Dimension2: Contemporary German-Language Literature

WALSER, Martin
Martin Walser was born in Wasserburg in 1927 and has lived in Überlingen, in the same region of Lake Constance, since 1957, the year the novel that established his literary fame, Ehen in Philippsburg (Marriages in Philippsburg), was published. He has more than fifty books, as well as a twelve-volume edition of his collected works, to his name and has won many awards, including the 1981 Büchner Prize and the 1998 Friedenspreis des deutschen Buchhandels. From the start of his career, Walser has been a critic of middle-class society, which he typically portrays as a place without humanity where those who are successful have to hide behind the façade of their success because their lives are really devoid of meaning. He has been similarly outspoken in his contribution to public debates, be it against the Vietnam War or, more recently, for a new understanding of what "being German" may mean. Walser's line of reasoning about the latter subject takes center stage in his controversial Friedenspreis speech, the translation of which is included in Vol. 7, No. 2/3.

Ohne einander (Without Another ): Vol. 1, No. 1
Experiences while Drafting a Sunday Speech from Aus dem Wortschatz unserer Kämpfe: Prosa, Aufsätze, Gedichte (Frankfurt am Main: Suhrkamp Verlag, 2002): Vol 7, No. 2/3

 

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