March along as Oskar taps out his life atop a tin drum. Pounding away rhythmic diatribes of a refusal to let nature force him out of adolescence, the eternal three-year-old meanders through his mother's conception in a Kashubian potato field, off into Danzig before and after WWII. Hear him reminisce on a moth upon his first exposure to experience outside the womb. See, stream down to a solemn beat, the tears of Poland as an invasion by Germany roars through swinging to "Jimmy the Tiger". This depiction of dilution and confusion during the dilapidating rise and fall of the Third Reich is vivid; conjuring up a sense of pristine confidence in the midst of what should seem inconceivable. Guided by his literary mentors, Rasputin and Goethe, Oskar composes the tale of his people's travail in intoxicating movements which never go pale.— Lance
The Tin Drum, one of the great novels of the twentieth century, was published in Ralph Manheim's outstanding translation in 1959. It became a runaway bestseller and catapulted its young author to the forefront of world literature.To mark the fiftieth anniversary of the original publication, Houghton Mifflin Harcourt, along with Grass’s publishers all over the world, is bringing out a new translation of this classic novel. Breon Mitchell, acclaimed translator and scholar, has drawn from many sources: from a wealth of detailed scholarship; from a wide range of newly-available reference works; and from the author himself. The result is a translation that is more faithful to Grass’s style and rhythm, restores omissions, and reflects more fully the complexity of the original work. After fifty years, THE TIN DRUM has, if anything, gained in power and relevance. All of Grass’s amazing evocations are still there, and still amazing: Oskar Matzerath, the indomitable drummer; his grandmother, Anna Koljaiczek; his mother, Agnes; Alfred Matzerath and Jan Bronski, his presumptive fathers; Oskar’s midget friends—Bebra, the great circus master and Roswitha Raguna, the famous somnambulist; Sister Scholastica and Sister Agatha, the Right Reverend Father Wiehnke; the Greffs, the Schefflers, Herr Fajngold, all Kashubians, Poles, Germans, and Jews—waiting to be discovered and re-discovered.
About the Author
GÜNTER GRASS (1927–2015), Germany's most celebrated contemporary writer, attained worldwide renown with the publication of his novel The Tin Drum in 1959. A man of remarkable versatility, Grass was a poet, playwright, social critic, graphic artist, and novelist. He was awarded the Nobel Prize for literature in 1999.
BREON MITCHELL is Professor of Germanic Studies and Comparative Literature at Indiana University, where he is also Director of the Lilly Library. A Rhodes Scholar, he received his Ph.D. in Comparative Literature from Oxford University. His areas of specialization include literary translation, Anglo-German literary relations, literature and the visual arts, James Joyce, Franz Kafka, and Samuel Beckett.