“The solicitous affection prescribed in my case would have surely deterred my friends from bringing me anything so dangerous as a blank paper and making it available to this mind of mine which persists in excreting syllables.” This statement by Gunter Grass’s character in The Tin Drum is revealing of how writing feels sometimes. In the hands of Grass, statements like this are priceless. Let’s hear some writing advice from the character Herr Osker:
” You can begin a story in the middle and create confusion by striking out boldly, backward and forward. You can be modern, put aside all mention of time and distance and, when the whole thing is done, proclaim…that you have finally, at the last moment, solved the space-time problem. Or you can declare at the very start that it’s impossible to write a novel nowadays, but then, behind your own back so to speak, give birth to a whopper, a novel to end all novels”.
This quote is from the same book, The Tin Drum, which is part of the Danzig Trilogy. The other two are Cat and Mouse and Dog Years. I like the ease with which Gunter Grass paces the stories and his mastery of language. And oh, for those who may not be aware, he is a Nobel. I am always drawn to all Nobels and Bookers and Oranges, although I am an equal opportunity reader — give me a book and I will read it, no matter what.