By Gunter Grass
Those fifty-four poems, spanning 4 many years, depict a panorama without delay recognizably mundane and grotesquely surreal. Grass's lively humor and linguistic creativity go beyond the cant of political poetry. The German originals face the interpretation. Translated through Michael Hamburger. A Helen and Kurt Wolff e-book
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Additional resources for Novemberland: Selected Poems 1956-1993
As if to deny that there is an indeterminacy in the focalisation, the second paragraph reverts to a far more traditional rendering of character: Marya was a blonde girl, not very tall, slender-waisted. Her face was short, high cheek-boned, full-lipped; her long eyes slanted upwards towards the temples and were gentle and oddly remote in expression. Often on the Boulevards St Michel and Montparnasse shabby youths would glide up to her and address her hopefully in unknown and spitting tongues. " Thus, the diegesis, begun in the first paragraph with the detail about Marya emerging from the cafe, is halted in these lines while the narrator resumes the distance necessary to evoke such an external portrait.
How much? I'm willing to give the traditional sum, the sum which is right and proper under the circumstances, and no more. Well, talk. I'm listening" But the sustainment of this prolepsis points towards Marya's own complex level of abstraction.
Is this, then, Hugh Heidler's perception? He is, after all, the 'English picture-dealer', and Lefranc's is his haunt. Have we, in these two paragraphs, come upon Heidler at a point after all the action of the novel has finished? If so, then his present is shown to be very similar to his past. Unlike Marya, whose life is in pieces at the end of the diegesis, Heidler survives with little or no damage done to his life style. Indeed, the most that he can be said to have suffered is a 'tired eye'. And yet, is there not something just a little too ironic in the assertion 'very restful to the tired eye'?