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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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‘Mich […] in Variationen […]erzählen’ II: Reconstructing the Author in Zunge zeigen and Mein Jahrhundert

‘Mich […] in Variationen […]erzählen’ II: Reconstructing the Author in Zunge zeigen and Mein Jahrhundert

(p.122) 5 ‘Mich […] in Variationen […]erzählen’ II: Reconstructing the Author in Zunge zeigen and Mein Jahrhundert
Constructing Authorship in the Work of Günter Grass

Rebecca Braun (Contributor Webpage)

Oxford University Press

This chapter investigates how a further change in Grass's understanding of authorship can be discerned in the ‘mixed-media’ works Zunge zeigen and Mein Jahrhundert. The starting point for discussion is the assertion that Grass's tendency to present his creative abilities in various artistic disciplines results in his expanding the remit of the authorial role. The multiple disciplines introduce a new kind of dialogue to the author's text that goes beyond the construction of the ‘encapsulated’ narrative self of his earlier autofictional pieces. At the same time, the insights gained from Grass's exploration of authorial limitations (as developed in Chapter 4) add a qualification to his self-presentation. In the texts discussed in this chapter, a monumental celebration of authorship is accompanied by an ironic deconstruction of the concept. The specific dynamics between author, narrator, and text combine to question the author's textual centrality even as they would appear to confirm it.

Keywords:   Mein Jahrhundert, Zunge zeigen, monumentality, deconstruction, irony / ironic, mixed-media, artwork, artist

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