Article Title

Martin Walser's Sauspiel and the Contemporary German History Play


In lieu of an abstract, the first paragraph of the essay follows:

Martin Walser, like many in his generation of German writers,1 concerned himself in his early. works primarily with the problem of confronting and attempting to come to terms with the immediate German past. By confronting his readers with that unpleasant and unfortunate past, he attempted to cure the sudden case of amnesia which was an all too common reaction among Germans to that past. In all of his subsequent works as well2 one finds Walser to be a writer with a keen sense for society's -particularly West Germany's-illusions, problems, weaknesses and injustices. His main characters are rarely granted a great deal of sympathy. and he is especially critical of those who abuse power and of those who are either so blind or so subservient that such abuse becomes not only possible, but virtually inevitable. Walser is a writer who is committed to progressive social change, but, unlike Brecht, for example, he is a writer with no specific program to bring about such changes. That fact lends a note of pessimism, even resignation, to Walser's works, but it also, perhaps, is what makes him a realist.

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