Books 2010

Books 2009

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Wednesday, 08 April 2009


I too read "The Tin Drum" many years ago. Gunther Grass is certainly the person who best epitomizes the whole C20th German history!
As you may know, he disclosed lately that he voluntarily enrolled in the Waffen SS when he was young - and made the headlines in his country and worldwide as a result. This news doesn't lessen his literary talent of course, but it still makes me very, very, uncomfortable and not very keen on reading more of his books.
One can also think that he was quite courageous to disclose himself the news when he is still alive, instead of leaving it to historians to discover in the future, but still, I just can't cope with that.

On a less serious tone, I wish you, and Dark Puss, and everybody else a nice Easter week end, possibly with a warm and sunny weather...

I too had an enthusiasm for Grass in my late teens (my father was a great fan of his) and read with great pleasure The Tin Drum. I haven't read The Flounder, but if I can make the time it will be one I'll look out for soon. I don't suppose we could get the CBG to adopt "Dog Years" as one of its summer books do you?

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  • Nothing is of greater consolation to the author of a novel than the disovery of readings he had not conceived but which are then prompted by his readers. (Umberto Eco, Reflections on The Name of the Rose)
  • ... relatively few persons in London ... can afford the luxury of one or more servants. No fewer than 3,700,000 have no servants at all, and of the half million that have servants 227,000 have only one. (The Times, 6 June 1895)
  • Standing among savage scenery, the hotel offers stupendous revelations. There is a French widow in every bedroom, affording delightful prospects. (Tyrolean inn brochure, according to Gerard Hoffnung)
  • (A doctor is at an elderly relative's deathbed) "The old sawbones, eh?" he bellowed ... "Just in the nick, perhaps. Haul the old girl back by the short hairs, if you ask me. Devilish smart at his work ... Always take a fence with more confidence when I know he's out with us."
  • Too often, when a man of Monty Godkin's mental powers is plunged in thought, nothing happens at all. The machinery just whirs for a while, and that is the end of it. (P G Wodehouse, Heavy Weather)
  • ...the breed that take their pleasures as Saint Laurence took his grid (Kipling, The Five nations)

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