Peeling the Onion

Talking to Cluadia about Grass and Germany and how, at fourteen, fifteen, how those images would surely prove irresistible.

The simple resistance he speaks of in Peeling the Onion (a) , “we don’t do that” is surely a special kind of heroism, the kind to be found in (rare) leaders, not mere nobel prize winners.

Despite this I know that, not speaking German, the exact texture of Gunther Grass’s prose eludes me. That vague adolescent memories of Local Aneasthetic eclipse later bloaters. That Hitchens comment about patrolling taboos, stings.

Monday 9 - Friday 13 July 2007

The autobiography of the early life of Nobel Prize-winning German author Gunter Grass, which caused a scandal when it was published in Germany last year.

Translated by Michael Henry Heim, read by Kenneth Cranham.

An extraodinary reading of an extraodinary book, Grass struggles with his memory, his complicity, German 20th century history. The siren songs of youth remembered, now, in old age, >>on Radio 4

(a) not his own, his own comes now only in the failure of admission

John Irving on Gunther Grass, NY Times 2007
and Hitchens dissaproves, Slate 2006