Walser, a German-language author and poet, is most remembered for Jakob von Gunten, Gedichte, Geschwister Tanner, and other modernist works. His literary works often camouflage existential struggles with a placid humor.
In his early adulthood, he attempted to become an actor but ended up working as a clerk instead.
He spent time in a mental institution and died of a heart attack in the snow outside of the asylum.
He was born into a large family on the border between the French and German-speaking regions of Switzerland, and he grew up fluent in both tongues.
He was an enthusiastic theater patron and a great admirer of The Robbers and other plays by Friedrich Schiller.