DOI link for Life—Death—Writing
Life and death are always closely related in Robert Walser’s snow images. “Snowing” regularly serves within his writing as a metaphor for “writing,” and the ultimate scene of writing can be found in the figure of a dead poet in the snow. The film takes on the task of following in Walser’s footsteps in the snow, of putting into the picture his peculiarly quirky poetry. The aura of the quasi-official image of death can thus be reformulated twice over, as the point zero of a history of the technical reproduction of the poet in the snow and also as point zero of a reading of Walser’s literature; its poetics of snow are revealed as a playful radicalization of an aesthetic of snow, one that infers a formalization of perception from the viewing of snow. The logic of Walser’s tales of death builds on the aporia of this semiology of uniqueness, of the finality of death, and of transcending it.