss-German author Robert Walser (1878-1956). Starting from the early poems and short stories to
the late microscripts (Mikrogramme), trees are anthropomorphized: not only can they think, feel and
in some cases speak, but they do suffer too and feel empathy with human beings. In the Jahrhundert-
wende Walser’s ecocentrical concern anticipates the Naturlyrik of Erika Burkart, one of the most dis-
tinguished poets of contemporary Swiss-German literature, and also relevant issues of the German
ecological movements which rose in the 70s and in the 80s.

Author Biography

Anna Fattori, University of Rome Tor vergata
Dipartimento di Storia, Patrimonio culturale, Formazione e Società
How to Cite
Fattori, A. (2020). “The Gnarled Trunks Were Speaking a Primordial Language”. RiCOGNIZIONI. Rivista Di Lingue E Letterature Straniere E Culture Moderne, 7(14), 199-220. https://doi.org/10.13135/2384-8987/4413