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By Siegfried Mews

While the Swedish Academy introduced that Günter Grass were presented the 1999 Nobel Prize for Literature, it singled out his first novel 'The Tin Drum' (1959, English translation 1963) as a seminal paintings that had signaled the postwar rebirth of German letters, auguring 'new starting after many years of linguistic and ethical destruction.' approximately fifty years after its book, the novel's value has been in general said: it's the uncontested favourite between Grass's works of fiction at the a part of analyzing public and critics alike, but its canonical prestige has a tendency to vague the decidedly combined or even opposed reactions it in the beginning elicited. besides 'The Tin Drum' Grass's notable physique of literary paintings because the Fifties has spawned a cottage of Grass feedback, creating a trustworthy consultant throughout the thicket of occasionally contradictory readings a distinct desideratum. Siegfried Mews fills this lacuna in Grass scholarship when it comes to an in depth yet succinct, descriptive in addition to analytical and evaluative assessment of the scholarship from 1959 to 2005. Grass's politically stimulated interventions in public discourse have saved him hugely seen, blurring the bounds among politics and aesthetics. Mews as a result examines not just educational feedback but in addition the day-by-day and weekly press (and different information media), delivering extra perception into the reception of Grass's works.

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Extra resources for Günter Grass and His Critics: From The Tin Drum to Crabwalk (Studies in German Literature Linguistics and Culture: Literary Criticism in Perspective)

Sample text

Surprisingly, Dimler surmises that Oskar overcomes his alienation and is united with Jesus at the scene of his arrest in Paris simply because he introduces himself to the detectives as Jesus in three languages (TD, 587). The genre studies continued into the 1980s. Jürgen Jacobs (1983) opines that Grass’s work is the most important example of the resurgence of the picaresque novel in postwar German literature and rejects attempts to classify it as either a Bildungsroman, a Künstlerroman, or a novel that shows the development of an artistically inclined individual who struggles to prevail against his bourgeois environment.

1971, 15) briefly points out, Grass delves deeply into the changeful history of Danzig before depicting the arrival of the Poles with “bag and baggage” (TD, 398); without doubt, such depiction is intended to enable 42 ♦ DIE BLECHTROMMEL / THE TIN DRUM the reader to perceive the expulsion as yet another chapter in a long chain of wars and destruction. Not until the 1990s is the controversial topic of expulsion, which Grass was to address more comprehensively decades later in the novella Im Krebsgang (2002; Crabwalk 2003), tackled by Herman Beyersdorf (1992) in relation to Die Blechtrommel.

Blomster (1969c) offers an intriguing glance at Oskar’s artistic preferences. While critics usually praise Grass’s attention to detail and historical accuracy, Blomster provides a corrective comment on an episode in the chapter “The Stockturm: Long-Distance Song Effects” (book 1), and, in a somewhat positivistic manner, faults Grass for not adhering to the actual date of the production of Richard Wagner’s Der fliegende Holländer (1843; The Flying Dutchman, 1982) in 1939 as well as for taking considerable liberties with its libretto on occasion of the Matzeraths’ and Jan Bronski’s visit to the Opera-in-the-Woods at Zoppot, the “Bayreuth of the North,” in the vicinity of Danzig.

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