Günter Grass

Literary Birthday – 16 October – Günter Grass

Günter Grass was born 16 October 1927 and died 13 April 2015.


  1. Even bad books are books and therefore sacred.
  2. No idea stays pure. Even the flowering of art isn’t pure. And the sun has spots. All geniuses menstruate. On sorrow floats laughter. In the heart of roaring lurks silence.
  3. Art is uncompromising and life is full of compromises.
  4. Art is so wonderfully irrational, exuberantly pointless, but necessary all the same. Pointless and yet necessary, that’s hard for a puritan to understand.
  5. We already have the statistics for the future: the growth percentages of pollution, overpopulation, desertification. The future is already in place.
  6. Memory likes to play hide-and-seek, to crawl away. It tends to hold forth, to dress up, often needlessly. Memory contradicts itself; pedant that it is, it will have its way.
  7. The job of a citizen is to keep his mouth open.

Günter Grass was a German novelist, poet, and playwright.  The recipient of the 1999 Nobel Prize in Literature, he was also an illustrator, graphic artist, and sculptor. After writing his first novel, The Tin Drum, he became ‘the literary spokesman for the German generation that grew up in the Nazi era and survived the war’.

Source for image


Blaues Sofa from Berlin, Deutschland, CC BY 2.0 <https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/2.0>, via Wikimedia Commons

Source for quotes

 by Amanda Patterson

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Posted on: 15th October 2019