— Rober Walser, The Robber (1925) (translation by Susan Bernofsky, 2000)
"Yes, there still exist persons who are continuing to grow and haven’t managed to come to terms with their inner and outer lives with terror-inspiring speed or in a trice or a twinkling, as if human beings were merely breakfast rolls that can be produced in five minutes and then sold to be put to use. One still finds, thank God, doubters, and those inclined to waver. As if every fellow who knuckles down, rakes it in and demands his due were a model for us all and a good citizen of the land he belongs to. Not a bit of it! And the unripe surpass the ripe in ripeness, the useless often outdo the useful in use, and as for the rest, there’s no need for absolutely everything to be available for immediate or all but momentary consumption. Long live and gaily prosper, even in this age of ours, a certain human luxury, for any society intent on stamping out all coziness and letting-live is bound to tumble straight into the devil’s hands."