On the web site Golden Rule Jones, it’s possible to follow along with a translation-in-progress of Carl Seelig’s book Wandering with Robert Walser, a book which “recounts conversations Seelig had with Walser over more than 20 years, usually in the course of long walks across the Swiss countryside.” The site also includes Wayfaring maps annotated with Walser locations in Bern, Zurich, and Berlin. Seelig, later a biographer of Albert Einstein, relates how he traveled to meet Walser for their first ramble:
Our relationship began with a somewhat matter-of-fact exchange of letters: brief, objective questions and answers. I learned that, starting in early 1929, Robert Walser was a patient in the Waldau Sanitarium near Bern, and since 1933 had been a patient at the national welfare and nursing hospital of Appenzell-Ausserrhoden in Herisau. I wanted to assist in some way with the publication of his works, and to do something for him personally. Of all the Swiss writers of that time, he seemed to me to be the most original. He told me he was willing to see me. So it was that I traveled early one Sunday morning from Zurich to St. Gallen. Walking along the road, from within a church I overheard a sermon underway on the Parable of the Talents. In Herisau, the church bells rang as I arrived. Soon I found myself with the chief of medicine at the hospital, Doctor Otto Hinrichsen. I introduced myself, and was granted the liberty of taking a walk with Robert.