Martin Walser 1927–
West German novelist, dramatist, essayist, and short story writer.
Although Walser has not achieved significant international recognition, in Germany his literary stature is considerable. In 1981 he received the Georg-Büchner prize—a prize awarded to authors who have made meaningful contributions to the contemporary culture of Germany.
Walser's early plays, notably Eiche und Angora (1962; The Rabbit Race), and novels show his concern with the post-World War II German society. He is highly critical of the German tendency to forget the past, and of the effect the postwar "economic miracle" is having on contemporary life.
His more recent works, including Ein fliehendes pferd (1978; Runaway Horse) and Das Schwanenhaus (1980; The Swan Villa), while still retaining critical commentary on German society, have expanded in thematic content to include Walser's growing preoccupation with the difficulty of differentiating between truth and fiction, memory and reality, and language and experience.
(See also Contemporary Authors, Vols. 57-60 and Contemporary Authors New Revision Series, Vol. 8.)