The Tin Drum

The Tin Drum

A dwarf drummer found guilty of a crime he did not commit writes his memoirs from a mental hospital in postwar Germany

Modernism, War, and Violence

Modernism, War, and Violence

The modernist period was an era of world war and violent revolution. Covering a wide range of authors from Joseph Conrad and Thomas Hardy at the beginning of the period to Elizabeth Bowen and Samuel Beckett at the end, this book situates modernism's extraordinary literary achievements in their contexts of historical violence, while surveying the ways in which the relationships between modernism and conflict have been understood by readers and critics over the past fifty years. Ranging from the colonial conflicts of the late 19th century to the world wars and the civil wars in between, and concluding with the institutionalization of modernism in the Cold War, Modernism, War, and Violence provides a starting point for readers who are new to these topics and offers a comprehensive and up-to-date survey of the field for a more advanced audience.

Medicine, Religion, and the Body

Medicine, Religion, and the Body

This book explores the ways in which the body is sacred in Western medicine, as well as how this idea is played out in questions of life and death, of the autopsy and of the meanings attributed to illnesses and disease. Ritual and religious modifications to, and limitations on what may be done to the body raise cross cultural issues of great complexity philosophically and theologically, as well as sociologically - within medicine and for health care practitioners, but also, as a matter of primary concern for the patient. The book explores the ways in which medicine organises the moral and the immoral, the sacred and the profane; how it mediates cultural concepts of the sacred of the body, of blood and of life and death.

Approaches to Teaching Grass's The Tin Drum

Approaches to Teaching Grass's The Tin Drum

The career of Günter Grass began dramatically in 1959, with the publication of his first novel. The Tin Drum brought instant fame to the thirty-two-year-old author and led to his receiving the 1999 Nobel Prize in Literature. Translated into dozens of languages, the novel has sold over four million copies worldwide. Its status as a major text of postwar German literature, however, has not diminished its provocative nature. In both style and content, it continues to challenge scholars, teachers, and students. This volume, like others in the MLA series Approaches to Teaching World Literature, is divided into two parts. Part 1, "Materials," provides the instructor with bibliographic information on the text, critical studies, and audiovisual and Internet resources. Part 2, "Approaches," contains eighteen essays on teaching The Tin Drum, including three that discuss Völker Schlöndorff's 1979 film adaptation of the novel. Some of the topics covered are the historical context (Nazism, World War II, the Holocaust), Oskar Matzerath as an unreliable narrator, the imagery (e.g., eels, the Virgin Mary), the use of German fairy tales, and how Grass's satirical treatment of Germany speaks to postwar generations.

German Language, Life, and Culture

German Language, Life, and Culture

Examines government, arts, language, work, leisure, education, festivals, food, the country, its heritage, and its people.

Yosl Rakover Talks to God

Yosl Rakover Talks to God

A dying Jew's last words to God -- a text that is regarded as the greatest piece of writing to have emerged from the Holocaust -- the story of how it came to be written, and the afterlife of both the author and his creation. As the German tanks destroy the Warsaw Ghetto, one of the few remaining fighters, Yosl Rakover, writes out his last words to God, seals the text in a glass bottle, and thrusts it into the rubble before preparing to die. The text surfaces in Europe in the 1950s, is passed from hand to hand, is broadcast on Radio Berlin -- where it is acclaimed by Thomas Mann as a religious masterpiece -- is anthologized and translated into many languages. But what is hailed as the most important testament of the Holocaust is in fact a short story, written in 1946 for a Yiddish newspaper by a remarkable young Jew, Zvi Kolitz, in Buenos Aires, where he had gone to raise money for the Jewish underground in the struggle to establish the State of Israel. The Borgesian story of what happened to the text and to Kolitz in the fifty years since, and the detective work of German journalist Paul Badde that resulted in their eventual rejoining, form the second part of this fascinating book. And in an afterword, the great French philosopher Emmanuel Lévinas's meditation on the text is answered in a commentary by Leon Wieseltier. Already an acclaimed bestseller in Europe, Yosl Rakover Talks to God restores a blazing artifact of twentieth-century writing to its true setting.

Dog Years

Dog Years

THE BOOK- First published in 1963, Dog Years is the concluding part of Grass's famous Danzig Trilogy. In a fusion of mythology and realiy, magic and romance, it charts forty years of German history commencing from 1917, with the objective of exposing the madness of a society that bred and nurtered the horrors of the Third Reich, then anaesthetised itself with the chaos of disintegration.