Summary “Gallistle’s Disease”

The work of Martin Walser (born in 1921) is mainly addressed to the problems of the Federal Republic of Germany, although it touches upon issues related to the life of the Germans during the time of Hitlerism. In his works the social-critical principle is strongly expressed. We do not disclose the interest of Martin Walser to the ideas of socialism. In the novel “Marriages in Philippsburg” (1957), the writer talks about the career of Hans Boyman, a young man from the bottom who became a journalist. He is beaten at the top, but not by energy and talent. Unlike Julien Sorel Stendhal or Eugene Rastignac, the hero of Balzac’s novels, Hans does not shine with these qualities. Its main properties – the ability to obedience, the ability to adapt, impersonality. This he attracted the interested attention of a large entrepreneur Volkmann,

The hero of the Walser trilogy “Half Game”, “Unicorn”, “Crash” (1960-1973) Anselm Kristlein

is a traveling salesman, then the owner of a small office selling heating appliances, then a writer. On his example, it is again shown that in conditions of bourgeois relations that level the personality, adapting to circumstances, it loses its face, loses the integrity of character, forgets about high aspirations, if they had it. This theme Martin Walser deepens in the novel “Gaulistle’s Disease” (1972). Josef George Gallistl is sick of indifference to everything that surrounds him, a loss of the notion of the meaning of life. The people surrounding him-the architect, the poet, the chemist-are infected with the same disease. They have absolutely no interest in anything, except their own business success, their characters are standardized to the complete loss of individuality. Not without reason, Walser does not give them names, confining themselves to their letter designation. Their depersonalisation has reached an extreme degree.

For Gallistle, the possibility of recovery opens. He gets acquainted with the Communists and for the first time starts to guess that a person is not doomed to absolute

loneliness, that if people have a high common goal, they are not threatened with depersonalization. Against the backdrop of heightened attention to the social and moral problems of our time in the literature of the Federal Republic of Germany in the 1960s and 1970s. a new surge of interest in the theme of the Second World War, observed during this period in the literature of many countries. From the distance of time, the opportunity to comprehend the events of the war years at a new level of depth was opened. The need for this was not in the least dictated by the need to fight against neo-fascism, which intensified its activities. It was necessary to point out with utter frankness the West Germans to this danger, to recall the harsh lessons of history, which some too soon managed to forget.

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Summary “Gallistle’s Disease”