Günter Grass Quotes

A quotes list created by Lee Sonogan

Book review: Of All That Ends by Gunter Grass – a fitting farewell from the  Nobel winner | The National

Straight out of World War 2 before his words were written, he was a socialist and was drafted to war under a branch of the German Nazi party. Many years later he ultimately redeemed himself by winning the 1999 Nobel price literature with one of his fair moral books he became known for. Being still a central left on the political spectrum to this day at the age of 87, the story that leads him to write is intriguing…

  • “Even bad books are books and therefore sacred.” ― Günter Grass, The Tin Drum
  • “Granted: I AM an inmate of a mental hospital; my keeper is watching me, he never lets me out of his sight; there’s a peep-hole in the door, and my keeper’s eye is the shade of brown that can never see through a blue-eyed type like me.” ― Gunther Grass, The Tin Drum
  • “Today I know that all things are watching, that nothing goes unseen, that even wallpaper has a better memory than human beings.” ― Günter Grass, The Tin Drum
  • “You are vain and wicked- as a genius should be.” ― Günter Grass, The Tin Drum
  • “…I remain restless and dissatisfied; what I knot with my right hand, I undo with my left, what my left hand creates, my right fist shatters” ― Günter Grass,
  • “Translation is that which transforms everything so that nothing changes.” ― Günter Grass
  • “After the collapse of socialism, capitalism remained without a rival. This unusual situation unleashed its greedy and – above all – its suicidal power. The belief is now that everything – and everyone – is fair game.” ― Günter Grass
  • “The job of a citizen is to keep his mouth open.” ― Gunter Grass
  • “When Satan’s not in the mood, virtue triumphs. Hasn’t even Satan a right not to be in the mood once in a while?” ― Günter Grass,
  • “…if I were asked to think up a new name for temptation, I should recommend the word ‘doorknob’, because what are these protuberances put on doors for if not to tempt us…” ― Günter Grass, The Tin Drum
  • “And when the sun goes down and the mood comes upon me, I’ll watch the play of the colors on the water, yield to the fleetly dissolving images, and turn into pure feeling, all soft and nice…. ” ― Günter Grass, My Century
  • What did the onion juice do? It did what the world and the sorrows of the world could not do: it brought forth a round, human tear. It made them cry. At last they could cry again. To cry properly, without restraint, to cry like mad. The tears flowed and washed everything away. The rain came. The dew. Oskar has a vision of floodgates opening. Of dams bursting in the spring floods. What is the name of that river that overflows every spring and the government does nothing to stop it?” ― Günter Grass, The Tin Drum
  • “On sorrow floats laughter.” ― Gunter Grass
  • “…there is also such a thing as ersatz happiness, perhaps happiness exists only as an ersatz, perhaps all happiness is an ersatz for happiness.” ― Günter Grass,
  • “What more shall I say: born under light bulbs, deliberately stopped growing at age of three, given drum, sang glass to pieces, smelled vanilla, coughed in churches, observed ants, decided to grow, buried drum, emigrated to the West, lost the East, learned stonecutter’s trade, worked as model, started drumming again, visited concrete, made money, kept finger, gave finger away, fled laughing, rode up escalator, arrested, convicted, sent to mental hospital, soon to be acquitted, celebrating this day my thirtieth birthday and still afraid of the Black Witch.” ― Gunter Grass
  • “We were convinced that she looked on with indifference if she noticed us at all. Today I know that everything watches, that nothing goes unseen, and that even wallpaper has a better memory than ours. It isn’t God in His heaven that sees all. A kitchen chair, a coathanger, a half-filled ash tray, or the wooden replica of a woman named Niobe can perfectly well serve as an unforgetting witness to every one of our acts.” ― Gunter Grass
  • Once upon a time there was a musician who slew his four cats, stuffed them in a garbage can, left the building, and went to visit friends.” ― Günter Grass, The Tin Drum
  • “I’ve also been told it makes a good impression to begin modestly by asserting that novels no longer have heroes because individuals have ceased to exist, that individualism is a thing of the past, that all human beings are lonely, all equally lonely, with no claim to individual loneliness, that they all form some nameless mass devoid of heroes. All that may be true. But as far as I and my keeper Bruno are concerned, I beg to state that we are both heroes, quite different heroes, he behind his peephole, I in front of it; and that when he opens the door, the two of us, for all our friendship and loneliness, are still far from being some nameless mass devoid of heroes.” ― Gunter Grass, The Tin Drum
  • “We struck up a conversation, taking pains at first to give it an easy flow and sticking to the most frivolous topics. Did he, I asked, believe in predestination? He did. Did he believe that all men were doomed to die? Yes, he felt certain that all men would absolutely have to die, but he was less sure that all men had to be born…” ― Günter Grass,
  • “… there is something very strange and childish in the way grown-ups feel about their clocks—in that respect, I was never a child. I am willing to agree that the clock is probably the most remarkable thing that grown-ups ever produced. Grown-ups have it in them to be creative, and sometimes, with the help of ambition, hard work, and a bit of luck they actually are, but being grown-ups, they have no sooner created some epoch-making invention than they become a slave to it.” ― Günter Grass

Another philosopher, more context to the relevance of history and beyond! Interesting prepositions reflecting pain and a little bit of the cynicism necessary in mentally dealing with World Wars, it certainly makes for a captivating style fiction or non-fiction. More personalities coming for those modern peeps always researching!



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