The Tin Drum.

"The Tin Drum Will Become One Of The Enduring Literary Works Of The Twentieth Century": First Edition Of The Tin Drum; Inscribed By The Author To Poet Robert Lowell

The Tin Drum.

GRASS, Gunter.


Item Number: 3526

New York: Pantheon, 1962.

First American edition of the Nobel Prize-winning author’s first book. Octavo, original red cloth. Fine in a near fine dust jacket with light shelfwear to the spine. Association copy, inscribed by the author to poet Robert Lowell in a German inscription, translated into English, which reads: “To Robert Lowell, in admiration and in the hope to have the pleasure of meeting you soon in Berlin. Gunter Grass Berlin, Nov 3, 1966.” Association copies of this caliber are rare, especially on what is considered his masterpiece. From the estate of Elizabeth Hardwick, novelist and wife of Robert Lowell. Translated by Ralph Manheim. Housed in a custom half morocco clamshell box.

"When Günter Grass published "The Tin Drum" in 1959 it was as if German literature had been granted a new beginning after decades of linguistic and moral destruction. Within the pages of this, his first novel, Grass recreated the lost world from which his creativity sprang, Danzig, his home town, as he remembered it from the years of his infancy before the catastrophe of war. Here he comes to grips with the enormous task of reviewing contemporary history by recalling the disavowed and the forgotten: the victims, losers and lies that people wanted to forget because they had once believed in them. At the same time the novel breaks the bounds of realism by having as its protagonist and narrator an infernal intelligence in the body of a three-year-old, a monster who overpowers the fellow human beings he approaches with the help of a toy drum. The unforgettable Oskar Matzerath is an intellectual whose critical approach is childishness, a one-man carnival, dadaism in action in everyday German provincial life just when this small world becomes involved in the insanity of the great world surrounding it. It is not too audacious to assume that "The Tin Drum" will become one of the enduring literary works of the 20th century" (The Swedish Academy).

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