Günter Grass ist tot

German novelist, Nobel Prize for Literature winner, author of one of the most stirring and challenging books of the 20th century – Günter Grass is dead.

Cover of The Tin Drum Cover of Peeling the onion Cover of From Germany to Germany Cover of Cat and Mouse

I read the The Tin Drum when I was a teenager, after being hooked on the movie (starring the odd and shouty Oskar who can break glass with his voice). We rewatched it earlier this year, and got excited all over again. This article is a brilliant read: The Tin Drum summarised the 20th century in three words – it was written on the 50th anniversary of the novel’s publication.

Barbaric, mystical, bored: here is the last century in summation. A schizophrenic, self-mutilating era in which man flew higher than was dreamed possible and plumbed depths unimaginable; slaughter beyond measure coupled with advances beyond comprehension; collective insanity and individual rationality; atavistic passions and detached irony; terror and humour.

Read him if you haven’t – his writing is utterly original.

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