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The Flounder (Helen & Kurt Wolff Book) Reprint Edition
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Top Customer Reviews
If you are intrigued by this line (page 219), you will love this book. If you don't feel intrigued, you will feel a different strong emotion. In brief, that's the best advice I can give to a prospective buyer. I have provided some further thoughts below.
Typically labelled "magic(al) realism", this book could be characterized much more specifically as a fusion of two magic-related genres: it is a fairytale reimagined as an origin myth. The fairytale is that of The Fisherman and His Wife, which is a story embedded in folk traditions from Slavic to Polish to Indian to Germanic. Grass is unsatisfied with the received wisdom of the conventional story, as related by the Brothers Grimm, which tells us of the disaster brought on by a pushover husband and his greedy wife when they happen upon an enchanted flatfish.
The Grimms' fairytale closely parallels a certain other story, also combination fairytale and origin myth. The story of the Fall of Adam and Eve, as told by (e.g.) Milton, tells us that the sorry state of humanity all boils down to females' ambition and males' failure to be in charge. Much of Grass's book is devoted to rewriting the received wisdom that history is a story of progress driven by masculinity. So we start in the paleolithic, where women are in charge, men are errand-boys, and everyone is apparently quite content. The historical era is related as a series of behind-the-scenes looks at how what we "know" of history might have had unrecorded dimensions -- that is, women might have had a greater role than we know.Read more ›
Most Recent Customer Reviews
the cover of the book, a fish, who whispers in the ear of a man is really all you need to buy, read and enjoy this book.Published on June 7, 2014 by will crow
You say: a profound examination of gender politics deftly woven into a farce of German society, with interesting use of food politics as a metaphor. Read morePublished on May 31, 2009 by Gregory Baird
Gunter Grass, I love you, but "The Flounder" just isn't a sashimi quality piece of fish. It's really more something out of the frozen food section. Read morePublished on July 6, 2007 by S. Singer