Arnon Grunberg



A little bit more than two years ago I interviewed Günter Grass in Hamburg. (See here.)

I remember that Grass told me – this was about a meeting with the poet Paul Celan – that he hated it to reduce his war experience to anecdotes.

This is the consequence of conversations and interviews, I guess, if there are too many of them all valuable experiences will be inevitably reduced to anecdotes.

Der Spiegel on Grass:

‘When "The Tin Drum" was published in 1959, it sent shockwaves through post-war West Germany's literary landscape, which was still sedate despite the best efforts of writers such as Arno Schmidt and Wolfgang Koeppen. Hundreds of thousands of copies sold not just in Germany but across Europe and the foreign rights were even bought in the US, where it was published with an initial print run of 100,000. Only communist East Germany refused the bait, dismissing the novel as "pubescent prose" and an example of "reactionary, decadent literature." The novel was only first published in the German Democratic Republic in 1987.’

Read the article here.

The GDR has gone, but revolutionaries and some idealists still use those words (pubescent, reactionary) in an attempt to silence their enemies.

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