George Town Tasmania
3 times in 3 posts
THE MEMORY OF GUNTER GRASS---AND MINE
Gunter Grass(1927-), won the noble prize for literature in 1999, the year I retired from FT employment as a teacher. I took a sea-change that year to Tasmania at the age of 55 and in the last dozen years have been writing FT. Grass is and was a German author and poet, playwright and sculptor. In the last several years he has published two volumes of his autobiography. My interest in Grass is due to my own interest in autobiography, a work which I have also been writing for nearly 30 years utilizing several genres of writing.
Grass calls part of his autobiography Peeling the Onion since it is a meditation on memory. Memory he says is like an onion. Germany’s greatest man of letters in the last half century wanted to empty himself out in the evening of his life by means of his writing. He played with his memory, he said, as he wrote. His memory tended to play hide and seek with him. He had to watch that it did not crawl away with his life.-Ron Price with thanks to Tim Gardam, “Confessions of a Super Grass,” The Observer, 24 June 2007.
You came to fame in the years
1959 to 1963 with your trilogy1
on the rise of Nazism and your
war experience. I did not know
anything about you back then,
having just become a member
of the Baha’i Faith, finished my
high school education & started
university in that steel-city by a
lake in the Golden Horseshoe.2
I read what I had to just to survive
and get through nine matriculation
subjects and the first courses of an
arts degree with more books than
I could cope with and that incipient
bipolarism nearly shipwrecking my
emotional and intellectual life-story.
I had no time for your work, Gunter,
even if I had known that you existed.
1 Grass wrote The Tin Drum published in 1959, followed in 1961 by the novella Cat and Mouse, and in 1963 by the novel Dog Years. Together the three works are known as The Danzig Trilogy.
2 The steel-city is Hamilton Ontario; the lake is Lake Ontario; the Golden Horseshoe is the densely populated and industrialized region centred around the Greater Toronto-and-Hamilton Area at the western end of Lake Ontario in Southern Ontario.
23 December 2011
married for 45 years, a teacher for 35; a writer and editor for 13, as well as a Baha'i for 53(in 2012)