Der Butt

Der ButtThis was a favorite book of mine in my 20 s I must have re read it 3 or 4 times and would like to revisit it I wonder if I would be as enad of the story now that I am 60 Deftig ribald This would be the one word review Grass is explicit in his extensive descriptions mostly of food, in parts sexuality or other body functions and sometimes violence The story Der Butt has three narrative dimensions 1 Today, the narrator and his wife Ilsebill who is of legendary fame due to an old fairy tale are receiving a child The book is divided into nine chapters, one for each month of the pregnancy.2 The second dimension consists of the narrator s multiple reincarnations through time, starting from neolithitic age The focus is on his relationships, nine in the past plus two parallel to his current life.3 The third dimension is the tribunal feminal against the flounder who is accused of helping the male case, hurting womanhood through all ages.Grass uses these dimensions to tell the history of the area around his home town Danzig through time, to criticize nowadays the 70 s society coined by the male dominance throughout history, to make a case for feminism while parallely dissembling the 70 s women s movement and to celebrate the joys of a primary sensual life natural food, uninhibited attitudes, simplicity In parts, it s a book of its time, especially the politics are outdated At the same time the conflict of the sexes never gets old The sensual pleasures he celebrates were as far away from the 70 s as from today.Grass certainly knows how to write Some paragraphs are plain brillant But he also doesn t know when enough is enough and he s fond of preaching Still, an extraordinary book the East Prussian Midnight s Children featuring the most famous opening line of any German book Ilsebill salzte nach. this book is kicking my ass a herculean effort required to finish it there are, however, brilliant passages peppered in the dense stew that I really really love Whenever I get to one, it s a giant relief.So ask yourself, do you like books that offer occasional relief Do you like interminable slogs through someone s intellectual workouts Do you like falling asleep on the train and missing your stop These were the questions to be resolved Who was speaking here and for what purpose What would they have to explain first The fact that the Flounder could talk or the substance of what he was saying Was this a late reactionary attempt on the part of medieval Scholasticism to prove that evil could take the form of a fish Was this Flounder a personification of capitalism Or an even greater contradiction might he be an embodiment of Hegel s Weltgeist The flounder isn t exactly an avatar of the spirit of the world and an attempt to present history as a cookbook fails The permanent war of the genders and alternation of ass kicking and ass kissing all down the ages that is the history according to The Flounder I can t help you, my son I can t even offer you mild regrets You have misused all the power I gave you Instead of turning the rights bestowed upon you to caring, charitable use, you have let hegemony degenerate into repression and power become an end in itself The Fisherman and His Wife fairytale is much shorter and mucheffective and it had already told the entire story. To be continued, the deeper in I get Haven t encountered such culinary indulgence since Rabelais, such brazen jocularity since Diderot, and such full stomached appetite for life since Grimmelshausen Grass is the potato of literature earthy, savory, and irreplaceable. This book is a fantastic, convoluted, dark and intensely strange 500 page fairy tale The story perpetually switches between time periods, from early neolithic to present, and between the female protagonists of each time but once you get the hang of all of the women and the men who are in fact one man conscious of all of his historical reincarnations , it is surprisingly easy to read and stay in the flow of the current narrators past and present ramblings and references Essentially this history of patriarchy unfolds in the absurd context of a feminist Women s Tribunal putting the Flounder on trial, through which we learn all of the ways that this god fish instructed and aided the male cause to pursue wars and rape and oppression of women, etc etc We also get a very detailed history of food and its effect on women and society, as all of his female protagonists are cooks.I think it would be bold to directly recommend this to friends because it is so very very long and convoluted and slightly perverse , but it is definitely one of my new favorite books so if you re up for something strange and compelling it is absolutely worth getting through Gunter Grass, The Flounder Harcourt Brace Jovanovich, 1977 I just couldn t get through it I can t really put my finger on why, but there it is The Flounder contains all the things I revere about Grass a strong sense of history, scurrlious sense of humor, strong characters put into wonderfully unrealistic situations But this novel, Grass weightiest literally , never seems to come together in all the little ways that made similarly large tomes like The Tin Drum and Dog Years such wonderful reads.The Flounder is a massive creation myth, seen through the eyes of a continually reincarnated man, his continually reincarnated longtime companion who is always a cook of some sort , and the Flounder himself, who serves as a kind of fairy godfather figure In modern times, a group of feminists discover that the Flounder has been the architect of the overthrow of matriarchal society and put him on trial the narrator and the Flounder use the trial as a method to go back over history and show the development of patriarchy in Poland, and how it relates to the potato Yes, I m serious.The novel feels as if Grass had lost his sense of dynamic while writing it The earlier long novels each keep the reader s interest with a series of climactic events, each leading up to the larger climax upon which the novel turns The Flounder, on the other hand, continues on at the same rlatively leisurely pace in its survey of history And that, ultimately, is its downfall there s just too much of it without anything really going on, on a larger scale.Definitely a bad starting place for Grass turn to the Danzig trilogy instead zero Magnificent I first read The Flounder in my early twenties and while I was fascinated by the book, it mostly baffled me Reading it 25 years later and with the help of the internet I feel I m at least approaching an understanding of it It s still a mind boggling read but the challenge makes it that muchenjoyable I look forward to reading it again in another 20 years. The Flounder 20th century s last Nobel Prize in Literature was given to G nter Grass, lauded him for his frolicsome black fables that portray the forgotten face of history This accolade from the prestigious organization cannot beaptly considered than G nter Grass masterpiece The Flounder Frolicsome yes black fable yes portray the forgotten face of history yes Flounder as member of the Nobel Committee for Literature maybe, I wouldn t be surprised, there s something fishy about it, I m afraid so Hands down, this book is the testament of G nter Grass genius and, indeed, he s on his own as an artist.This is one of the few books that I will have an in depth review and deservedly so.I will digress from discussing the specifics for the benefit of the future readers but, I will dwellon general impression on some of the highlights of the novel.First off, the premise very interesting As a child, with an early addiction to fairytales, The Fisherman and His Wife is somewhat unappealing to me Both man and wife are fucked up banana peeling the image so unlike the one I imagined of my parents Too grim or Grimm, haha for kids, in my opinion, based from my own childish impression But when applied as a reworking, it offers a far better fertile field for growing potatoes than Cinderella or Miss Snow White Why because the fairytale is so episodic and the events as each one escalates arecompelling than the characters.The idea that its epochal, the various time phases of the main characters which gave me an impression of vagueness between reincarnation, MPD, or when Eve was created through Adam s rib or that other appendage. were a unique reading experience for me Somehow I felt the infinite universal thread that connects us all, regardless of sex, as the main characters travel through time Mr Grass led me to his imagined universe with Neolithic old and panoramic vista mired of human misery and undoing.While I was deep in reading, this book is so imaginative, one can t help thinking about how difficult this book must have been conceived and written, one can only mentally applause the author, la socialist party meeting.In comparison to The Tin Drum, I didn t have a moment that I feel nah, he s trying to impress now or Whoa Suddenly this like the horse at the beach with Oskar or the demise of Oskar s mom nor, in comparison to Dog Years, that I was bruised from concentrating too much just to summit it s mountain face, happy butexhausted With the many cooks in the novel, the most memorable one is Fat Gret I think she embodies femininity regardless of time she s appealing, albeit an offbeat one strong and knows what she wants and a ball biter Billy was also memorable such a powerful climactic chapter was written about her The evolution and celebration of food in the novel also grows like a baby for nine months, i.e., from Stone Age elk meat, to the emergency measure ration of rat soup, to Sophie s famous calf s head stuffed with mushrooms, to the Womenal banquet, is sheer genius The Vasco Returns chapter is my favorite, I read it twice The narrator s the trailblazer of the male cause in the novel was portrayed as very human andvaried, unlike Illsebill the embodiment of femininity which tends to typecast women in the story, although history as history had it has it on them, the book as well What I love about the novel was that I didn t have to just rely with his words and sometimes, too much of it and trust Mr Flounder That seemingly funny yet powerful line where he claimed or unclaimed to blame him with Napoleon Bonaparte and the lot but, that he s not responsible for the crimes of that two infamous world leaders was thought provokingThe major weakness the former moviehouse turned High long haired Court with all respectable and powerful women with the lone husband was like C mon G nter, you can do much better than that moment for me Farcical isn t it But, is it fun In reading classics and critical works of fiction such as this, I tend to avoid being critical to the author, but just get myself lost in the enchated forest he created and see if its worth the effort of going through inside that labyrinth This book did it I Must Go To L beck. It All Begins In The Stone Age, When A Talking Fish Is Caught By A Fisherman At The Very Spot Where Millennia Later Grass S Home Town, Danzig, Will Arise Like The Fish, The Fisherman Is Immortal, And Down Through The Ages They Move Together As Grass Blends His Ingredients Into A Powerful Brew, He Shows Himself At The Peak Of His Linguistic Inventiveness Translated By Ralph Manheim A Helen And Kurt Wolff Book

G nter Wilhelm Grass was a Nobel Prize winning German novelist, poet, playwright, illustrator, graphic artist, and sculptor.He was born in the Free City of Danzig now Gda sk, Poland Since 1945, he lived in West Germany, but in his fiction he frequently returned to the Danzig of his childhood He always identified himself as a Kashubian.He is best known for his first novel, The Tin Drum

➩ Der Butt Ebook ➯ Author Günter Grass –
  • Paperback
  • 547 pages
  • Der Butt
  • Günter Grass
  • English
  • 04 May 2019
  • 9780156319355

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