Martin Walser

A Gushing Fountain - Novel

(German title: Ein springender Brunnen)
ca. 416 pages
Martin Walser
Foto: Martin Walser
© Jerry Bauer

About the author:
Born in 1927 in Wasserburg, Walser lives in Überlingen on Lake Constance.


Tod eines Kritikers. 2002. Sold to: Poland (Sic!), Korea (Ire), Turkey (Can), China (Peoples Literature), France (Laffont), Greece (Hestia), Netherlands (De Geus), Hungary (Europa), Russia (Molodaja Gvardja).
Der Lebenslauf der Liebe. 2001. Sold to: Greece (Kastaniotis), Netherlands (De Geus), Russia (AST), Serbian world rights (Paideia).
Ein springender Brunnen. 1998. Sold to: USA ( Arcade), France (Laffont), Spain (Lumen), Southamerika (Sudamericana), China (Shanghai Translation Publishing House; chin. Kurzzeichen), China (W & K Publishing; chin. Langzeichen), Croatia (Miob Naklada), Czech Republic (Volvox Globator), Greece (Kastaniotis), Korea (Jong Munhawasa), Netherlands (De Geus), Norway (Solum), Turkey (Can), Bulgaria (Delakort), Hungary (Europa).
Die Verteidigung der Kindheit. 1991. Sold to: France (Laffont), Greece (Hestia Publishers), India (Radha Krishna Prakashan), Korea (Jong Munhwasa Company).
Ein fliehendes Pferd. 1980. Sold to: USA (Holt, Rinehart & Winston), France (Gallimard), China (W & K, Zhejiang), Denmark (Centrum), Israel (Zmora Bitan), Japan (Doyakuhsha), Norway (Gylendal Norsk), Poland (Czytelnik), Portugal (Dom Quixote), Arabic worldrights (Al-Kamel), Romania (Humanitas).

Sold to

English world rights (Skyhorse), Chinese simplex rights (Zhejiang Literature & Art); previously published in the respective language / territory; rights available again: Spanish rights / Latin America (Penguin Random House), Spanish rights / Spain (Lumen), Chinese complex rights (W&K), France (Robert Laffont), Italy (Sugarco), Netherlands (De Geus), Norway (Solum), Korea (Jongmunhwasa), Czech Republic (Volvox Globator), Hungary (Europa), Bulgaria (Delakort), Croatia (Miob), Turkey (Can), Greece (Kastaniotis)


»A portrait of the artist as a young boy growing up in Nazi Germany«


»[T]his masterful novel by one of the foremost figures of postwar German literature is an indelible portrait of Nazism slowly overtaking and poisoning a small town. Semiautobiographical, it is also a remarkably vivid account of a childhood fraught with troubles, yet full of remembered love and touched by miracle.

In a provincial town on Lake Constance, Johann basks in the affection of the colorful staff and regulars at the Station Restaurant. Though his parents struggle to make ends meet, around him the world is rich in mystery: the attraction of girls; the power of words and his gift for music; this rivalry with his best friend, Adolf, son of the local Brownshirt leader; a circus that comes to town bringing Anita, whose love he and Adolf compete to win.
But in these hard times, with businesses failing and life savings gone in an instant, people whisper that only Hitler can save them. As the Nazis gradually infiltrate the churches, the school, the youth organizations – even the Station Restaurant – and come to power, we see through Johann’s eyes how the voices of dissent are silenced one by one, until war begins the body count that will include his beloved older brother.«

(Book description from the English edition by Skyhorse)


»From the depths of time [Walser] pulls up the old faces and stories, conscience-free, like real dreams […] they stand next to one another, stern, unmediated, without commentary. No one is indicted, no one acquitted.« Die ZEIT

»An objective masterpiece […] one of the great books of memory of our literature and our century. […] Walser’s prose is radiantly exuberant.« Süddeutsche Zeitung

»This author is like a sponge – he soaks up time and gives it back to his readers.« Stuttgarter Zeitung

»With this fascinating variation on the ›portrait of the artist as a young man,‹ Walser has given us a superb masterpiece that joins the ranks of great German emancipatory prose.« Märkische Allgemeine

»A Gushing Fountain is a masterpiece of the German language, already strangely distant and a little old-fashioned, as masterpieces probably have to be.« Dresdner Neueste Nachrichten

»A Gushing Fountain is a panorama of German provincial life in the Third Reich more precise and believable, more fair and sensitive than anything I have read.« Rheinischer Merkur

»One of Walser’s most beautiful novels and perhaps his most important.« Jörg Magenau, Martin Walser: Eine Biographie

Other publications

Ein fliehendes Pferd/Runaway Horse (1974)

Sold to:

Chinese simplex rights (Shanghai 99), Russia (Raduga), France (Gallimard), Japan (Dogakusha); previously published in the respective language / territory; rights available again: USA (Holt, Rinehart & Winston), UK (Secker & Warburg), Spanish world rights (Altea, Taurus, Alfaguara), Chinese complex rights (W&K), Brazilian Portuguese rights (Guanabara), Portuguese rights (Com Quixote), Arabic world rights (Al-Kamel), Italy (Garzanti), Netherlands (Elsevier), Sweden (Norstedts), Denmark (Centrum), Norway (Gyldendal Norsk), Finland (Tammi), Indonesia (Katalis), Poland (Czytelnik), Czech Republic (Svoboda), Slovakia (Slovenský Spisovatel), Hungary (Magvetö), Bulgaria (Na Otetschestwenia Front), Romania (Humanitas), Estonia (Periodika), Croatia (Znanje), Slovenia (Cankarjeva Zalozba), Turkey (Alef), Israel (Kinneret Zmora-Bitan Cvir)

Ehen in Philippsburg/Marriage in Philippsburg (1957)

Sold to:

France (Librairie Plon); previously published in the respective language / territory; rights available again: USA (New Directions), UK (Longmans, Green & Co.), Spanish world rights (Allianza), Chinese simplex rights (Shanghai Translation), Russia (Progress), Italy (Feltrinelli), Netherlands (De Bezige Bij), Sweden (Almqvist & Wiksell/Gebers ), Norway (Aschehoug), Poland (Panstwowy Instytut Wydawniczy), Czech Republic (Svoboda), Slovakia (Slovensky Spisovatel), Bulgaria (Narodna Kultura), Latvia (Liesma), Turkey (Can)