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All Quotes by author - Gunter Grass
" Art is accusation, expression, passion. Art is a fight to the finish between black charcoal and white paper. "
" Art is so wonderfully irrational, exuberantly pointless, but necessary all the same. Pointless and yet necessary, that's hard for a puritan to understand. "
" Art is uncompromising and life is full of compromises. "
" As a child I was a great liar. Fortunately my mother liked my lies. I promised her marvelous things. "
" Auschwitz speaks against even a right to self-determination that is enjoyed by all other peoples because one of the preconditions for the horror, besides other, older urges, was a strong and united Germany. "
" A writer must face up to the test of reality, including political reality, and that can't be done if he keeps his distance. A literary style cultivated like a hothouse plant may show a certain artificial purity, but it won't really be pure. "
" Believing: it means believing in our own lies. And I can say that I am grateful that I got this lesson very early. "
" Even bad books are books and therefore sacred. "
" Everybody knows how fallible memory can sometimes be. You remember certain fragments precisely, but as soon as you try to join the fragments together, for a story, there is a certain - not falsification, but a shifting. "
" Everyone is born into a certain era. I wouldn't want to see anyone faced with the circumstances that prevailed at the time, when there were few or no alternatives. "
" For me, writing, drawing, and political activism are three separate pursuits; each has its own intensity. I happen to be especially attuned to and engaged with the society in which I live. Both my writing and my drawing are invariably mixed up with politics, whether I want them to be or not. "
" Homeland is something one becomes aware of only through its loss. "
" How did it happen that an enlightened country like Germany was pulled into Nazism? That question has occupied me since 'The Tin Drum,' my first book. The story also shows that we can never know how a person's life will unfold; there is no guarantee that a person will do what is right and avoid what is not right. "
" How do we prevent Iran developing an atomic bomb, when, on the American side, dropping atomic bombs on Hiroshima and Nagasaki is not recognised as a war crime? "
" I belonged to the generation that grew up under National Socialism, and was blinded and led astray - and allowed itself to be led astray. "
" I can only write a book like 'The Tin Drum' or 'From the Diary of a Snail' at a special period of my life. The books came about because of how I felt and thought at the time. "
" 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. "
" I did not volunteer for the Waffen SS, but was, as were thousands of my year group, conscripted. I did not then know as a 17-year-old that it was a criminal unit. I thought it was an elite unit. "
" I don't believe in writing at night because it comes too easily. When I read it in the morning it's not good. I need daylight to begin. Between nine and ten o'clock I have a long breakfast with reading and music. "
" If we take into account the existence of our planet, we have to recognise that we are guests that spend a short and very determined period in this world, and all we leave behind is nuclear waste. "
" If work and leisure are soon to be subordinated to this one utopian principle - absolute busyness - then utopia and melancholy will come to coincide: an age without conflict will dawn, perpetually busy - and without consciousness. "
" I had an uncle who was a postal official at the Polish post office in Gdansk. He was one of the defenders of the Polish postal service and, after it capitulated, was shot by the Germans under the provisions of martial law. Suddenly he was no longer a member of the family, and we were no longer allowed to play with his children. "
" I have found that words that are loaded with pathos and create a seductive euphoria are apt to promote nonsense. "
" I have heard my fill of hurtful words. I think it's especially egregious when citizens like me, who point out abuses in their country, are referred to as 'do-gooders.' This is how a phrase that can be used to stop an argument dead becomes part of common usage. "
" I have often supported Israel, I have often visited the country and want the country to exist and at last find peace with its neighbours. "
" I have seen and drawn dying, poisoned worlds. I published a book of drawings called 'Death of Wood' about one such world, on the border between the Federal Republic of Germany and what was then still the German Democratic Republic. "
" I'm always astonished by a forest. It makes me realise that the fantasy of nature is much larger than my own fantasy. I still have things to learn. "
" Information networks straddle the world. Nothing remains concealed. But the sheer volume of information dissolves the information. We are unable to take it all in. "
" In general, I agree with Jacob Grimm and feel that we ought to permit changes and uncontrolled growth in language. Even though that also allows potentially threatening new words to develop, language needs the chance to constantly renew itself. "
" I remember when I was writing 'The Tin Drum,' I had the totally misguided idea of giving Oskar Matzerath a sister, and he just wouldn't have it. There was no space for a sister, yet I had the character of the sister in my head. In fact I used her in later novels, in 'Cat and Mouse' and 'Dog Years,' Tulla Pokriski. "
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