Tuesday, July 05, 2005


This next five city travel that I have commencing next Sunday will give me an opportunity to catch up on reading; with half a dozen flights involved, I can knock off at least six or seven books.

And I think that I will re-read one of my favorite books of all time: Gunter Grass' "The Flounder."

This will be my third or fourth reading of this fascinating book, which is sort of a macabre, dark re-telling of the story of the talking fish who grants wishes. It all begins in the Germanic Stone Age, when the magical, talking fish is caught by a fisherman at the very spot where millennia later Grass's home town, Danzig, will arise.

Like the fish, the fisherman is now immortal, and down through the ages they move together, as the fish teaches the fisherman art, and breaks him away from the power and dominance of Teutonic women. He then blends German history, cooking recipes and a healthy dose of darkness into a fascinating story, where at the end, so tired of the mess men have made of the world, the fish allows itself to be captured by three Socialist East German women, who promptly put him on public trial for offenses to womanhood.

This book, everytime that I read it, inspires artwork from me. Below is "Sieglinde Huntscha and The Flounder," circa 2000. About 5 x 20 inches, and somewhere in a private collection in Cleveland.
Sieglinde Huntscha and The Flounder

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