1st Edition

The Politics of Remembrance in the Novels of Günter Grass

By Alex Donovan Cole Copyright 2023
    148 Pages
    by Routledge

    148 Pages
    by Routledge

    This manuscript argues for the importance of Günter Grass as a political thinker in addition to his status as a novelist and public intellectual, capable of forming ethical responses to contemporary issues like neoliberalism and place of the petit bourgeoisie in social life. I define Grass’s trajectory as a thinker through his novels and speeches. Primarily, I draw attention to the role memory plays in Grass’s thought: that his work represented an intellectual and aesthetic response to the role Nazism continued to play in West German politics in the post war era. To Grass, Nazism represented a resurgent threat unaddressed following the end of World War II. Later, Grass amended his concept of memory politics to address neoliberal capitalism, reiterating his radicalism and affirming the need for German society to resist the rise of extreme ideologies.


    Chapter 1 – Introduction: Class, Politics, and Memory

    Chapter 2 – The Petite Bourgeoisie in the Danzig Trilogy, 1959-1965

    Chapter 3 – "A Literary Concept": The Kulturnation in the Divided Germany, 1965-1979

    Chapter 4 – "Distant but not Foreign": Memory Politics and the Future of Remembrance, 1980-2006

    Chapter 5 – Conclusion: Penelope and Sisyphus

    Full Reference List



    Alex Donovan Cole is an Assistant Professor of Political Science at Northeastern State University in Tahlequah, OK, specializing in Politics and Literature, German Political Thought, and Comparative Political Economy. He has undertaken education at Columbus State University, Columbus, GA; Louisiana State University, Baton Rouge, LA; and Regent’s Park College, Oxford University, Oxford, England.