In a great literary experiment, Nobel Prize winner Günter Grass writes in the voices of his eight children as they record memories of their childhoods, of growing up, and of their father, who was always at work on a new book, always at the margins of their lives. Memories contradictory, critical, loving, accusatory--they piece together an intimate picture of this most public of men, a shadowy but loving figure. There is one constant though: Marie, a family friend and photographer whose snapshots taken with an old-fashioned Agfa box camera provide the author with inspiration for his novels. But her images offer much more; they reveal a truth beyond the ordinary detail of life, depict the future, tell what might have been, and grant the wishes, in visual form, of those photographed. Marie's camera thus becomes a way for Grass to speak in the voices of his children's hidden selves--their dreams, their disappointments, their secret desires and fears--and to see his own life from unexpected perspectives.
The second chapter of Gunter Grass's autobiography, THE BOX, details the arc of the pantheon German author's ascendance as a novelist and political writer, and his distance from his eight children. Grass won the Nobel Prize in Literature as the spearhead of a movement known as Vergangenheitsbewältigung, or writers "coming to terms with the past" in the aftermath of Nazism and World War II. But when Grass revealed he had as a teenager joined the Waffen-SS, ******'s special commandos, in his 2006 memoir PEELING THE ONION, Grass inspired a public outcry against his own private history. This self-scrutiny continues in THE BOX, without such controversial material but the same unsparing personal inquiry into his life and the lives of his family, including his own disappointments and failures. The narrative bends around a case-like camera belonging to his photographer friend, a tool that records history and connects the absent father to his offspring.
- Fiction + Literature Genres, Fiction + Literature Themes
- Literary, Human Qualities + Behavior, Family + Friendship, Arts + Entertainment, Types of Characters
- November 10, 2010
- November 10, 2010
- Gunter Grass
- Stefan Rudnicki (Narrator)