Sunday, 8 April 2012

No Grass in Israel?

Günther Grass, the controversial German writer recently published a poem on the subject of an upcoming Iran v. Israel nuclear showdown. See my earlier post 'Grass' - three posts below.

Grass has been declared a persona non grata by the Israeli interior minister. How long before they ban his books?

I am not a particular fan of Günther Grass's writing. I don't consider him to be in the same league as German writers W G Sebald, Thomas Mann or Thomas Bernhard for example.

I can honestly say that I found Grass's world famous Tin Drum to be repetitive and boring in the extreme. But that is not the point. That's merely a matter of my own personal taste in literature. The point is that the Israeli administration has shown that there is no place for art, in particular poetry, which does not match the official Israeli line.

The Nazis, you may recall, had a similar policy when it came to the arts.

I believe it was Winston Churchill who said:

I may not agree with what you say but I defend your right to say it.


  1. Quite agree. It's a dire poem as it happens but that's no reason for diplomatic measures.

    There is a more interesting, more hairline decision to be made in the case of prosecutions of 'hate speech' and such 'inappropriate terms' as have led to the censoring of US classics like Huckleberry Finn.

    Nothing is as clear as it seems. But the Grass - how stupid.

  2. George, My reply to you just mysteriously and strangely disappeared ... mmm I wonder ... but the jist was that there ought to be common sense & IQ tests for politicians, for they always claim to know what's good for us, and not only us, for people like D H Lawrence and James Joyce and many others whose works were banned. The case of Grass as you say is stupid.


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