Saturday, July 28, 2007

The Patience of Gifts

While my birthday is still a dozen days away, I have been kindly bestowed with a trove of delights these past three days. Gunter Grass unleashed that disturbing revelation last summer of his volunteering for the SS during the closing months of the war. I struggled with such all summer and it was some trepidation that I approached the book after it arrived here two days ago: a signed copy courtesy of Joel. The recent front page review by John Irving proved to me a worthy agent of reconciliation. The mechanics of the memoir are nothing but masterful, the careful positioning of focus and periodic shift between first and third persons is delightful, if irritating to the quest for testimony.

The book is both an homage to his body of work and a pillory to his own moral opacity during the war and his consequent gregarious absorption which left him both absent and distant from his mother and sister when they needed him most.

I told Joel this a.m. that I would have read the entire book Thursday if not for other commitments. The 300 pages i swept through today were remarkable and resonant. The book's conclusion has jarred my prior plans and I am unsure where to tread next. I do know that I will begin Godard's Historie Du Cinema this evening.


Post a Comment

Subscribe to Post Comments [Atom]

<< Home