Book Club "The Tin Drum"
Saturday, September 24, 2016 – 3:30 to 5:30pm
6161 Cambie Street, Vancouver
Organized by the Consulate General of Germany in Vancouver and EUNIC Canada-Vancouver, in partnership with the Alliance Française, the next meeting with the EU Book Club, moderated by Rita Laszlo, will be with a famous German novel by Nobel Prize winner Günter Grass.
"The Tin Drum"
On his third birthday, Oskar decides to stop growing. Haunted by the deaths of his parents and wielding his tin drum Oskar recounts the events of his extraordinary life; from the long nightmare of the Nazi era to his anarchic adventures is post-war Germany.
The Tin Drum presents Hitler's rise and fall through the eyes of the dwarfish narrator whose magic powers become symbolic of the dark forces dominating the German nation in the period. Like Thomas Mann's Doctor Faustus, Grass's novel explores the dark roots of power and creativity. An early advocate of 'magic realism'.
Günter Grass is the most powerful and celebrated novelist to appear in post-war Germany. His home city of Danzig is a powerful presence in this novel.
Günter Wilhelm Grass (1927-2015) was a German novelist, poet, playwright, illustrator, graphic artist, sculptor, and recipient of the 1999 Nobel Prize in Literature.
Grass was born in Danzig (now Gdańsk, Poland). As a teenager, he served as a drafted soldier from late 1944 in the Waffen-SS, and was taken prisoner of war by U.S. forces at the end of the war in May 1945. He was released in April 1946. Trained as a stonemason and sculptor, Grass began writing in the 1950s. In his fiction, he frequently returned to the Danzig of his childhood.
Grass is best known for his first novel, The Tin Drum (1959), a key text in European magic realism. It was the first book of his Danzig Trilogy, the other two being Cat and Mouse and Dog Years. His works are frequently considered to have a left-wing political dimension, and Grass was an active supporter of the Social Democratic Party of Germany (SPD).
The Tin Drum was adapted as a film of the same name, which won both the 1979 Palme d'Or and the Academy Award for Best Foreign Language Film. In 1999, the Swedish Academy awarded him the Nobel Prize in Literature, praising him as a writer "whose frolicsome black fables portray the forgotten face of history".
Admission is free, but please register by e-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org
Note: The English translation (by Ralph Manheim) of the novel, published by Vintage International (1990), is available in paperback or e-book formats at amazon.com, amazon.ca and chapters.indigo.ca. It is also available from Chapters bookstores. It is also available from the Vancouver Public Library.