... what to make of this: Grass's added ingredient. (Hat tip, Dave Lull.)
I mean, I understand that Grass has apparently turned out a fine piece of writing with many interesting passages about how things and people from his life became charcaters and scenes in his work. I just don't see what that has to do with his deception and posturing. A deceitful poseur may be perfectly capable of writing a book that is entertaining and informative. But his dishonesty and phoniness otherwise remain. I think Vargas Llosa has it about right: "This, he said, has been all about 'people’s image of the author that Grass has desperately tried to be for his whole life: one who expresses his opinions on every issue, and for whom life – as literature – adapts to one’s dreams and ideas. A man for whom the writer is the absolute number one, simultaneously entertaining, teaching, giving orientation and guidance. Dear Günter Grass, we have blissfully carried this fiction around with us long enough. It’s over now'."