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Constructing Authorship in the Work of Günter Grass$
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Rebecca Braun

Print publication date: 2008

Print ISBN-13: 9780199542703

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: September 2008

DOI: 10.1093/acprof:oso/9780199542703.001.0001

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‘Aus der Geschichte gefallen’: Displacing the Author in Der Butt and Die Rättin

‘Aus der Geschichte gefallen’: Displacing the Author in Der Butt and Die Rättin

(p.96) 4 ‘Aus der Geschichte gefallen’: Displacing the Author in Der Butt and Die Rättin
Constructing Authorship in the Work of Günter Grass

Rebecca Braun (Contributor Webpage)

Oxford University Press

This chapter continues the focus on narrative positions, now with respect to the fictional works Der Butt (1977) and Die Rättin (1986). Through close readings of each text, it is argued that Grass uses these works to explore the limits of authorship as a kind of textual response to attacks on the socio-political model of authorship. As politics impinges on the literary realm, Grass's interest in literary self-presentation takes on an existential aspect. Within both texts the narrator represents authorship against the odds, struggling to retain his position within the text and yet implicitly defining the authorial role as the only way in which he might be able to ensure his survival. The insight yielded by these two challenging works not only accounts for their highly complex narrative structures, it introduces to Grass's later works a distinct sense of the literary author's limitations within the text on which he depends.

Keywords:   Der Butt, Die Rättin, fiction, literary self-presentation, narrative structure, authorship, politics and literature

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