Gunter Grass

Gunter Grass nsIn literature, Gunter Grass (1927-2015) is a German author noted for his 1959 elective affinities philosophy based novel The Tin Drum.

In 1959, Grass published his The Tin Drum, wherein the central character Oskar uses two books for guidance, one: Goethe’s 1809 novella Elective Affinities and two: a book on Rasputin. [1] Irish-born Canadian literature thermodynamics analyzer Patrick O’Neill summarizes the Oskar character and his self-educated philosophy as follows: [2]

“After rejecting the public school system Oskar undertakes his own education by close reading of two books whose pages, for simplicity's sake, he has torn out and shuffled to make a single new volume, Goethe's Elective Affinities and a volume promisingly entitled Rasputin and Women.”

This seems to be a well-honed depiction of a Goethean philosopher, in the strict chemical philosophy sense of the matter, which no doubt is found in a partial representation of Grass and his hue of philosophy.

Grass was the 1999 winner of the Nobel Prize in Literature, for his body of over 20 works, written over a period of 40 years.

In 2006, American German-literature scholar John McCarthy (1942-) (CR:4), in his Remapping Reality: Chaos and Creativity in Science and Literature (Goethe – Nietzsche – Grass), seems to give a ripe analysis of the Grass in respect to The Tin Drum, e.g. how Grass once remarked that "in everyone of my novels there lies a philosophical concept", about which McCarthy argues here is a synthesis of Nietzsche's "will to power" + Goethe's "elective affinities" + Rasputin's "faith healer/magic" concepts; an abstract of which is as follows: [3]

Grass (on Goethe and Nietzsche)
(add discussion)

1. (a) Grass, Gunter. (1959). The Tin Drum (Elective Affinities, pgs. 78, 81, 261, 304, 579). Luchterhand.
(b) Grass, Gunter. (2009). The Tin Drum (“elective affinities by Goethe”, pg. 78; Goethe, 19+ pages). Houghton Mifflin Harcourt.
2. O’Neill, Patrick. (1990). The Comedy of Entropy: Humour, Narrative, Reading (Elective Affinities, pg. 179). University of Toronto Press.
3. (a) McCarthy, John A. (2006). Remapping Reality: Chaos and Creativity in Science and Literature (Goethe – Nietzsche – Grass) (pg. 269-70). Rodopi.
(b) John McCarthy (faculty) – Vanderbilt University.
(c) McCarthy, John A. (John Aloysius) (1942-) – WorldCat Identities.

External links
Gunter Grass – Wikipedia.
The Tin Drum – Wikipedia.

TDics icon ns

More pages