Monday, January 28, 2013
Günter Wilhelm Grass (born 16 October 1927) is a German novelist, poet, playwright, illustrator, graphic artist, sculptor and recipient of the 1999 Nobel Prize in Literature. He is widely regarded as
famous living writer.
Grass was born in the Free City of Danzig (now
In 1945, he came to Gdańsk, Poland West Germany
as a homeless refugee, though in his fiction he frequently returns to the Danzig of his childhood.
Grass is best known for his first novel, The Tin Drum (1959), a key text in European magic realism, and the first part of his Danzig Trilogy, which also includes Cat and Mouse and Dog Years. His works are frequently considered to have a left-wing political dimension and Grass has been an active supporter of the Social Democratic Party of Germany (SPD).
The Tin Drum was adapted into a film, which won both the 1979 Palme d'Or and the Academy Award for Best Foreign Language Film. The
upon awarding him the Nobel Prize in Literature, noted him as a writer
"whose frolicsome black fables portray the forgotten face of
history". Swedish Academy
On 4 April 2012, Grass's poem "What Must Be Said" ("Was gesagt werden muss") was published in several European newspapers. In the poem, Grass expresses his concern about the hypocrisy of German military support (the delivery of a submarine) for an
Israel that might use such equipment to launch
nuclear warheads against Iran,
which "could wipe out the Iranian people" (das...iranische Volk
auslöschen könnte). And he hoped that many will demand "that the
governments of both Iran and
allow an international authority free and open inspection of the nuclear
potential and capability of both." In response, Israel
declared him persona non grata in Israel.
On 26 April 2012, he wrote a poem criticizing European policy for the treatment of
in the European sovereign-debt crisis. In the poem, called "Europe's
Disgrace", Grass accuses Europe of condemning Greece
into poverty, a country "whose mind conceived, Europe."