Wednesday, November 28, 2007

Gunter Grass, The Tin Drum

What is noble in Gunter Grass is that his creation, The Tin Drum, has done more than anything else ever done by anyone else to advance peace and the creation of a freer and progressive Germany.

Also, it is hard to imagine magic realism without Grass’s prototype: Oskar Matzerath, the boy who willed himself to stop growing.

The influence that Grass had on Rushdie, Borges, Garcia Marquez, Calvino, Vonnegut, and other literary novelists is undeniable. But what makes The Tin Drum a book for all the ages to come is the sheer depiction of the terror that pernicious ideologies can acid-rain on humankind--pernicious ideologies, be they political, economic, social, or religious: to wit: radical Jihadist Islamists, Christian Evangelicals, Neo-Conservatives, Supply-side fundamentalists, or war mongers such as Norman Podhoretz.

Take a second and compare just one page--yes one page alone--of the Tin Drum to all the warmongering books written by Podhoretz, and ask yourself: which is more noble?

While Garcia Marquez tricks us with transcendental magic (Remedios the Beauty levitating to the heavens), or Borges with the Aleph, or Rushdie with his implausible children, Gunter Grass convinces that the other dimension is within us in full benign splendor as well as in evil darkness.

Apart from its contribution as an anti-novel with a quirky anti-hero, Grass managed to make clear that the arts (works of the imagination, but music in particular) will not only counterbalance power but also disrupt it, outweigh it, and ultimately outlast it; a legacy that is soothing to the soul.

If critics and warmongers want to shout out Gunter Grass's voice, they should begin by asking themselves: have I lived a noble life? Is my work good or evil?

The writing techniques I employ in this article are all explained in Mary Duffy's writing manual:

Augustine, City of God
Austen J, Pride and Prejudice
Austen J, "Marriage Proposals and Me"
Austen J, Emma
Borges, The Aleph
C. Bronte, Jane Eyre
Burroughs E,Tarzan
Cervantes, Don Quijote
Chaucer, Wife of Bath
Coelho P,The Alchemist
Coyle H, They Are Soldiers
Dante, New Life
Dickens C, David Copperfield
Dostoevsky, Crime&Punishment
ConanDoyle,Hound of Baskervilles
Dubner S, Superfreakonomics

DuMaurier D, Rebecca
Ellis B. E. American Psycho
Fitzgerald S, Great Gatsby
Flaubert G, Madame Bovary
Fleming I,Doctor No
Freud S, Leonardo Da Vinci
Friedan B, Feminine Mystique
GarciaMarquez, Of Love & OtherDemons
Guerrero M,ThePoison Pill

Grass G, The Tin Drum
Harris T, Hannibal Rising
Heidegger M,House of Being
Ishiguro K, Remains of The Day
Johnson S,Rasselas
Kosinski J, The Painted Bird
Lee H,To Kill a Mockingbird
McBain Ed,Gutter and Grave
Murakami H,Wind-Up Bird Chronicle
Nabokov V, Lolita
Meyer, S, Twilight
Ortega,Dehumanization of Art
Poe E A, Gordon Pym
Prose F, Reading Like a Writer
Rushdie S,Midnight Children
Sabatini R, Scaramouche
Spark M, Prime of Miss Brodie

Stendhal, Red and Black
Sterne L,Tristram Shandy
Stevenson R, Dr.Jekyll & Mr.Hyde
Stoker B, Dracula
Thackeray W,History of Pendennis
Tolstoy L, Anna Karenina
Trollope A, Autobiography
Unamuno M, Tragic Sense of Life
Voltaire, Candide
Webb J, Fields of Fire
Wharton E, The House of Mirth
Woolf V, To The Lighhouse

The secrets of 'no-doze' prose:
Mary Duffy's Sentence Openers

Lindsey Vonn after winning the Downhill World ...
Image via Wikipedia

Lindsey Vonn

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