Oh, Walser. I'm woefully behind in reviews, and yet more people need to read you; at the same time, I'm not sure that any words can adequately convey the experience of reading your prose.This collection of stories and critical essays compiles the work that Walser produced during his time in Berlin. One can feel the allure of the city, the possibilities and dreams that Walser felt in every fiber of the city—from the parks and gardens, to the people congregating on the streets, from the theatre to the literary life—and yet one can also sense an underlying melancholy, a growing sense of malaise as the pieces progress chronologically, not seeing Walser fulfill his goals, forced to return to Switzerland just on the bring of a world war.In her introduction to Microscripts, Susan Bernofsky notes that we can't know for sure when Walser began writing in microscript form. Many of these pieces here in Berlin Stories read like some of his microscript stories, but these are more like vignettes than stories: they run together to create a full portrait of Walser's Berlin, its inhabitants, its pace of life, and his own precarious position in the city as both an outsider and an artist. The simplicity of Walser's writing is balanced equally by his deft approach to a humanistic view of society and our individual responsibilities to others: his moral approach to life—even something as simple as traipsing through a park and chancing upon a woman reading or a lone bird—suggest that art is as much an every day sentimentality as it is setting thoughts to paper. This collection ends with Walser examining his own critical output, looking back to his previous work and criticism with a sense of self-exile but also a sense of having accomplished what he set out to do. Hermann Hesse said of Walser: "If he had a hundred thousand readers, the world would be a better place." And so it would.