Past Meetup

The Tin Drum by Günter Grass

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The Tin Drum (German: Die Blechtrommel) is a novel by Günter Grass published in 1959. The first book of Grass' Danziger Trilogie (Danzig Trilogy); it was adapted into a film of the same name. The story revolves around the life of Oskar Matzerath, as narrated by himself when confined in a mental hospital during the years 1952–1954. He is born with an adult's capacity for thought and perception and lives through the beginning of World War II, several love affairs, and the world of postwar Europe. Oskar holds conversations with both Jesus and Satan throughout the book. His gang members call him "Jesus", then he refers to himself and his penis as "Satan" later in the book.

Initial reaction to The Tin Drum was mixed. It was called blasphemous and pornographic by some, and legal action was taken against it and Grass. However, by 1965 sentiment had cemented into public acceptance, and it soon became recognized as a classic of post-World War II literature, both in Germany and around the world.

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