Grass, Günter 1927- (Günter Wilhelm Grass)
Grass, Günter 1927- (Günter Wilhelm Grass)
Born October 16, 1927, in the Free City of Danzig (Gdansk; later incorporated into Poland); married Anna Schwarz, 1954 (marriage ended); married Utte Grunert, 1979; children: (first marriage) Franz, Raoul, Laura, Bruno. Education: Attended Künstakademie (Düsseldorf, Germany); attended Berlin Academy of Fine Arts, 1953-55. Politics: Social Democrat. Religion: Roman Catholic.
Home—Lübeck, Germany. Office—Niedstrasse 13, Berlin-Grunewald 41, Germany.
Novelist, poet, playwright, graphic artist, and sculptor. Former farm laborer in the Rhineland; worked in potash mine near Hildesheim, Germany; black marketeer; apprentice stonecutter during late 1940s, chiseling tombstones for firms in Düsseldorf, Germany; worked as a drummer and washboard accompanist with a jazz band. Speech writer for Willy Brandt during his candidacy for the election of Bundeskanzler, West Germany. Lecturer at Harvard University, Yale University, Smith College, Kenyon College, and at Goethe House and Poetry Center of YM and YWCA, New York, NY, c. 1960s; writer-in-residence at Columbia University, 1966. Exhibitions: Drawings, lithographs, and sculptures have been exhibited in the show "Too Far Afield: Graphics, 1970-2000," Jan van der Donk Gallery, New York, NY, 2001. Military service: German Army, drafted during World War II; aide with German Luftwaffe; member of Waffen-SS; prisoner of war in Marienbad, Czechoslovakia, 1945-46.
American Academy of Arts and Sciences, Berliner Akademie der Künste (president, 1983-86), Deutscher PEN, Zentrum der Bundesrepublik, Verband Deutscher Schriftsteller, Gruppe 47.
Lyrikpreis, Süddeutscher Rundfunk, 1955; prize from Gruppe 47, 1958; Bremen Literary Award, 1959; literary prize from Association of German Critics, 1960; Die Blechtrommel (The Tin Drum) selected by a French jury as the best foreign-language book of 1962; a plaster bust of Grass was placed in the Regensburger Ruhmestempel Walhalla, 1963; Georg Büchner Prize, 1965; Fontane prize (West Germany), 1968; Theodor Heuss Preis, 1969; Local Anaesthetic selected among ten best books of 1970 by Time; Carl von Ossiersky Medal, 1977; Premio Internazionale Mondello, Palermo, 1977; International Literature Award, 1978; The Flounder selected among best books of fiction by Time, 1979; Alexander-Majokowski Medal, 1979; awarded distinguished service medal, Federal Republic of Germany (declined), 1980; Antonio Feltrinelli award, 1982; Leonhard Frank ring, 1988; Karel Capek prize (Czech Republic), 1994; Nobel Prize for literature, Swedish Academy, 1999. Honorary doctorates from Harvard University and Kenyon College.
Die Vorzüge der Windhühner (poems, prose, and drawings; title means "The Advantages of Windfowl"; also see below), Luchterhand (Darmstadt, Germany), 1956, 3rd edition, 1967.
(Author of text; with Herman Wilson) O Susanna: Ein Jazzbilderbuch: Blues, Balladen, Spirituals, Jazz, illustrated by Horst Geldmacher, Kiepenheuer & Witsch (Cologne, Germany), 1959.
Die Blechtrommel (novel; also see below), Luchterhand (Darmstadt, Germany), 1959, illustrated by Heinrich Richter, 1968, with an afterword by Hans Mayer, 1984, translation by Ralph Manheim published as The Tin Drum, Vintage (New York, NY), 1962, reprinted, Knopf (New York, NY), 1993.
Gleisdreieck (poems and drawings; title means "Rail Triangle"), Luchterhand (Darmstadt, Germany), 1960.
Katz und Maus (novella; also see below), Luchterhand (Neuwied am Rhine, Germany), 1961, edited by Edgar Lohner, Blaisdell (Waltham, MA), 1969, with English introduction and notes, edited by H.F. Brookes and C.E. Fraenkel, Heinemann Educational (London, England), 1971, translation by Ralph Manheim published as Cat and Mouse, Harcourt (New York, NY), 1963, reprinted, Harcourt (San Diego, CA), 1991.
Hundejahre (novel; also see below), Luchterhand (Neuwied am Rhine, Germany), 1963, translation by Ralph Manheim published as Dog Years, Harcourt (New York, NY), 1965, reprinted, Harcourt (San Diego, CA), 1989.
Die Ballerina (essay), Friedenauer Presse (Berlin, Germany), 1963.
Rede über das Selbstverständliche (speech), Luchterhand (Berlin, Germany), 1965.
(Illustrator) Ingeborg Buchmann, Ein Ortfür Zufaelle, Wagenbach (Berlin, Germany), 1965.
Dich singe ich, Demokratie, Luchterhand (Berlin, Germany), 1965.
Fünf Wahlreden (speeches; contains "Was ist des Deutschen Vaterland?," "Loblied auf Willy," "Es steht zur Wahl," "Ich klage an," and "Des Kaisers neue Kleider"), Nuewied (Berlin, Germany), 1965.
Selected Poems (in German and English; includes poems from Die Vorzüge der Windhühner and Gleisdreieck; also see below), translated by Michael Hamburger and Christopher Middleton, Harcourt (New York, NY), 1966, published as Poems of Günter Grass, Penguin (Harmondsworth, England), 1969.
Ausgefragt (poems and drawings; title means "Questioned"), Luchterhand (Darmstadt, Germany), 1967.
Der Fall Axel C. Springer am Beispiel Arnold Zweig: Eine Rede, ihr Anlass, und die Folgen, Voltaire (Berlin, Germany), 1967.
Die Vorzüuge der Windhühner, Luchterhand (Berlin, Germany), 1967.
New Poems (includes poems from Ausgefragt; also see below), translation by Michael Hamburger, Harcourt (New York, NY), 1968.
Günter Grass, edited by Theodor Wieser, Luchterhand (Berlin, Germany), 1968.
Über meinen Lehrer Döblin, und andere Vorträge, Literarische Colloquium Berlin (Berlin, Germany), 1968.
Über das Selbstverständliche: Reden, Aufsätze, offene Briefe, Kommentare (title means "On the Self-Evident"; also see below), Luchterhand (Berlin, Germany), 1968, revised and supplemented edition published as Über das Selbstverständliche: Politische Schriften, Deutscher Taschenbuch (Munich, Germany), 1969.
(With Pavel Kokout) Briefe über die Grenze: Versuch eines Ost-West-Dialogs von Günter Grass und Pavel Kohout (letters), C. Wegner (Hamburg, Germany), 1968.
Über meinen Lehrer Döblin und andere Vorträge (title means "About My Teacher Döblin and Other Lectures"), Literarisches Collequium (Berlin, Germany), 1968.
Günter Grass: Ausgewählte Texte, Abbildungen, Faksimiles, Bio-Bibliographie, edited by Theodor Wieser, Luchterhand (Darmstadt, Germany), 1968, also published as Porträt und Poesie, 1968.
(With Kurt Ziesel) Kunst oder Pornographie? Der Prozess Grass gegen Ziesel, J.F. Lehmann (Munich, Germany), 1969.
Speak Out: Speeches, Open Letters, Commentaries (includes selections from Über das Selbstverständliche: Reden, Aufsätze, offene Briefe, Kommentare), translation by Ralph Manheim, introduction by Michael Harrington, Harcourt (New York, NY), 1969.
Örtlich betäubt (novel), Luchterhand (Neuwied, Germany), 1969, translation by Ralph Manheim published as Local Anaesthetic, Harcourt (New York, NY), 1970, reprinted, Harcourt (San Diego, CA), 1989.
Die Schweinekopfsülze, illustrated by Horst Janssen, Merlin Verlag (Hamburg, Germany), 1969.
Poems of Günter Grass, translated by Michael Hamburger and Christopher Middleton, with an introduction by Hamburger, Penguin (Harmondsworth, England), 1969.
Originalgraphik (poem with illustrations), limited edition, Argelander, 1970.
Gesammelte Gedichte (title means "Collected Poems"; also see below), introduction by Heinrich Vormweg, Luchterhand (Neuwied, Germany), 1971.
Dokumente zur politischen Wirkung, edited by Heinz Ludwig Arnold and Franz Josef Goertz, Richard Boorherg, 1971.
Aus dem Tagebuch einer Schnecke, Luchterhand (Darmstadt, Germany), 1972, translation by Ralph Manheim published as From the Diary of a Snail, Harcourt (New York, NY), 1973.
Mariazühren Hommageamarie Inmarypraise, photographs by Maria Rama, Bruckmann (Munich, Germany), 1973, bilingual edition with translation by Christopher Middleton published as Inmarypraise, Harcourt (New York, NY), 1973.
Der Schriftstellar als Bürger: Eine Siebenjahresbilanz, Dr. Karl Renner Institute (Vienna, Austria), 1973.
Liebe geprüft (poems), [Bremen], 1974.
Günter Grass: Radierungen 1972-1974, Die Galerie (Berlin, Germany), 1974.
Der Bürger und seine Stimme (speeches, essays, and commentary; title means "The Citizen and His Voice"), Luchterhand (Darmstadt, Germany), 1974.
Günter Grass Materialienbuch, edited by Rolf Geissler, Luchterhand (Darmstadt, Germany), 1976.
Der Butt (novel), Luchterhand (Darmstadt, Germany), 1977, translation by Ralph Manheim published as The Flounder, Harcourt (New York, NY), 1978.
In the Egg and Other Poems (contains poems from Selected Poems and New Poems), translated by Michael Hamburger and Christopher Middleton, Harcourt (New York, NY), 1977.
Über meinen Lehrer Alfred Döblin, issued with Döblin's Die drei Sprünge des Wang-lun, Walter (Olten, Czech Republic), 1977.
Denkzettel: Politische Reden und Aufsätze (title means "Note for Thought"), Luchterhand (Darmstadt, Germany), 1978.
Das Treffen in Telgte, Luchterhand (Darmstadt, Germany), 1979, with a preface by Stephan Hermlin, Reclam (Leipzig, Germany), 1984, translation by Ralph Manheim published as The Meeting at Telgte, with an afterword by Leonard Forster, Harcourt (New York, NY), 1981.
Werkverzeichnis der Radierungen (catalogue), Galerie Andre A. Dreher (Berlin, Germany), 1979.
(With Volker Schlöndorff) Die Blechtrommel als Film, Zweitausendeins (Frankfurt am Main, Germany), 1979.
Aufsätze zur Literatur, 1957-1979 (title means "Essays on Literature"), Luchterhand (Darmstadt, Germany), 1980.
Danziger Trilogie (title means "Danzig Trilogy"; contains Die Blechtrommel, Katz und Maus, and Hundejahre), Luchterhand (Darmstadt, Germany), 1980, translation by Ralph Manheim published as The Danzig Trilogy, Harcourt (San Diego, CA), 1987.
Kopfgeburten; oder Die Deutschen sterben aus, Luchterhand (Darmstadt, Germany), 1980, translation by Ralph Manheim published as Headbirths; or, The Germans Are Dying Out, Harcourt (New York, NY), 1982.
Zeichnen und Schreiben: Das bildnerische Werk des Schriftstellers Günter Grass, Luchterhand (Darmstadt, Germany), 1982, translation published as Graphics and Writing, edited by Anselm Dreher, Harcourt (San Diego, CA), 1983.
Günter Grass: Katalog zur Ausstellung im Winter 82/83 der Galerie Schürer, CH-Regensberg: Ausstellung über das zeichnerische, grafische und plastische Werk, Die Galerie (Regensberg, Germany), 1982.
Kinderlied (poems and etchings; originally published in Gesammelte Gedichte), Lord John, 1982.
Zeichnungen und Texte, 1954-1977, Luchterhand (Darmstadt, Germany), 1982, translation by Michael Hamburger and Walter Arndt published as Drawings and Words, 1954-1977, edited by Anselm Dreher, text selection and afterword by Sigrid Mayer, Harcourt (San Diego, CA), 1983.
Ach, Butt! Dein Märchen geht böse aus, Luchterhand (Darmstadt, Germany), 1983.
Radierungen und Texte, 1972-1982, Luchterhand (Darmstadt, Germany), 1984, translation by Michael Hamburger and others published as Etchings and Words, 1972-1982, edited by Anselm Dreher, text selection and afterword by Sigrid Mayer, Harcourt (San Diego, CA), 1985.
Widerstand lernen: Politische Gegenreden, 1980-1983 (title means "Learning Resistance: Political Countertalk"), Luchterhand (Darmstadt, Germany), 1984.
On Writing and Politics: 1967-1983 (essays), translated by Ralph Manheim, introduction by Salman Rushdie, Harcourt (San Diego, CA), 1985.
Geschenkt Freiheit: Rede zum 8. Mai 1945, Akademie der Künste (Berlin, Germany), 1985.
Werk und Wirkung, edited by Rudolf Wolff, Bouvier (Bonn, Germany), 1985.
(With Heinrich Vormweg) Günter Grass: Mit Selbstzeugnissen und Bilddokumenten, Rowohlt (Reinbek bei Hamburg, Germany), 1986.
In Kupfer, auf Stein: Das grafische Werk, edited by G. Fritze Margull, Steidl (Göttingen, Germany), 1986, new edition, 1994.
Die Rättin, Luchterhand (Darmstadt, Germany), 1986, translation by Ralph Manheim published as The Rat, Harcourt (San Diego, CA), 1987.
(With Werner Timm) Günter Grass: Graphik und Plastik, Museum Ostdeutsche Galerie (Regensburg, Germany), 1987.
Werkausgabe, ten volumes, edited by Volker Neuhaus, Luchterhand (Darmstadt, Germany), 1987.
Ausstellung anlässlich des 60: Geburtstages von Günter Grass, edited by Jens Christian Jensen, Kunsthalle zu Kiel (Kiel, Germany), 1987.
Günter Grass: Radierungen, Lithographien, Zeichnungen, Plastiken, Gedichte, Kunstamt Berlin-Tempelhof (Berlin, Germany), 1987.
Günter Grass: Mit Sophie in die Pilze gegangen, Steidl (Göttingen, Germany), 1987.
Die Gedichte 1955-1986 (poems), afterword by Volker Neuhaus, Luchterhand (Darmstadt, Germany), 1988.
Calcutta: Zeichnungen, Künsthalle Bremen (Bremen, Germany), 1988.
Zunge Zeigen, Luchterhand (Darmstadt, Germany), 1988, translation by John E. Woods published as Show Your Tongue, Harcourt (San Diego, CA), 1989.
Skizzenbuch, Steidl (Göttingen, Germany), 1989.
Meine grüne Wiese: Geschichten und Zeichnungen, Manesse (Zurich, Switzerland), 1989.
Meine grüne Wiese: Kurzprosa, Manesse (Zurich, Switzerland), 1989.
Deutscher Lastenausgleich: Wider das dumpfe Einheitsgebot; Reden und Gespräche, Texte zur Zeit, Luchterhand (Frankfurt am Main, Germany), 1990, translation by Krishna Winston with A.S. Wensinger published as Two States—One Nation?, Harcourt (San Diego, CA), 1990.
Günter Grass: Begleitheft zur Ausstellung der Stadt-und Universitätsbibliothek Frankfurt am Main, 13. Februar bis 30. März 1990, Die Bibliothek (Frankfurt am Main, Germany), 1990.
Ein Schnäppchen namens DDR: Letzte Reden vorm Glockengeläut, Luchterhand (Frankfurt am Main, Germany), 1990.
Schreiben nach Auschwitz, Luchterhand (Frankfurt am Main, Germany), 1990.
(And illustrator) Totes Holz, Steidl (Göttingen, Germany), 1990.
(With Rudolf Augstein) Deutschland, einig Vaterland? ein Streitgespräch, Steidl (Göttingen, Germany), 1990.
Nachdenken über Deutschland, edited by Dietmar Keller, introductory essays by Christoph Hein and others, Der Nation (Berlin, Germany), 1990-91.
Vier Jahrzehnte: Ein Werkstattbericht, edited by G. Fritze Margull, Steidl (Göttingen, Germany), 1991, updated edition published as Fünf Jahrzehnte: Ein Werkstattbericht, Ettag, 2001.
Rede vom Verlust: Über den Niedergang der politischen Kultur in geeinten Deutschland (speech), Steidl (Göttingen, Germany), 1992.
Unkenrufe (title means "Toad Croaks"), Steidl (Göttingen, Germany), 1992, translation by Ralph Manheim published as The Call of the Toad, Harcourt (New York, NY), 1992.
(With Regine Hildebrandt) Schaden begrenzen, oder auf die Füsse treten: Ein Gespräch, edited by Friedrich Dieckmann and others, Volk & Welt (Berlin, Germany), 1993.
Novemberland: 13 Sonette, Steidl (Göttingen, Germany), 1993, translation by Michael Hamburger published as Novemberland: Selected Poems, 1956-1993, Harcourt (New York, NY), 1996.
Cat and Mouse and Other Writings, edited by A. Leslie Willson, foreword by John Irving, Continuum (New York, NY), 1994.
Ein Weites Feld, Steidl (Göttingen, Germany), 1995, translation by Krishna Winston published as Too Far Afield, Harcourt (New York, NY), 2000.
(With Kenzaburo Oe) Gestern, vor 50 Jahren: Ein Deutsch-Japanischer Briefwechsel (correspondence), Steidl (Göttingen, Germany), 1995, translation by John Barrett published as Just Yesterday, Fifty Years Ago: A Critical Dialogue on the Anniversary of the End of the Second World War, Alyscamps Press (Paris, France), 1999.
Die Deutschen und Ihre Dichter, edited by Daniela Hermes, Deutscher Taschenbuch (Munich, Germany), 1995.
Der Schriftsteller als Zeitgenosse, edited by Daniela Hermes, Deustcher Taschesbuch (Munich, Germany), 1996.
Aesthetik des Engagements, P. Lang (New York, NY), 1996.
Fundsachen für Nichtleser, Steidl (Göttingen, Germany), 1997.
Rede über den Standort (speech), Steidl (Göttingen, Germany), 1997.
Ohne die Feder zu wechseln: Zeichnungen, Druckgraphiken, Aquarelle, Skulpturen, edited by Peter Joch and Annette Lagler, Steidl (Göttingen, Germany), 1997.
Aus einem fotografischen und politischen Tabebuch: Berlin jenseits der Mauer, photographs by Rean Mazzone, ILA Palma (Palermo, Italy), 1997.
(With Reinhard Höppner and Hans-Jochen Tschiche) Rotgrüne Reder, Steidl (Göttingen, Germany), 1998.
(With Harro Zimmerman) Vom Abentauer der Aufklaerung, Steidl (Göttingen, Germany), 1999.
Für-und Widerworte, Steidl (Göttingen, Germany), 1999.
Auf einem anderen Blatt: Zeichnungen, Steidl (Göttingen, Germany), 1999.
Mein Jahrhundert, Steidl (Göttingen, Germany), 1999, translation by Michael Henry Heim published as My Century, Harcourt (New York, NY), 1999.
Wort und Bild: Tübinger Poetik Vorlesung & Materialien, edited by Jürgen Wertheimer, with Ute Allmendinger, Konkursbuchverlag (Tübingen, Germany), 1999.
Fortsetzung folgt—: Literature und Geschichte, Steidl (Göttingen, Germany), 1999.
(With Michael Martens) Ich werde die Wunde offen halten: Ein Gespräch zur Person und über die Ziet, H. Boldt (Winsen, Germany), 1999.
(With Harro Zimmermann) Vom Abenteuer der Auflkärung (interviews), Steidl (Göttingen, Germany), 1999.
(Editor) Gemischte Klasse: Prosa, Lyrik, Szenen & Essays, Swiridoff (Kunzelsau, Germany), 2000.
Ohne Stimme: Reder zugunsten des Volkes der Roma und Sinti, Steidl (Göttingen, Germany), 2000.
Günter Grass: Mit Wasserfarben; Aquarelle, Steidl (Göttingen, Germany), 2001.
(With Daniela Dahn) In einem reichen Land: Zeugnisse alltäglichen Leidens an der Gessellschaft, edited by Johano Strasser, Steidl (Göttingen, Germany), 2002.
Im Krebsgang, Steidl (Göttingen, Germany), 2002, translation by Krishna Wilson published as Crabwalk, Harcourt (Orlando, FL), 2002.
Günter Grass: Gebrannte Erde, photographs by Dirk Reinartz, Steidl (Göttingen, Germany), 2002.
(With Helen Wolff) Briefe 1959-1994 (correspondence), edited by Daniela Hermes, translated from the English by Eva Maria Hermes, Steidl (Göttingen, Germany), 2003.
Letzte Tänze, Steidl (Göttingen, Germany), 2003.
Diesseits und Jenseits Von Arkadien: Goethe und Grass Als Landschaftszeichner, Steidl (Göttingen, Germany), 2004.
Der Schatten: Hans Christian Andersens Märchen—gesehen Von Günter Grass, Steidl (Göttingen, Germany), 2004.
The Günter Grass Reader, Harcourt (Orlando, FL), 2004.
Unkenrufe: Der Film Nach Der Erzählung Von Guünter Grass, Aufbau-Verlag (Berlin, Germany), 2005.
Seeking Another World: Subhoranjan Dasgupta on Guünter Grass and Bush's Iraq War; Nobel Lecture, 1999, by Günter Grass, Dasgupta and Co. Pvt. Ltd. (Kolkata, India), 2005.
Beim Häuten Der Zwiebel, Steidl (Göttingen, Germany), 2006.
Die Springer-Kontroverse: Ein Streitgespraech Über Deutschland, Steidl (Göttingen, Germany), 2006.
Peeling the Onion, translated by Michael Henry Heim, Harcourt (Orlando, FL), 2007.
Dummer August, Steidl (Göttingen, Germany), 2007.
Die bösen Köche: Ein Drama in fünf Akten (first produced in West Berlin, Germany, 1961; translation by A. Leslie Willson produced as The Wicked Cooks on Broadway, 1967), Luchterhand (Darmstadt, Germany), 1982.
Hochwasser: Ein Stück in zwei Akten (two acts; also see below), Suhrkamp (Frankfurt am Main, Germany), 1963, 4th edition, 1968.
Onkel, Onkel (four acts; title means "Mister, Mister"; also see below), Wagenbach (Berlin, Germany), 1965.
Die Plebejer proben den Aufstand: Ein deutsches Trauerspiel (also see below; first produced in West Berlin, Germany, 1966), Luchterhand (Berlin, Germany), 1966, translation by Ralph Manheim published as The Plebeians Rehearse the Uprising: A German Tragedy (produced in Cambridge, MA, at the Harvard Dramatic Club, 1967), with an introduction by Grass, Harcourt (New York, NY), 1966.
The World of Günter Grass, adapted by Dennis Rosa, produced off-Broadway at Pocket Theatre, April 26, 1966.
Hochwasser [and] Noch zehn Minuten bis Buffalo (title of second play means "Only Ten Minutes to Buffalo"; also see below), edited by A. Leslie Wilson, Appleton (New York, NY), 1967.
Four Plays (includes The Flood [produced in New York, NY, 1986], Onkel, Onkel [title means "Mister, Mister"], Only Ten Minutes to Buffalo, and The Wicked Cooks), with an introduction by Martin Esslin, Harcourt (New York, NY), 1967.
Davor: Ein Stuck in dreizehn Szenen (also see below; first produced in West Berlin at Schiller Theatre, February 16, 1969, translation by Wilson and Ralph Manheim produced as Uptight in Washington, DC, 1972), edited by Victor Lange and Frances Lange, Harcourt (New York, NY), 1973, translation by A. Leslie Wilson and Ralph Manheim published as Max: A Play, Harcourt (New York, NY), 1972.
Theaterspiele (includes Hochwasser, Onkel, Onkel, Die Plebejer proben den Aufstand, and Davor; first produced in West Berlin, Germany, 1970), Luchterhand (Neuwied, Germany), 1970.
(With Aribert Reimann) Die Vogelscheuchen (ballet in three acts), Ars Viva (Mainz, Germany), 1977.
Other plays include Beritten hin und zurück (title means "Rocking Back and Forth"), Goldmaeulchen, 1964, and Zweiunddreizig Zaehne.
Also collaborator with Jean-Claude Carriere, Volker Schlondorff, and Franz Seitz on screenplay for film adaptation of Katz und Maus, Modern Art Film, 1967. Author of material for catalogues to accompany his artwork. Work represented in anthologies, including Deutsche Literatur seit 1945 in Einzeldarstellunger, edited by Dietrich Weber, Kröner, 1968, and Danzig 1939: Treasures of a Destroyed Community, edited by Sheila Schwartz, Wayne State University Press (Detroit, MI), 1980. Contributor to Der Traum der Vernunft: Vom Elend der Aufklärung; eine Veranstaltungsreihe der Akademie der Künste, Berlin, Luchterhand (Darmstadt, Germany), 1985; Alptraum und Hoffnung: zwei Reden vor dem Club of Rome, Steidl (Göttingen, Germany), 1989; and Die Zukunft der Erinnerung, edited by Martin Wälde, Steidl (Göttingen, Germany), 2001. A recording of selected readings by the author, Örtlich betaeubt, has been produced by Deutsche Grammophon Gesellschaft, 1971. Editor, with Heinrich Boell and Carola Stern, of L-80. Author of foreword, Seventeenth Century German Prose, Hans J. von Grimmelshausen, Continuum (New York, NY), 1992; Contributor of an "Essay on Loss" to The Future of German Democracy, edited by Robert Gerald Livingston and Volkmar Sander, Continuum (New York, NY), 1993.
Die Blechtrommel (The Tin Drum) was adapted for film, New World Pictures, 1980.
Through his poems, plays, essays, and especially his novels, Nobel Prize-winning author Günter Grass became the conscience of post-World War II Germany. His first published novel, Die Blechtrommel—translated into English as The Tin Drum—was one of the first works of recognized merit to come out of Germany after 1945, and it has continued to remain a classic. In this book, and in the rest of his writings, Grass attempts to come to terms with Germany's collective guilt regarding World War II and the Holocaust and to figure out where the country should go in the future.
Grass was born in the Free City of Danzig in the period between the World Wars. The city, with its strategic position at the mouth of the Vistula River, changed hands often in European wars. It was historically German and had a mostly German population, but at the time Grass was born it was a free city, under the protection of the League of Nations and closely tied to Poland. The Nazi Party, growing in strength throughout Grass's childhood, dreamed of restoring the German empire and wanted to return the city to German control. The party was popular among the Germans of Danzig, and Grass himself joined the Hitler Youth as a child.
In 1944, at age fifteen, Grass was drafted into the German military. (In 2006, Grass admitted to having served in the German Waffen-SS during World War II.) He was wounded, later found himself in an American prisoner-of-war camp, and at one point was forced to see what remained of Dachau, a notorious concentration camp. He was discharged in 1946, still only eighteen years old. His home was gone—the German population of Danzig had fled or been driven out, and the city became Gdansk, Poland. Grass eventually found his parents and sister, who were trying to scratch out a living as refugees in West Germany. Bitter and unhappy, Grass tried to return to school, dropped out, became a tombstone carver, and finally entered the Düsseldorf Academy of Art to study painting and sculpture. He also started to write.
Grass transferred to the Berlin Academy of Art in 1953 and married in 1954. The next year his wife, Anna, sent some of his poems to a contest sponsored by a radio station, and he won third prize. This brought him to the attention of Group 47, an informal writing workshop that also counted as members the now-famous authors Heinrich Böll, Uwe Johnson, and Martin Walser. Grass first attended a meeting of this group in 1955, at the invitation of its founder, Hans Werner Richter. His verse was well received by the members of Group 47, and the following year Grass published his first volume, a slim book of drawings and poetry titled Die Vorzüge der Windhühner (The Advantages of Windfowl). While this collection of apparently surrealistic poems and fine-lined drawings of oversized insects was hardly noticed at the time—an English translation of certain of its poems was first published in Selected Poems in 1965—it contains the seed of much of his future work. Grass's specific kind of creative imagination has been identified as the graphic and plastic arts combined with lyric inspiration. As Kurt Lothar Tank explained in Günter Grass: "One thinks of Paul Klee when one takes … lines in this volume of poetry and, instead of actually reading them, visualizes them. One feels with tender fervor the gaiety, light as a dream with which the poet nourishes the windfowl of his own invention that lend wings to his creative act."
In 1958 Grass won the coveted prize of Group 47 for a reading from his manuscript Die Blechtrommel (The Tin Drum), published the following year. This book, which tells the story of the Nazi rise to power in Danzig from the perspective of a gifted but crazed three-year-old, transformed the author into a controversial international celebrity. Grass commented on the inspiration for and evolution of the book, which he wrote while living with his wife in a basement apartment in Paris, in a 1973 radio lecture, reprinted in Günter Grass Materialienbuch. He said that while he was traveling in France in 1952 and constantly occupied with drawing and writing, he conceived a poem whose protagonist is a "Saint on a Column" and who, from this "elevated perspective," could describe life in the village. But, later, tiny Oskar Matzerath, the tin drummer, became the exact reverse of a pillar dweller. By staying closer to the earth than normal, the protagonist of The Tin Drum acquires a unique point of view. Presumably it took not merely an adventurer in imagination but also a student of sculpture and drawing to discover this unusual perspective.
The viewpoint of a precocious three-year-old allowed Grass an honest insider's approach to the problem with which all the writers of Group 47 were struggling: the task of coming to terms with the overwhelming experience of World War II, with what had led up to it and with what had followed in its wake as "economic miracle." In January 1963, shortly before The Tin Drum was published in the United States, a writer for Time pronounced Grass's work the "most spectacular example" of recent German literature "trying to probe beneath the surface prosperity to the uneasy past." The reviewer called Grass, whose novel The Tin Drum was winning prizes and stirring anger all over Europe, "probably the most inventive talent to be heard from anywhere since the war" and described his central character, Oskar, as "the gaudiest gimmick in his literary bag of tricks…. For Oskar is that wildly distorted mirror which, held up to a wildly deformed reality, gives back a recognizable likeness." Two decades later, while reviewing Grass's latest volume, John Irving wrote in Saturday Review: "In the more than twenty years since its publication, Die Blechtrommel … has not been surpassed; it is the greatest novel by a living author."
In Germany, reaction to Grass's best-selling novel ranged from critical endorsement to moral outrage. Characteristic of the honors and scandals surrounding the book was the literature prize of Bremen, voted by the jury but withheld by the city senate on moral grounds. Similar charges against Grass's writings took the form of law suits in 1962, were repeated with political overtones on the occasion of the Büchner Prize in 1965, and continued as confrontations with the Springer Press and others.
The formidable task of coming to grips with his country's past, however, is not something Grass could accomplish in one novel, no matter how incisive. By 1963, when The Tin Drum appeared in the United States, he had published a second volume of poetry and drawings, Gleisdreieck ("Rail Triangle"); a novella, Katz und Maus (translated as Cat and Mouse); and another novel of epic dimensions, Hundejahre (translated as Dog Years). The drawings and poems of Gleisdreieck, which are translated in Selected Poems and in In the Egg and Other Poems, make up a volume of more imposing format than Grass's first poetry collection and clearly show his development from a playful style obsessed with detail to a bolder, more encompassing form of expression.
Together with The Tin Drum, Cat and Mouse and Dog Years form what is called the "Danzig Trilogy," and deal respectively with the prewar, interwar, and postwar periods in that city. In the novella Cat and Mouse, the central focus and, with it, a sense of guilt are diverted from the first-person narrator, Pilenz, to Mahlke, his high school friend. Mahlke's protruding adam's apple causes his relentless pursuit of the Iron Cross—never referred to by name—with which he intends to cover up his "mouse." But in the end the narrator, who has set up the cat-and-mouse game, can no longer fathom the depth of his friend's fatal complex nor his own role in it.
The years from the prewar to the postwar era are presented in Dog Years through the perspective of three different narrators, a team directed by Amsel—alias Brauxel—who makes scarecrows in man's image. The seemingly solid childhood friendship of Amsel and Matem evolves into the love-hate relationship between Jew and non-Jew under the impact of Nazi ideology. When the former friends from the region of the Vistula finally meet again in the West, the ominous führer dog who followed Matem on his odyssey is left behind in Brauxel's subterranean world of scarecrows. While Dog Years, like The Tin Drum, again accounts for the past through the eyes of an artist, the artist is no longer a demonic tin-drummer in the guise of a child but the ingenious maker of a world of objects reflecting the break between the creations of nature and those of men. Referring to Amsel's "keen sense of reality in all its innumerable forms," John Reddick wrote in The Danzig Trilogy of Günter Grass: "Any serious reader of Grass's work will need little prompting to recognize that Grass is in fact describing his own, as well as his persona's art."
In 1961, well into his fame resulting from The Tin Drum, Grass revealed at a meeting of theater experts in Hamburg that, departing from his early poetry, he had written four long plays and two one-act plays during "the relatively short time, from 1954 to 1957." Not all of the plays to which he referred had been staged or published at that time; some, like Onkel, Onkel ("Mister, Mister"), appeared later in revised editions. Grass's earliest plays, Beritten hin und zurück ("Rocking Back and Forth") and Noch zehn Minuten bis Buffalo (Only Ten Minutes to Buffalo), have a clearly programmatic character. They stage diverse attitudes about approaches to drama or poetry. As presentations of Grass's "poetics," they belong in the same category as his important early essays "Die Ballerina" ("The Ballet Dancer") of 1956 and "Der Inhalt als Widerstand" ("Content as Resistance") of 1957.
Die bösen Köche (The Wicked Cooks), written in 1956 in Paris and initially performed in 1961 in Berlin, was, in 1967, Grass's first play to be staged in the United States. In 1961 Martin Esslin had included discussion of Grass's early dramatic works in The Theatre of the Absurd. But in 1966 Peter Spycher argued in a Germanisch-Romanische Monatsschrift article that, at least in the case of The Wicked Cooks, the criteria of absurdist theater do not apply. In the play a team of five restaurant cooks find their reputations threatened by the popular "Gray Soup" cooked on occasion by a guest referred to as "the Count." The play revolves around the intrigues of the cooks to obtain the Count's soup recipe. They even try to trade him a nurse, the girlfriend of one of them, in return for the secret. Unfortunately for the cooks, the Count and the nurse fall in love, and when the cooks invade their idyllic existence, the Count shoots both the woman and himself. Spycher sees the play as an "allegorical parable" or "anti-tale," for the Count assures the cooks that "it is not a recipe, it's an experience, a living knowledge, continuous change."
Grass's initial limited success as a playwright took on the dimensions of a scandal with the 1966 production in West Berlin of Die Plebejer proben den Aufstand: Ein deutsches Trauerspiel (The Plebeians Rehearse the Uprising: A German Tragedy). The play is loosely based on the 1953 revolt in East Berlin, in which workers in that sector of the city protested the failure of the Communist authorities to deliver on their promises of better conditions. To many members of the audience, Grass's character "The Boss" was interpreted to be Bertolt Brecht, a Communist East German playwright, and they did not find Grass's perspective on Brecht flattering. As Andrzej Wirth explained in A Günter Grass Symposium, "The Boss [of the play] was a Versager [failure], a Hamletic victim of his own theorems…. And the Berlin audience interpreted the play as a challenge to Brecht's image, as a case of Günter Grass versus Bertolt Brecht." However, as Wirth continued, "the American premiere of The Plebeians Rehearse the Uprising (1967) in the Harvard Dramatic Club presented an interesting alternative." Due to the English translation and certain changes in the staging, "the play succeeded in exposing a more universal theme—the dilemma of the artist: the aesthetic man versus the man of action, ideal versus reality."
Throughout the 1960s Grass become more overtly involved in politics, supporting, campaigning for, and even writing speeches for Willy Brandt, a Social Democrat and the mayor of West Berlin. Grass's third volume of poetry and drawings, Ausgefragt, reflects the political controversies of the decade. One cycle of poems in this volume is titled "Indignation, Annoyance, Rage" and is inspired by the protest songs of the early 1960s. Intoning the "powerlessness" of the guitar protesters, Grass points to the futility of their ritualistic peace marches. However, student protests gained momentum after 1966 and became a force to be reckoned with. Thus Grass's hope of engaging the protesters in constructive election activity was crushed by the demands of the new, increasingly radical Left.
Within the literary developments of the 1960s, Grass's New Poems, which range in subject matter from the private to the public sphere, and from aesthetics to politics, have been described by Heinrich Vormweg—in the introduction to Grass's Gesammelte Gedichte ("Collected Poems")—as reality training. The perception of individual and social reality has been exceptional in German literature, and as Vormweg pointed out, Grass, in his poems, ignores the most obvious change in the literature of the late 1950s and 1960s. The current objective of literature, as reflected for example in "concrete poetry," was to expose language itself as an unreliable medium, inadequate for identifying things and situations as they are. Grass, however, evinces a fundamental trust in language and its ability to communicate reality. In New Poems he attempts to make perfectly visible the inescapable contradictions and conflicts of everyday life, including his own.
Grass's political essays of this period are collected in the volume Über das Selbstverständliche: Reden, Aufsätze, offene Briefe, Kommentare ("On the Self-Evident"). The title comes from his acceptance speech for the prestigious Büchner Prize in 1965; in that year the Social Democrats had lost the elections, and Grass was dubbed a bad loser by critics of his speech. Another collection from the 1960s is translated in the volume Speak Out: Speeches, Open Letters, Commentaries, which also contains Grass's 1966 address—"On Writers as Court Jesters and on Non-existent Courts"—at the meeting of Group 47 in Princeton, New Jersey. While Grass's references to some of his literary colleagues and himself were rigorously criticized in Germany, the last statement of his Princeton speech became renowned: "A poem knows no compromise, but men live by compromise. The individual who can stand up under this contradiction and act is a fool and will change the world." Three more volumes of political essays and commentaries—Der Bürger und seine Stimme ("The Citizen and His Voice"), Denkzettel: Politische Reden und Aufsätze ("Note for Thought"), and Widerstand lernen: Politische Gegenreden, 1980-1983 ("Learning Resistance: Political Countertalk")—demonstrate that Grass remained politically outspoken through the 1970s and beyond.
In 1969, six years after Dog Years, Grass published another novel, Örtlich betäubt (translated as Local Anaesthetic). For the first time he left the Danzig origins of his earlier prose works, concentrating instead on his new home town, the Berlin of the 1960s, and on the student protests against the Vietnam War. Starusch, a high school teacher, while undergoing extensive dental treatment, is confronted with the plan of his favorite student, Scherbaum, to set fire to his dog on Kurfürstendamm. By this act the seventeen-year-old hopes to awaken the populace to the realities of the war. Yet in the end the dog is not burned, and the student is about to undergo a dental treatment similar to his teacher's.
The reception of this novel in Germany was predictably negative. War protest reduced to the level of a dachshund was conceived as belittlement of the real problems at hand. In the United States, however, Local Anaesthetic earned Grass some enthusiastic reviews and a Time cover story. The caption read, "Novelist between the Generations: A Man Who Can Speak to the Young." Perhaps the only problem with this hopeful statement was that "the young" did not listen, nor did they read the book; they preferred Hermann Hesse's Siddhartha. However, the Time essayist provided a lucid interpretation of Local Anaesthetic, while other reviewers of the book found it difficult to make the switch from the generous epic panorama of the "Danzig Trilogy" to the contemporary outrages of the 1960s.
From the Diary of a Snail contains some of Grass's most openly autobiographical statements. It is also a diary recording his experience during Brandt's election campaign of 1969. Most important, however, this book marks a change of emphasis from politics to the more private occupation with the visual arts. Grass writes in From the Diary of a Snail, "It's true: I am not a believer; but when I draw, I become devout…. But I draw less and less. It doesn't get quiet enough any more. I look out to see what the clamor is; actually it's me that's clamoring and somewhere else." In the context of this self-portrait in From the Diary of a Snail, readers also find revealing remarks about Grass's inspiration and technique as graphic artist: "I draw what's left over…. A rich, that is, broken line, one that splits, stutters in places, here passes over in silence, there thickly proclaims. Many lines. Also bordered spots. But sometimes niggardly in disbursing outlines."
The image of the snail indicates Grass's withdrawal into an increasingly meditative phase. Although he adopted the snail as his political emblem—"the snail is progress"—his entire field of vision is affected by it. The snail replaces one of the eyeballs in two self-portraits, etchings in copper produced in 1972. Moreover, the English version of From the Diary of a Snail contains a reproduction of fifteenth-century artist Albrecht Dürer's engraving "Melancolia I." The "Variations on Albrecht Dürer's Engraving" are summarized in a speech celebrating Dürer's five hundredth birthday in 1971 and appended to From the Diary of a Snail. The personifications of both "Melancholy" and her twin sister, "Utopia," are supplemented by a narrative on "Doubt," whose story provides an excursion into the past—a report to the children about the fate of the Jewish community of Danzig during the war. With the exception of this narrative thread, From the Diary of a Snail dispenses almost entirely with plot; yet the importance of this book in defining Grass's concerns and motivations has gradually become clear to critics of his work.
Around 1974 Grass again began work on a major novel. At first he referred to it as a "Cookbook." Already in From the Diary of a Snail he had toyed with plans of writing "a narrative cookbook: about ninety-nine dishes, about guests, about man as an animal who can cook." At a later stage, the working title for the new novel was modified: "The (female) cook in me." At a still later stage the book was said to be a variation on the Grimms' tale of "The Fisherman and His Wife." When after numerous public readings, including one in New York, the work was published in August 1977, it was titled Der Butt (translated as The Flounder) and comprised 699 pages of prose laced with forty-six poems.
The Flounder is structured around the nine months of a pregnancy and "nine or eleven" female cooks, each representing a major phase in prehistory and history from the neolithic to the present. The talking flounder functions as an archetypal male element, the tempter, who gradually destroys the mythic golden age of the matriarch. He is duly sentenced and punished by a group of feminists but will resume his destructive influence as future advisor and assistant to womankind instead of mankind. Clearly, the novel is purporting to correct some misconceptions about the roles of women in history and in the present. But the strength of this epic account lies not in its feminist argument but rather, as is usual with Grass, in its historical panorama. The setting for the mythical and historical events, all told by an ever-present first-person narrator, is once again the Baltic shore around the mouth of the Vistula. The representation of major cultural phases and personages, through individual female characters who provide life and nourishment, accounts for much of the fascination the work exerts. In the context of historical settings and figures, many of the images Grass had etched in copper—the fishheads, the mushrooms, and the portraits of women—became dynamic agents of the narrative.
A majority of reviewers, including New Yorker contributor John Updike, felt that the richness of the "stew" demands too much digestion. They objected to its length, its preoccupation with food and cooking, with sex and scatology. For some readers, Grass's cooks did not come across as real characters. Nigel Dennis in the New York Review of Books labeled The Flounder "a very bad novel." Morris Dickstein, on the other hand, concluded in the New York Times that "Grass's cooks save him for they give body to his politics…. The cooks bring together Grass the novelist and Grass the socialist." With regard to the issue of feminism, The Flounder was labeled by Richard Howard in his New Leader review as both "an antifeminist tract" and "a feminist tract." In a more thorough study of The Flounder within the context of Grass's overall work, Michael Hollington speculated in Günter Grass: The Writer in a Pluralistic Society "that critical reaction to the book in English-speaking countries was short-sighted" and "that as the novel is digested its distinction will gradually be recognized."
In 1979 Grass published Das Treffen in Telgte (translated as The Meeting at Telgte). This relatively short narrative is dedicated to Hans Werner Richter, founder of Group 47, in honor of his seventieth birthday. The Meeting at Telgte, like The Flounder, employs historical material, but because of its compact action, provides more suspenseful reading. Set in 1647, the novel portrays some twenty historical German writers who undertake a fictitious journey to Westphalia because they wish to contribute their share to the peace negotiations that ended the devastating Thirty Years' War. Although the situation parallels that of the writers of Group 47 after World War II, the story is not a roman à clef. Still, several of the seventeenth-century writers in Grass's "meeting" have twentieth-century counterparts in Group 47. For example, the mischievous Gelnhausen, who becomes the author of the Simplicissimus epic, reflects certain traits of Grass himself, and Simon Dach functions as a seventeenth-century image of Richter. The iconography on the dust jacket, a human hand with a quill rising above a sea of rubble, may represent as wishful a dream for the modern age as it was for the seventeenth century. But its execution in The Meeting at Telgte produces a masterpiece, as German Quarterly contributor Richard Schade contended, by means of the thistle and writer's hand imagery.
Described alternately as science fiction and fable, Grass's novel Die Rättin (translated as The Rat) opens with a Christmas scene in which the protagonist—Grass himself—asks for and receives a rat as his present. As the rat observes Grass at work, the author becomes increasingly distracted until, eventually, the rat begins to tell a dream-like, prophetic tale about the extinction of the human race as a result of atomic war, followed by the survival of a race of rats. "This is not a book about what may happen; it is a novel, built on our profound need for fable, about what has happened to western civilization," Eugene Kennedy declared in Chicago's Tribune Books. Also offering praise for the novel, Richard Locke commented in the Washington Post Book World: "The Rat asks to be read as a kind of modern Book of Revelation, with Grass the St. John of our time, the delirious prophet of Apocalypse, a nuclear Big Bang that will end human life and leave the earth populated with rats feasting on radioactive human garbage."
Unlike The Rat, Grass's novel Unkenrufe (translated as The Call of the Toad) received mixed reviews. The Call of the Toad depicts a couple who sell cemetery plots located in the Polish city of Gdansk to Germans who wish to be buried in what was once their homeland. While the business is successful, the couple becomes plagued by escalating greed and tyranny: "[what they] had envisioned as a peace-promoting, free-will enterprise becomes a symbol of German greed and tyranny in the wake of reunification," wrote Donna Rikfind of Washington Post Book World. Many reviewers faulted the novel for its stylistic flatness, often commenting that Grass's characters lack depth and interest, despite the interesting intellectual premise of the book.
In the heady year of 1990, when the Berlin Wall had fallen and the world was discussing the potential reunification of East andWest Germany, Grass published a collection of speeches and essays arguing against this path. Throughout Deutscher Lastenausgleich: Wider das dumpfe Einheitsgebot; Reden und Gespräche, Texte zur Zeit—translated as Two States—One Nation?—Grass points to the atrocities of the Holocaust as evidence of the potentially destructive force of a powerful Germany motivated by national self-interest and fear: "German unity has so often proved a threat to our neighbors that we cannot expect them to put up with it anymore," he declared. While a reviewer for the Los Angeles Times Book Review found the collection "challenging and disturbing," J.P. Stern in the London Observer rejected Grass's arguments as "gripes and sour grapes," and without foundation in terms of the contemporary social reality in Germany. Germans also generally rejected his arguments, and German reunification occurred on October 3, 1990.
Grass returned to the subject of reunification in his 1995 novel Ein Weites Feld (translated as Too Far Afield), which also generated controversy and skeptical reviews. The novel draws upon the historical figure Theodore Fontane, a nineteenth-century writer who was skeptical of Germany's original unification in 1871. "As always, Grass is interested in how the past inundates the lives of ordinary people as they try desperately to swim with or against history's treacherous tides," noted New York Times Book Review critic James J. Sheehan. Spectator reviewer Christian Caryl objected to the novel's approach to the satirizing contemporary politics in Germany "in the harsh light of history," noting that "the construction [of Ein Weites Feld] takes absolute precedence over the life of the characters…. Never before has [Grass] allowed his self-image as the Great German Writer to weigh so heavily on his style."
The subject of German unification is also a focus of the essays and speeches collected in On Writing and Politics: 1967-1983. "Grass, as these speeches show, remains stubbornly loyal to his own vision of Europe, to a ‘third force’ notion of a continent which must liberate itself from Soviet and American hegemony and from the burden of their armaments," observed Neal Ascherson in the London Review of Books. Grass also addresses larger political questions concerning the nature of political power on a global scale and the implications for the future of a world characterized by what Jon Cook in New Statesman called "a pretense of democracy," in which "everything is done in the name of the popular will, but in reality crucial areas of decision-making are withheld from the difficult, democratic process of negotiating consent."
Novemberland: 13 Sonette was published in 1993, and Novemberland: Selected Poems, 1956-1993, a bilingual volume of Grass's poems, was published in 1996. The fifty-four poems cover the tumultuous period of German history from World War II to the beginning of German reunification. An America critic noted that "Grass's style is allegorical, or perhaps fable-esque; readers familiar and comfortable with a direct access to the poet in a ‘confessional’ mode may not always know what to do with these poems." Grass's personal connection with the material is not always clear, according to the reviewer, as the style is surrealistic and works against such direct connections. For example, some poems include a lamentation over the ruins of Berlin, two bitten apples that recall Paradise, and a prophetic glove at the beach.
My Century, which came out in 1999, is a historical novel that consists of one hundred brief vignettes—one for each year of the twentieth century—each told in the first person. The narrators are a diverse lot, ranging from former Nazis to ordinary working-class people. "The sheer variety of Grass's inventions is impressive," observed New York Times Book Review contributor Peter Gay, who nonetheless felt that the book is "a collection of fragments that fail to cohere." A Publishers Weekly critic had a different view, finding that this "cacaphony … is finally resolved into a complex, multipart harmony." Gay did compliment the individual tales: "Not that the episodes are badly told. Grass's old power of engaging the reader is still there. But the selection of witnesses seems arbitrary." Some critics thought that Grass refers too indirectly to the World War II era, including the Nazi Holocaust; the narrators for this period are a group of war correspondents meeting many years later. "Grass, always before able to face horror and disaster, seems at this late date to be losing his nerve," Gay remarked. Booklist contributor Frank Caso, however, found the device of the correspondents looking back to be "most effective."
In his 2002 novel Im Krebsgang (translated as Crabwalk), Grass returns to Danzig to tell the story of a forgotten tragedy. In January of 1945, as Soviet troops were advancing on the eastern borders of Germany, tens of thousands of refugees crammed onto ships headed for safety farther west. One such ship, the Wilhelm Gustloff, was torpedoed by a Russian submarine and sank on January 30, 1945. Because no one knows exactly how many people were on board, the total death toll remains uncertain, but estimates run as high as ten thousand—mostly women and children. In Grass's tale, one such woman was Tulla, a pregnant teenage refugee who gives birth to a son, Paul, the night the ship sinks.
A grown-up, fifty-something Paul narrates the tale. Through three generations of his family, Grass weaves together numerous threads from the past and present of Germany, and "the dexterity with which Grass handles them makes this his most powerful book since The Tin Drum," contended Knight Ridder/Tribune News Service contributor Michael Upchurch. Speaking about the sufferings of Germans who were ethnically cleansed from the country's former eastern lands was—and for many still is—taboo, because it has been generally accepted that as the instigators of World War II, the German people deserve little sympathy. However, Tulla, despite having become a loyal East German communist, still wants the story of the Wilhelm Gustloff to be preserved. She pleads with Paul, a journalist, to write about it, but he refuses. Paul, who fled to West Germany and adopted left-wing politics, wants nothing to do with his mother's Nazi past. But Paul's teenage son Konny is another story. He inhabits the fever-swamps of neo-Nazi Web sites and chat rooms and wants not only the ship Wilhelm Gustloff to be recognized, but also the man—a Nazi who was assassinated by a Jewish student named David Frankfurter. Using the handle "Wilhelm," Konny argues with a "David" online. "Their real-life meeting provides the grim climax of a narrative that views fascist hate-mongering, Stalinist lies, capitalist corruption, and the eternal failures of parents with the same angry disdain," wrote a Kirkus Reviews contributor. To Financial Times reviewer Giles Macdonough, the purpose of the tale is "clearly didactic: too little openness about the past breeds Konnys, who are too often left alone, intentionally uninformed, to fester in their resentment." But Upchurch took a different lesson from the book: "Remembrance, Grass suggests, can end up being repetition."
In 1999 Grass was awarded the Nobel Prize in literature by the Swedish Academy for his body of work, beginning with The Tin Drum and continuing through My Century. The Swedish Academy commented in its press release that when The Tin Drum was published, "it was as if German literature had been granted a new beginning after decades of linguistic and moral destruction." The Academy went on to say that "Grass recreated the lost world from which his creativity sprang, Danzig, his home town, as he remembered it from the years of his infancy before the catastrophe of war…. He is a fabulist and a scholarly lecturer, recorder of voices and presumptuous monologist, pasticheur and at the same time creator of an ironic idiom that he alone commands."
Grass stunned the German nation and the international community with his 2006 revelation that he was a member of the Waffen-SS during World War II. Apparently, he had volunteered for submarine duty as a teenager, but in 1944, at the age of seventeen, was posted to a tank division of the Waffen-SS and later taken prisoner by American troops. The confession came in an interview and was later reinforced by passages in his 2007 autobiography, Peeling the Onion. Reaction inside and outside of Germany to Grass's revelation can be summed up by a comment from a contributor for the Economist: "What irks his critics is that this confession comes 60 years late—and from a man who set himself up as Germany's moral conscience in facing up to the Holocaust." Some of Grass's harsher critics even speculated that his confession was an attempt at heightening sales of his autobiography. John Leonard, writing in New York, also voiced shock at the disclosure, but in the final analysis thought it made no difference to Grass's body of work: "None of it can touch his novels, without which, speaking as they do of the unspeakable, of the screaming midget hiding in the potato-woman's skirts, twentieth-century European literature would be not only infinitely poorer but practically unintelligible. And that Grass himself established the measure by which he is now found wanting—we judge him from his own bench."
Grass's Peeling the Onion traces his early life in Danzig up to the 1950s, blending actual events with those of some of his fictional characters. Reviewing the work in Library Journal, Ali Houissa felt that the "memoir's beauty and poetic tone should not be overshadowed by the controversy surrounding its author's mea culpa." Similarly, a reviewer for the Economist felt that Grass's confession in the autobiography "does not degrade Mr. Grass as a fabulist of burlesque events, a veritable bestiary of characters." Booklist contributor Ian Chipman thought the memoir served best as a "companion to be read alongside [Grass's] oeuvre rather than as a portrait of the mind of a master at work, siphoning tumultuous times into modern masterpieces," while a Publishers Weekly reviewer concluded: "Grass's powerfully evocative memories are spellbinding." And Entertainment Weekly critic Jennifer Reese felt Peeling the Onion is "a fascinating account of a powerful artist struggling with his inglorious past."
BIOGRAPHICAL AND CRITICAL SOURCES:
Brandes, Ute Thoss, Günter Grass, Edition Colloquium (Berlin, Germany), 1998.
Contemporary Literary Criticism, Gale (Detroit, MI), Volume 1, 1973, Volume 2, 1974, Volume 4, 1975, Volume 6, 1976, Volume 11, 1979, Volume 15, 1980, Volume 22, 1982, Volume 32, 1985, Volume 49, 1988, Volume 88, 1995.
Dictionary of Literary Biography, Gale (Detroit, MI), Volume 75: Contemporary German Fiction Writers, Second Series, 1988, Volume 124: Twentieth-Century German Dramatists, 1919-1992, 1992.
Diller, Edward, A Mythic Journey: Günter Grass's "The Tin Drum," University Press of Kentucky (Lexington, KY), 1974.
Enright, D.J., Man Is an Onion: Reviews and Essays, Open Court (LaSalle, IL), 1972.
Esslin, Martin, Reflections: Essays on Modern Theatre, Doubleday (New York, NY), 1960.
Esslin, Martin, The Theatre of the Absurd, Doubleday (New York, NY), 1961.
Grass, Günter, Aus dem Tagebuch einer Schnecke, Luchterhand (Darmstadt, Germany), 1972, translation by Ralph Manheim published as From the Diary of a Snail, Harcourt (New York, NY), 1973.
Grass, Günter, Gesammelte Gedichte, introduction by Heinrich Vormweg, Luchterhand (Neuwied, Germany), 1971.
Hollington, Michael, Günter Grass: The Writer in a Pluralistic Society, Marion Boyars (New York, NY), 1980.
International Dictionary of Theatre, Volume 2: Playwrights, St. James Press (Detroit, MI), 1993.
Leonard, Irene, Günter Grass, Oliver & Boyd, 1974.
Mason, Ann L., The Skeptical Muse: A Study of Günter Grass' Conception of the Artist, Herbert Lang, 1974.
Mayer, Hans, Steppenwolf and Everyman, translated by Jack D. Zipes, Crowell (New York, NY), 1971.
Mews, Siegfried, editor, Günter Grass's "The Flounder" in Critical Perspective, AMS Press (New York, NY), 1983.
Miles, Keith, Günter Grass, Barnes & Noble (New York, NY), 1975.
Neuhaus, Volker, Günter Grass, Metzler (Stuttgart, Germany), 1979.
Newsmakers 2000, issue 2, Gale (Detroit, MI), 2000.
O'Neill, Patrick, Günter Grass: A Bibliography, 1955-1975, University of Toronto Press (Toronto, Ontario, Canada), 1976.
O'Neill, Patrick, Günter Grass Revisited, Twayne (New York, NY), 1999.
Panichas, George, editor, The Politics of Twentieth-Century Novelists, Hawthorn (New York, NY), 1971.
Preece, Julian, Günter Grass: His Life and Work, St. Martin's Press (New York, NY), 2000.
Reddick, John, The Danzig Trilogy of Günter Grass, Harcourt (San Diego, CA), 1974.
Steiner, George, Language and Silence, Atheneum (New York, NY), 1967.
Tank, Kurt Lothar, Günter Grass, 5th edition, Colloquium, 1965, translation by John Conway published as Günter Grass, Ungar (New York, NY), 1969.
Thomas, Noel, The Narrative Works of Günter Grass, John Benjamins (Philadelphia, PA), 1982.
Willson, A. Leslie, editor, A Günter Grass Symposium, University of Texas Press (Austin, TX), 1971.
America, October 26, 1996, review of Novemberland: Selected Poems, 1956-1993, p. 26.
Atlantic, June, 1981, Phoebe-Lou Adams, review of The Meeting at Telgte, pp. 101-102; April, 1982, Phoebe-Lou Adams, review of Headbirths; or, The Germans Are Dying Out, p. 110; June, 1989, Phoebe-Lou Adams, review of Show Your Tongue, p. 96; November, 1992, Phoebe-Lou Adams, review of The Call of the Toad, p. 162; February, 2000, Phoebe-Lou Adams, review of My Century, p. 105.
Book, March-April, 2003, Sean McCann, review of Crabwalk, p. 74.
Booklist, September 15, 1992, Stuart Whitwell, review of The Call of the Toad, p. 100; November 15, 1999, Frank Caso, review of My Century, p. 579; July, 2000, Brian Kenney, review of Too Far Afield, p. 1973; February 15, 2003, Frank Caso, review of Crabwalk, pp. 1047-1048; May 15, 2007, Ian Chipman, review of Peeling the Onion, p. 4.
Commonweal, July 16, 1982, David H. Richter, review of Headbirths, pp. 409-410; February 9, 1990, Abigail McCarthy, "‘Einig Vaterland!,’" pp. 72-73.
Contemporary European History, May, 2003, Robert G. Moeller, "Sinking Ships, the Lost Heimat and Broken Taboos: Günter Grass and the Politics of Memory in Contemporary Germany."
Contemporary Literature, winter, 1993, Reiko Tachibana, "Günter Grass's The Tin Drum and Oe Kenzaburo's My Tears: A Study in Convergence," pp. 740-766.
Critique, spring, 1989, Wayne P. Lindquist, "The Materniads: Grass's Paradoxical Conclusion to the ‘Danzig Trilogy,’" pp. 179-192.
Economist (U.S.), August 2, 1986, review of Die Rättin, p. SB13; November 28, 1992, review of The Call of the Toad, p. 104; September 2, 1995, "Grass and the Drum of Discord," p. 43; October 18, 1997, review of Fundsachen für Nichtlesser, pp. S14-S15; October 25, 1997, "Günter Grass, Ever Unmown," p. 57; October 16, 1999, "What the World Is Reading," p. 15; February 16, 2002, review of Im Krebsgang; August 19, 2006, "Another Hero Lost; Günter Grass," p. 46; August 26, 2006, "Grassroots; 20th-century Germany," p. 69.
Entertainment Weekly, October 23, 1992, L.S. Klepp, review of The Call of the Toad, pp. 56-57.
Europe, July-August, 1993, Christine Bednarz, "Writer's Corner: Günter Grass," pp. 44-45; March, 2000, Claire Bose, "The Grass Century," p. 25; June 29, 2007, Jennifer Reese, review of Peeling the Onion, p. 143.
Europe Intelligence Wire, May 17, 2003, review of Crabwalk.
Financial Times, August 26, 1995, Wolfgang Munchau, "Fiery Reviews Scorch Grass," p. 7; October 1, 1999, Christopher Brown-Humes and Jan Dalley, "Günter Grass Wins Nobel Literature Prize," p. 4; February 16, 2002, Frederick Studemann, review of Im Krebsgang, p. 4; April 26, 2003, Frederick Studemann, review of Crabwalk, p. 43; November 1, 2003, Giles Macdonough, review of Crabwalk, p. 26; August 26, 2006, "Long Years of Deception Cannot Be Forgiven," p. 10.
Foreign Policy, March-April, 2003, Robert Gerald Livingston, review of Im Krebsgang, pp. 80-82.
Germanic Review, fall, 1993, Lawrence O. Frye, "Günter Grass, Katz und Maus, and Gastro-Narratology," pp. 176-184.
Germanisch-Romanische Monatsschrift, number 47, 1966, Peter Spycher, review of The Wicked Cooks.
German Quarterly, number 54, 1981, Richard Schade, review of The Meeting at Telgte; winter, 1997, Monika Shafi, "Gazing at India: Representations of Alterity in Travelogues by Ingeborg Drewitz, Günter Grass, and Hubert Fichte," pp. 39-56.
Hindu, October 17, 1999, Ravi Vyas, "Reality at Grass Level."
Hollywood Reporter, August 17, 2006, "Nobel Choice," p. 3; August 21, 2006, "Walesa's Worry," p. 3; October 12, 2006, "Günter Wins," p. 3.
Journal of European Studies, March, 1989, Carl Tighe, "The Tin Drum in Poland," pp. 3-20.
Kirkus Reviews, January 1, 2003, review of Crabwalk, pp. 11-12.
Knight Ridder/Tribune News Service, November 22, 2000, Carlin Romano, review of Too Far Afield, p. K3110; January 10, 2001, Jay Goldin, review of Too Far Afield, p. K5668; April 30, 2003, Michael Upchurch, review of Crabwalk, p. K1370.
Library Journal, March 15, 1981, Gari R. Muller, review of The Meeting at Telgte, p. 689; March 15, 1982, review of Headbirths, p. 650; July, 1987, Paul E. Hutchison, review of The Rat, p. 94; September 15, 1990, Marcia L. Sprules, review of Two States—One Nation?, p. 90; September 15, 1992, Michael T. O'Pecko, review of The Call of the Toad, p. 94; May 15, 1996, Michael T. O'Pecko, review of Novemberland, p. 65; January, 2000, Eric Bryant, review of My Century, p. 159; September 15, 2000, Mirela Roncevic, review of Too Far Afield, p. 112; January, 2003, Edward Cone, review of Crabwalk, p. 154; June 1, 2004, Barbara Hoffert, review of The Günter Grass Reader, p. 104; July 1, 2007, Ali Houissa, review of Peeling the Onion, p. 92.
London Review of Books, October 17, 1985, Neal Ascherson, On Writing and Politics: 1967-1983, p. 6.
Los Angeles Times, May 20, 1983, "Has Our Writing Lost Its Politics?," p. 3; March 4, 1984, Charles Solomon, review of Drawings and Words 1954-1977, p. 6; June 16, 1985, Salman Rushdie, "A Political Author Migrates from Certainty to Doubt," p. 2; July 21, 1985, Art Seidenbaum, review of On Writing and Politics, p. 2; September 18, 1995, William Pfaff, "Günter Grass's New Novel Unleashes the PC Censors," p. B5; September 22, 1995, Mary Williams, "The Plot Sickens, German Critics Say," p. A5; October 1, 1999, Carol J. Williams, "Germany Hails Grass's ‘Overdue’ Literature Nobel," p. A1; March 28, 2002, Carol J. Williams, review of Im Krebsgang, p. E-1; April 13, 2003, Thomas McGonigle, review of Crabwalk, p. R-4.
Los Angeles Times Book Review, November 17, 1991, review of Two States—One Nation?, p. 14.
M2 Best Books, August 14, 2006, "German Author Served in Waffen-SS"; August 16, 2006, "TV Interview Scheduled for Günter Grass on 17 August."
Midwest Quarterly, autumn, 2001, Ronald Charles Epstein, review of Too Far Afield, pp. 113-114.
Modern Language Review, October, 1995, Julian Preece, "Sexual-Textual Politics: The Transparency of the Male Narrative in Der Butt by Günter Grass," pp. 955-966; April, 2001, K.F. Hilliard, "Showing, Telling and Believing: Günter Grass's Katz und Maus and Narratology," p. 420.
Nation, April 24, 1982, Richard Gilman, review of Headbirths, pp. 502-504; December 24, 1990, John Leonard, review of Two States—One Nation? and overview of Grass's work, pp. 810-816; November 16, 1992, Irmgard Elsner Hunt, review of The Call of the Toad, pp. 580-584; July 3, 2000, Pierre Bourdieu, interview with Grass, p. 25; March 31, 2003, Hugh Eakin, review of Crabwalk, p. 31.
National Interest, summer, 2000, Jacob Heilbrunn, "Germany's Illiberal Fictions," p. 88.
National Review, October 25, 1999, David Pryce-Jones, "The Failure of Günter Grass: Another Nobel Bomb," p. 30; December 6, 1999, James Gardner, review of My Century, p. 67.
New Leader, December 4, 1978, Richard Howard, review of The Flounder; December 13, 1999, Rosellen Brown, review of My Century, p. 29; March-April, 2003, Benjamin Taylor, review of Crabwalk, pp. 24-25.
New Republic, April 14, 1982, Joel Agee, review of Headbirths, pp. 30-32; August 12, 1985, Timothy Garton Ash, review of On Writing and Politics, pp. 31-33; July 13, 1987, Jasoslav Anders, review of The Rat, pp. 29-32; January 31, 2000, Ian Buruma, review of My Century, p. 31; August 11, 2003, Ruth Franklin, review of Crabwalk, p. 30.
New Statesman, June 26, 1981, Salman Rushdie, review of The Meeting at Telgte, p. 21; April 23, 1982, Mike Poole, review of Headbirths, p. 27; September 20, 1985, Jon Cook, review of On Writing and Politics, p. 27; June 26, 1987, Michelene Wandor, review of The Rat, p. 26; March 19, 1999, Lavinia Greenlaw, review of Selected Poems: 1956-1993, pp. 48-49; December 4, 2000, William Cook, review of Too Far Afield, p. 55; April 7, 2003, Sarah Schaeffer, review of Crabwalk, p. 54.
New Statesman & Society, June 22, 1990, Aafke Steenhuis, interview with Grass, pp. 35-38; October 9, 1992, Martin Chalmers, review of The Call of the Toad, p. 37.
Newsweek International, March 11, 2002, Andrew Nagorski and Stefan Theil, review of Crabwalk, p. 51.
New York, November 16, 1992, Rhoda Koenig, review of The Call of the Toad, p. 78; September 4, 2006, John Leonard, "Grass Roots: Günter Grass's Revelation of His Membership in the Waffen SS Shows Him as a Flawed Man, but the Truths of His Novels Are as Pure as Ever," p. 34.
New Yorker, November 27, 1978, John Updike, review of The Flounder; August 3, 1981, John Updike, review of The Meeting at Telgte, pp. 90-93; June 14, 1982, John Updike, review of Headbirths, pp. 129-131; February 6, 1984, review of Günter Grass: Drawings and Words, 1954-1977, pp. 128-129; October 19, 1992, Ian Buruma, "Günter's Ghosts: Postcard from Berlin," pp. 45-46; April 21, 2003, John Updike, review of Crabwalk, p. 185.
New York Review of Books, November 23, 1978, Nigel Dennis, review of The Flounder; June 11, 1981, Stephen Spender, review of The Meeting at Telgte, pp. 35-38; March 18, 1982, D.J. Enright, review of Headbirths, p. 46; July 5, 1987; September 24, 1987, D.J. Enright, review of The Rat, pp. 45-46; November 19, 1992, Gabriel Annan, review of The Call of the Toad, p. 19; November 30, 2000, Gabriele Annan, review of Too Far Afield, pp. 39-41.
New York Times, November 9, 1978, Morris Dickstein, review of The Flounder; January 26, 1980, John Vincour, "In Any Language, Grass Chooses His Words with Care," p. 2; April 6, 1980, John Vincour, review of The Tin Drum, p. D1; April 11, 1980, Vincent Canby, review of The Tin Drum, p. C6; April 30, 1981, John Leonard, review of The Meeting at Telgte, pp. 19, C21; February 26, 1982, Christopher Lehmann-Haupt, review of Headbirths, pp. 21, C22; March 6, 1983, John Russell, "Günter Grass as a Printmaker, Poet, Storyteller, and Fabulist," p. H29; March 8, 1983, Herbert Mitgang, "Author Activism a Topic at German Book Fair," pp. 19, C11; April 18, 1983, "Seven Authors Assail U.S. over Nicaragua Policy," p. 7; June 17, 1985, Christopher Lehmann-Haupt, review of On Writing and Politics, pp. 17, C17; January 15, 1986, Edwin McDowell, "Grass Challenges Bellow on U.S. at PEN Meeting," pp. 19, C15; January 19, 1986, "Eavesdropping at a Writers' Conference," p. E6; February 5, 1986, James M. Markham, "The Cold War of Letters Raging in Günter Grass," pp. 19, C21; June 2, 1986, Walter Goodman, review of Flood, pp. 21, C14; June 29, 1987, Christopher Lehmann-Haupt, review of The Rat, pp. 19, C18; October 3, 1990, Herbert Mitgang, review of Two States—One Nation?, pp. B2, C17; February 19, 1991, "Günter Grass Wants Kohl Out," p. A4; November 18, 1992, Herbert Mitgang, review of The Call of the Toad, pp. B2, C25; December 29, 1992, Esther B. Fein, "Günter Grass Finds Politics Inescapable," pp. B1, C11; October 1, 1999, Roger Cohen, "Günter Grass Gets Nobel Prize in Literature," p. A13; October 3, 1999, Roger Cohen, "A Nobel for Günter Grass," p. WK2, and James Atlas, "Polemical Prize," p. WK17; January 5, 2000, Richard Bernstein, review of My Century, pp. B10, E10; December 14, 2000, Alan Riding, review of Too Far Afield, pp. B1, E1; January 26, 2001, Ken Johnson, review of "Too Far Afield: Graphics, 1970-2000," pp. B35, E37; April 8, 2003, Alan Riding, interview with Grass, p. E1; April 24, 2003, Richard Eder, review of Crabwalk, p. E8; August 12, 2006, "Nobel-Winning Author Reveals He Worked for Hitler," p. 8; August 17, 2006, "Nobelist Is Bedeviled by SS Past," p. 1; November 11, 2006, "Arts, Briefly," p. 8.
New York Times Book Review, May 17, 1981, Theodore Ziokowski, review of The Meeting at Telgate, pp. 7-8; March 14, 1982, review of Headbirths, pp. 11-13; May 16, 1982, review of The Meeting at Telgte, p. 39; December 5, 1982, review of Headbirths, p. 40; June 23, 1985, James Markham, review of On Writing and Politics, p. 17; July 5, 1987, Janette Turner Hospital, review of The Rat, p. 6; May 21, 1989, review of Show Your Tongue, p. 12; September 30, 1990, Ralf Dahrendorf, review of Two States—One Nation?, p. 9; November 1, 1992, John Bayley, review of The Call of the Toad, p. 1; October 22, 1995, Stephen Kinzer, "Günter Grass: Germany's Last Heretic," p. 47; December 19, 1999, Peter Gay, review of My Century, p. 9; November 5, 2000, James J. Sheehan, review of Too Far Afield, p. 20; January 6, 2002, Scott Veale, review of Too Far Afield, p. 20; April 27, 2003, Jeremy Adler, review of Crabwalk, p. 12; May 4, 2003, review of Crabwalk, p. 26; July 8, 2007, "Black Star," p. 1.
New York Times Magazine, April 29, 1984, John Vincour, "Europe's Intellectuals and American Power," pp. 60-69.
Observer (London, England), October 14, 1990, J.P. Stern, review of Two States—One Nation?, p. 64.
Philadelphia Inquirer, August 23, 2006, "Nazi Past Will Likely Tarnish Günter Grass."
PR Newswire, December 8, 1999, "Gale Group Has the Scoop on Günter Grass," p. 7223.
Publishers Weekly, January 22, 1982, Barbara A. Bannon, review of Headbirths, p. 60; March 27, 1982, review of The Meeting at Telgte, pp. 42-43; May 3, 1985, review of On Writing and Politics, p. 59; May 22, 1987, Sybil Steinberg, review of The Rat, p. 64; April 21, 1989, Penny Kaganoff, review of Show Your Tongue, pp. 85-86; June 16, 1989, Sybil Steinberg, interview with Grass, pp. 54-55; September 7, 1990, Genevieve Stuttaford, review of Two States—One Nation?, p. 70; August 10, 1992, review of The Call of the Toad, p. 50; October 4, 1999, "Germany's Grass Wins 1999 Nobel," p. 10; November 15, 1999, review of My Century, p. 57; November 6, 2000, review of Too Far Afield, p. 72; March 3, 2003, review of Crabwalk, p. 51; January 24, 2005, "Grass Bangs ‘Tim Drum’ for Writers' Rights," p. 29; May 7, 2007, review of Peeling the Onion, p. 5.
Quadrant, January 1, 2004, "Air War, Literature and Compassion," p. 80.
Review of Contemporary Fiction, spring, 2001, Richard J. Murphy, review of Too Far Afield, p. 192.
Saturday Review, May, 1981, Donald Newlove, review of The Meeting at Telgte, p. 71; March, 1982, John Irving, review of Headbirths, pp. 57-60.
Spectator, January 27, 1996, Christian Caryl, review of Ein Weites Feld, p. 28; October 17, 1992, Michael Hulse, review of The Call of the Toad, p. 6; October 9, 1999, Stephen Schwartz, "Ignoble Nobel," p. 18; January 1, 2000, Robert Macfarlane, review of My Century, pp. 26-27; March 29, 2003, Andrew Gimson, review of Crabwalk, pp. 49-50.
Statesman (India), January 28, 2001, review of Show Your Tongue and profile of Grass.
Time, January 4, 1963, review of The Tin Drum; May 18, 1981, Paul Gray, review of The Meeting at Telgte, p. 87; July 20, 1987, Paul Gray, review of The Rat, p. 73; October 11, 1999, "Milestones," p. 31; April 28, 2003, Michael Elliott, review of Crabwalk, p. 70.
Times (London, England), June 21, 1995, Robert Boyes, "Is the Writer a Traitor?," p. 37.
Times Educational Supplement, December 4, 1992, Brian Morton, review of The Call of the Toad, p. S10.
Times Literary Supplement, June 15, 1990, Peter Graves, review of Deutscher Lastenausgleich: Wider das dumpfe Einheitsgebot; Reden und Gespräche, Texte zur Zeit p. 631; June 19, 1992, "High Priests or Nut-Cases?," p. 14; October 9, 1992, Philip Brady, review of Call of the Toad and Vier Jahrzehnte: Ein Werkstattbericht, p. 24; October 13, 1995, Anne McElvoy, review of Ein Weites Feld, p. 26; August 20, 1999, Chris Greenhalgh, review of Selected Poems: 1956-1993, p. 21; December 24, 1999, Hugh MacPherson, review of My Century, p. 20; December 8, 2000, Hugh MacPherson, review of Too Far Afield, p. 22; April 4, 2003, Jonathan Fasman, review of Crabwalk, p. 22.
Tribune Books (Chicago, IL), May 21, 1989, Eugene Kennedy, review of The Rat.
Virginia Quarterly Review, winter, 1988, review of The Rat, p. 20.
Washington Post, February 15, 1993, David Streitfeld, review of The Call of the Toad, p. C1; September 26, 1995, Rick Atkinson, "Roar of the Literary Lion: His Book Mauled, Günter Grass Goes on the Attack," p. E1; October 1, 1999, Marc Fisher and Linton Weeks, "Günter Grass Wins Nobel for Literature," p. A01; December 17, 2000, Dennis Drabelle, review of Too Far Afield, p. T14.
Washington Post Book World, August 11, 1985, review of On Writing and Politics, p. 9; July 12, 1987, Richard Locke, review of The Rat, p. 5; November 8, 1992, Donna Rikfind, review of Call of the Toad, p. 6.
Weekly Standard, September 25, 2006, "Don't Be Stupid, Be a Smarty; Come and Join the Nazi Party"; November 7, 2006, "The German Stain; the Self-destruction of Günter Grass."
World Literature Today, summer, 1989, Ulf Zimmermann, review of Zunge Zeigen, p. 477; spring, 1991, Patricia Pollock Brodsky, review of Totes Holz, pp. 299-300; autumn, 1991, Wes Blomster, review of Ein Schnäppchen namens DDR: Letzte Reden vorm Glockengeläut, pp. 703-704; spring, 1993, Patricia Pollock Brodsky, review of Unkenrufe, p. 366; summer, 1994, Irmgard Elsner Hunt, review of Novemberland: 13 Sonette and Rede vom Verlust: Uber den Niedergang der politischen Kultur im geeinten Deutschland, pp. 559-560; summer, 1995, Irmgard Elsner Hunt, review of In Kupfer, auf ein Stein: Das Grafische Werk, pp. 578-579; spring, 1996, Christian Grawe, review of Ein Weites Feld, pp. 387-388; winter, 2000, Theodore Ziolkowski, "Günter Grass's Century," p. 19; April-June, 2003, Irmgard Hunt, review of Im Krebsgang, pp. 128-129.
Nobel Prize Internet Archive,http://nobelprizes.com/ (October 1, 1999).