Jakob Von Gunten is a novel by the mostly forgotten Swiss writer Robert Walser. Published in 1909, the novel tells the story of a boy named Jakob Von Gunten and his time at the Benjementa Institute — a school for servants. The novel is based off of Walser’s own experiences at servant school and as a butler. The title character is also the narrator of the story. He tells his surreal accounts of going to the school, living in a city away from his parents and interacting with the principal and teacher of the school. Even though Jakob is somewhat of an unreliable narrator and all-around snot-nosed brat, his story makes for a fascinating read.
Recommended by Isabella Braun, Music Library Work Study Assistant