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Günter Grass, Nobel Prize-Winning Novelist dies, aged 87

审校:宝宝哈比比   作者:本站整理   学习指数: ★★★★★

"The limits of my language are the limits of my world." ——Ludwig Wittgenstein

Günter Grass, a Nobel Prize-winning novelist and social critic best known for 1959's The Tin Drum, died at his home in Lübeck, Germany, Monday, his publisher the Steidl Verlag confirmed. He was 87.

grass dies at 87
Günter Grass died of a lung infection on Monday, April 13, in the northern German city of Lübeck

His life, full of ups and downs, moments of triumph and turmoil, began on October 16, 1927. Günter Grass grew up in a rather humble home: His parents ran a grocery store in Gdansk (then known as Danzig), but their customers were so poor that they couldn't always pay the bills. The Catholic family lived in a very small apartment.

"A childhood between the Holy Spirit and Hitler," is how biographer Michael Jürgs sums up the environment in which Grass spent his childhood.

The New York Times called The Tin Drum Grass' "wildly inventive masterpiece." When awarding him the Nobel Prize in 1999, the Swedish Academy lauded Grass for undertaking "the enormous task of reviewing contemporary history," describing the book as "one of the enduring literary works of the 20th century."

Grass was embroiled in controversy later in life when he admitted in 2006 that he was a member of the Waffen-SS during World War II. In 2012, he was condemned by Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu for a poem that criticized Israel for "endanger[ing] the already fragile world peace" with aggressive language toward Iran over its nuclear program.

Grass spent much of his career as a social critic, which led to charges of hypocrisy when he revealed his wartime life. He had originally claimed to have been a flakhelfer, a youth pressed into innocuous non-military activities in Germany, though admitted the truth before a memoir, Peeling the Onion, was released.

"It was a weight on me," Mr. Grass, then 78, told the Frankfurther Allgemeine paper of his conscription. "My silence over all these years is one of the reasons I wrote the book. It had to come out in the end."

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