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By Noel Thomas

This examine offers a severe research of the narrative works of Günter Grass, below which Die Blechtrommel, Katz und Mann, Hundejahre und Der Butt. it really is of curiosity to all people who desires to get a greater realizing of the novels of this well-known German author.

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41). " (p. 131). The irony may be accom­ panied, as can be seen from these instances, by a satir­ ical element. '" (p. 521). Here irony and satire are reinforced by a mildly fan­ tastic element. Political events are mentioned only cursorily and this is the case for the main part in the examples we have quoted so far. " (p. 14 Thus we have the strange paradox that in Die Blechtrommel which Enzens- berger categorizes as "a historical novel", political happenings are pushed to the periphery of the narrative.

27). History presents itself, in Oskar's eyes, as an unbreakable chain of repetitiveness. same view of history underlies Der Butt, The the novel which was published some eighteen years after Die Blechtrommel. Grass expresses the same idea, in the later novel, in terms of a fairy-tale, the pattern of which virtually determines the course of history: "Die Märchen hören nur zeitweilig auf, oder beginnen nach Schluß aufs Neue. " (p. 692). 54 T H E N A R R A T I V E W O R K S OF GÜNTER GRASS The fantasies of Oskar and the fairy-tales in Der Butt all h a v e the quality of a n i g h t m a r e , of a m e r r y - g o - r o u n d from w h i c h n o escape seems p o s s i b l e .

Grass has referred to this kind of character in his essay entitled significantly 'Begegnungen mit Kohl­ haas' in his book Der Bürger und seine Stimme. The sex­ ual activities of Lankes are reminiscent of the perverted personal relationships of the various characters in the novel whether this be between Oskar and Maria or Frau Greff or Schwester Dorothea, or between Alexander Greff and his boy scouts or between Maria and Matzerath. What applies to Jan Bronski and Agnes Matzerath, is also ap­ plicable to many of the characters in the novel: aßen alles selbst auf.

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