Günter Grass and His Critics

Günter Grass and His Critics

From The Tin Drum to Crabwalk

Siegfried Mews

A comprehensive narrative overview and analysis of the criticism of the controversial German author's works.
When the Swedish Academy announced that Günter Grass had been awarded the 1999 Nobel Prize for Literature, it singled out his first novel The Tin Drum (1959, English translation 1963) as a seminal work that had signaled the postwar rebirth of German letters, auguring "a new beginning after decades of linguistic and moral destruction." Nearly fifty years after its publication, the novel's significance has been generally acknowledged: it is the uncontested favorite among Grass's works of fiction on the part of reading public and critics alike, yet its canonical status tends to obscure the decidedly mixed and even hostile reactions it initially elicited. Along with The Tin Drum, Grass's impressive body of literary work since the 1950s has spawned a cottage industry of Grass criticism, making a reliable guide through the thicket of sometimes contradictory readings a definite desideratum. Siegfried Mews fills this lacuna in Grass scholarship by way of a detailed but succinct, descriptive as well as analytical and evaluative overview of the scholarship from 1959 to 2005. Grass's politically motivated interventions in public discourse have kept him highly visible, blurring the boundaries between politics and aesthetics. Mews therefore examines not only academic criticism but also the daily and weekly press (and other news media), providing additional insight into the reception of Grass's works.

Siegfried Mews is Professor of German at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill.

An e-book version of this title is available (9781571137968), to libraries through a number of trusted suppliers. See here for a full list of our partners.

Table of Contents

Die Blechtrommel / The Tin Drum
Katz und Maus / Cat and Mouse
Hundejahre / Dog Years
Danziger Trilogie / The Danzig Trilogy
Örtlich betäubt / Local Anaesthetic
Aus dem Tagebuch einer Schnecke / From the Diary of a Snail
Der Butt / The Flounder
Das Treffen in Telgte / The Meeting at Telgte
Kopfgeburten oder Die Deutschen sterben aus / Headbirths or The Germans Are Dying Out
Die Rättin / The Rat
Zunge zeigen / Show Your Tongue
Unkenrufe / The Call of the Toad
Ein weites Feld / Too Far Afield
Mein Jahrhundert / My Century
Im Krebsgang / Crabwalk
Works Cited


Winner, CHOICE Outstanding Academic Title Award, 2008 An important contribution to the facilitation of further Grass research. Indispensable to those working in the field. Sets new methodological standards for tertiary literature on the reception of a modern writer's fictional oeuvre. ARBITRIUM

As a prolific author and also graphic artist and performer, Grass has earned both intense critical responses from the media, in Germany and abroad, and vast amounts of scholarship. Mews's first-rate, well-organized guide to and overview of this literature ... is nuanced, balanced, and sophisticated, making this a treasure trove of information. CHOICE

This volume will be an indispensable resource for anyone seeking quick and dependable orientation in the vast body of Grass scholarship. GERMAN STUDIES REVIEW

Mews's book more than achieves the goals it sets itself and provides a valuable work of reference for Grass scholarship. H-NET

[W]ill be an essential research tool for all future Grass critics, having something to teach to even his most experienced readers. MONATSHEFTE

Also in Series

Related Titles