From the Diary of a Snail

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Harcourt Brace Jovanovich, 1976 - Fiction - 310 pages
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Gunter Grass, Germanys most famous literary figure, is also known in his country as a political speaker. In 1969 Grass gave close to one hundred election speeches for Willy Brandts party, the Social Democrats. His family saw him only intermittently. In his snails diary, he purports to explain, imaginatively as well as factually, why he felt impelled to devote himself to politics.Along with his report on the election campaign, Grass tells the story of the persecution and exile of the Jews of Danzig, his childhood city. He also invents a fictional Jew -- a school teacher nicknamed "Doubt, " a collector of snails -- who becomes a brilliantly bizarre metaphor for his own political philosophy. "Whats progress?" Grass asks, "Being a little quicker than the snail ... and never getting there, children."

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Review: From the Diary of a Snail

User Review  - Dej - Goodreads

This is a phenomenal book that's progressive and idealistic, within reason and at the pace of a snail. The writing is also really incredible. Totally different but as beautiful as Umberto Eco. Read full review

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About the author (1976)

Born on October 16, 1927 in Gdansk, Poland, Günter Grass was a member of the Hitler Youth in the 1930s. At the age of 16, he was drafted into the German military, was wounded, and became a prisoner of war in 1945. His first novel, The Tin Drum (1959), selected by the French as the best foreign language book of 1962, is the story of Oscar Matzerath, a boy who refuses to grow up as a protest to the cruelty of German society during the war. It is the first part of his Danzig trilogy, followed by Cat and Mouse (1961) and Dog Years (1963), and was made into a movie by director Volker Schlondorff, winning the Academy Award for Best Foreign Film in 1979. His other works include Local Anaesthetic, The Flounder, Crabwalk, and Peeling the Onion. He has been honored many times, including a distinguished service medal from the Federal Republic of Germany in 1980 which he refused to accept. He received the Nobel Prize for Literature in 1999.

Ralph Manheim (1907-1992) was an American translator of German and French literature, as well as occasional works from Dutch, Polish and Hungarian. The PEN/Ralph Manheim Medal for Translation, a major lifetime achievement award in the field of translation. is named in honor of Manheim and his work.

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