Gunter Grass Quotes (displaying: 1 - 30 of 64 quotes)
I catch myself judging myself as that 13-year-old boy, who, of course, rightfully points out that he is only a child. And my membership - well, I was drafted into the Waffen-SS and didn't exactly volunteer, which was just as idiotic. I wanted to be on the submarines and then ended up with the Waffen-SS.
They had tried doing it by themselves in her room with a cheap onion, but it wasn't the same. You needed an audience. It was so much easier to cry in company. It gave you a real sense of brotherhood in sorrow when to the right and left of you and in the gallery overhead your fellow students were all crying their hearts out.
Because menare killing the foreststhe fairy tales are running away. The spindle doesn't knowwhom to prick, the little girl's handsthat her father has chopped off, haven't a single tree to catch hold of, the third wish remains unspoken. King Thrushbeard no longer owns one thing. Children can no longer get lost. The number seven means no more than exactly seven. Because men have killed the forests, the fairy tales are trotting off to the citiesand end badly.
We struck up a conversation, taking pains at first to give it an easy flow and sticking to the most frivolous topics. Did he, I asked, believe in predestination? He did. Did he believe that all men were doomed to die? Yes, he felt certain that all men would absolutely have to die, but he was less sure that all men had to be born...
...there is no such thing as a parttime partisan. Real partisans are partisans always and as long as they live. They put fallen governments back in power and overthrow governments that have just been put in power with the help of partisans. Mr Matzerath contended - and his thesis struck me as perfectly plausible - that among all those who go in for politics your incorrigible partisan, who undermines what he has just set up, is closest to the artist because he consistently rejects what he has just set up.
The god of unreflecting drunkenness advised me to take no reading matter at all, or if I absolutely insisted on reading matter, then a little stack of Rasputin would do; Apollo, on the other hand, in his shrewd, sensible way, tried to talk me out of this trip to France altogether, but when he saw that Oskar's mind was made up, insisted on proper baggage; very well, I would have to take the highly respectable yawn that Goethe had yawned so long ago, but for spite, and also because I knew that The Elective Affinities would never solve all my sexual problems, I also took Rasputin and his naked women, naked but for their black stockings. If Apollo strove for harmony and Dionysus for drunkenness and chaos, Oskar was a little demigod whose business it was to harmonize chaos and intoxicate reason. In addition to his mortality, he had one advantage over all the full divinities whose characters and careers had been established in the remote past: Oskar could read what he pleased whereas the gods censored themselves.
I was assigned to the Waffen-SS but was never involved in any crime. Besides, I always felt the need to write about my experiences in a larger context one day. This has only developed recently, now that I have overcome my inner aversion to writing an autobiography in the first place, specifically one having to do with my younger years.
What did the onion juice do? It did what the world and the sorrows of the world could not do: it brought forth a round, human tear. It made them cry. At last they could cry again. To cry properly, without restraint, to cry like mad. The tears flowed and washed everything away. The rain came. The dew. Oskar has a vision of floodgates opening. Of dams bursting in the spring floods. What is the name of that river that overflows every spring and the government does nothing to stop it?