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On Modiano

The Scotsman has a review of the latest of Modiano’s books to arrive in English, Suspended Sentences. It’s a good review, although this seems a bit harsh to me. Should Modiano have won the Nobel against Gunter Grass, Thomas Pynchon, Marilynne Robinson, or A S Byatt? That is a question for the Stockholm unelected decideders to decide. Show More Summary

Günter Grass Might Not Write Another Novel

Nobel Prize winner Günter Grass might be taking cues from Philip Roth and Alice Munro, as the 86-year-old German author

Günter Grass packs it in ?

Another day, another old geezer Nobel laureate calls it quits -- at least as far as the long-form (novels) go ? Yes, this week it's octogenarian Günter Grass who gives the Passauer Neue Presse the scoop (who hide it behind a paywall...); Der Spiegel has the German summary, while... Show More Summary

Prize: Albatros Literaturpreis

The biennial Internationaler Literaturpreis Albatros -- awarded by the Günter Grass Stiftung Bremen -- has announced its 2014 winners (yes, they'll only get to pick up the prize in April); not at the official site, last I checked, but...Show More Summary

Günter Grass: Facebook Is S

"Someone who has 500 friends, has no friends." An interview with the Nobel Prize winning author Günter Grass on why he dislikes Facebook, computers and the internet. Writer Günter Grass on why he prefers remaining off line, working the old-fashioned way: "Literature for example -- you can't speed it up, when you work with it. Show More Summary

DVD: HomeVideo Review: The Tin Drum 

Günter Grass’ The Tin Drum was published in 1959, and for the following two decades it hovered near the top of any sane person’s list of unadaptable novels. Its protagonist, Oskar Matzerath, deliberately stops growing at the age of 3,...Show More Summary

Pete Danko: Berlin Book of Lists Excerpt: Top Five Novels Set in Berlin to Read While You're in Town

"The dry Berlin wit sparing no one," writes Gunter Grass in The Tin Drum, and count that as a pop quiz: If you know, you know. If you've been on the other end of that dry Berlin wit sparing no one, you won't forget it.

Re ‘Nobel Laureate Steyn . . .’

Now that Mark has won the Nobel Peace Prize, given his connection to the EU, what about the literature prize? Here’s my pitch: Funnier than Dario Fo; more honest than Günter Grass; more coherent than Harold Pinter; as musical as Seamus...Show More Summary

From Germany to Germany reviews

The most recent addition to the complete review is my review of Günter Grass' Diary 1990, From Germany to Germany, now available in English.

Grass attacks ‘unchecked nuclear power’ Israel

Nobel prize-winning German author Gunter Grass on Sunday launched another broadside at Israel, saying it was “an unchecked nuclear power” and an “occupying force.” Speaking on German radio station NDR, the author, already declared persona non grata in Israel over a poem saying it threatened world peace, said: “Israel is an unchecked nuclear power.” “Several [...]

Michael Henry Heim, UCLA scholar and translator, dies at 69

Michael Henry Heim, a well regarded scholar of Slavic languages at UCLA known for his translations of works by Gunter Grass, Milan Kundera, Thomas Mann and Anton Chekhov, has died. He was 69. Heim died Saturday at his home in...

Gunter Grass Offends Israel via Verse Again

From The Globe and Mail: Nobel prize-winning German author Gunter Grass, declared persona non-grata by Israel over a poem saying it threatened world peace, has published another work critical of the Jewish state. In one of a collection of 87 new pieces, Mr. Grass hails whistle-blower Mordechai Vanunu, who served 18 years in jail for [...]

Günter Grass goes after Israel again

Günter Grass has waded into foreign policy once more. Having attacked Israel earlier this year in a poem ("What Must Be Said") that unambiguously branded the Jewish state an aggressor willing to use nuclear weapons against Iran, Grass renews that criticism in a new poem called "A Hero in Our...

The Grass snake is on the loose again

Make no mistake: Gunter Grass is one of the of the most important novelists of the 20th centruy, one who did more than any other to normalise the German self-image after the Second World War and to make German literature respectable once more on the world page. But we’re in the 21st century now and [...]

Q and A with Günter Grass biographer

At Deutsche Welle Jochen Kürten has a Q & A with Günter Grass biographer and publisher Volker Neuhaus, What drives Günter Grass ? (a question surely better put to Grass himself). Still, lots of fun discussion of the recent Grass-poems......

Gunter Grass, the Waffen SS, and the dangers of reading history backwards

History is lived forwards but read backwards. We all know this, but often find it easy or convenient to forget. Criticism of Gunter Grass’s poem about Israel makes the point. There were good reasons to criticise the poem’s argument – that Israel as a nuclear power is the chief danger to peace in the Middle [...]

Why Germany is Going to Republish Hitler's Mein Kampf

Jacob Heilbrunn It was widely noted during the contretemps over the novelist Gunter Grass' recent effusions about Israel being a threat to world peace that a divide emerged in Germany. On the one side were the intellectual and political elites who condemned his comments. Show More Summary

The green green Grass of Tony Lerman

As part of a more general discussion about what he perceives to be a tendency in some quarters to inflate the current danger of anti-Semitism, Antony Lerman raises the question whether or not Günter Grass's recent poem, 'What must b...

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