Guardian and his Poet, The (1978): Percy Adlon’s Docu

Percy Adlon’s documentary The Guardian and his Poet tells the story of an unusual friendship between the Swiss author Robert Walser (one of the most important German writers of the 20th century), and the Zurich critic, editor and patron of art, Carl Seelig.

Born in Biel on April 15, 1878, Walser, an almost forgotten poet by the outer world, spent the period from 1933 to 1956 as a chronic schizophrenic in the Appenzell, Ausserrhoden mental home in Herisau, Switzerland.

From 1936 on, Carl Seelig visits the poet two or three times a year for a daily walk. In 1940, Seelig — without Walser’s knowledge — becomes the latter’s guardian. The friendship lasts until the writer’s death in 1956.