- Cat and Mouse (Günter Grass book)
infobox Book |
name = Cat and Mouse
title_orig = Katz und Maus
language = German
publisher = Luchterhand
release_date = 1963
media_type = Print (Hardback &
isbn = NA
The Tin Drum
followed_by = Dog Years
Cat and Mouse, published in
Germanyin 1961 as "Katz und Maus", is a novellaby Günter Grass, the second book of the " Danzig Trilogy". It is about Joachim Mahlke, an alienated only child without a father. The narratorPilenz "alone could be termed his friend, if it were possible to be friends with Mahlke" (p. 78); much of Pilenz's narration addresses Mahlke directly by means of second-person narration. The story is set in Danzig(Gdańsk) around the time of the Second World Warand Nazi rule.
The narrator describes the character "The Great Mahlke" from their youth together through to Mahlke's disappearance near the end of the Second World War. Much of the action of the story is on a half-submerged sunken minesweeper of the
Polish Navy, on which the narrator, Mahlke, and their friends meet each summer. Mahlke explores the shipwreckby diving through a hatch, and with his ever-present screwdriver salvages various items (information plaques, objects left behind by the crew, and even a gramophone) to sell or collect for himself.
Over the course of the novella Mahlke steals an
Iron Crossfrom a visiting U-boatcaptain, and is expelled from school. He joins a Panzer divisionand himself receives an Iron Cross thanks to his successes in battle. Returning to the school from which he was expelled, however, the principal forbids him from making a speech to the students, on the grounds of his former disgrace.
The narrative in the story is often fairly incoherent. For instance, the timeline of the narration is often treated flexibly, moving from the narrator's perspective to different points within his memory of the events. There is also disunity about whether Mahlke is addressed in the second- or third-person, with Grass sometimes changing the form of address within a single sentence, possibly indicating the narrator's inability to remove his own emotions and feelings of guilt from an objective account of Mahlke.
Mahlke, with the help of the narrator, returns to the shipwreck. Mahlke's main reason for entering the war in the first place was to make a speech at his school afterwards. Since he is denied that wish, Mahlke deserts his post, seeing no other reason to fight. Desertion implies treason and in consequence death. Pilenz, whose relationship to Mahlke becomes increasingly ambivalent, takes advantage of the situation and pressures an unwell Mahlke to dive into the wreck once more to hide, aware that Mahlke might not survive the dive. Pilenz never sees Mahlke again.
The title relates to the central metaphor, in which Mahlke is the mouse and society is the cat. Mahlke's large
larynxis the leitmotif:
Adam's applehad become the cat's mouse. It was so young a cat, and Mahlke's whatsis was so active — in any case the cat leapt at Mahlke's throat; or one of us caught the cat and held it up to Mahlke's neck; or I ... seized the cat and showed it Mahlke's mouse; and Joachim Mahlke let out a yell, but suffered only slight scratches. (p. 6)
anthropomorphismand metaphorical embodiment of gross social forces is common in Grass's work; here the sentence "It was a young cat, but no kitten" describes the German state in the 1940s — young but by no means innocent (p. 5). The narrative style — the evasion, self-justification, and eventual, chatty disclosure of the truth — is also characteristic.
Oskar Matzerath, protagonist of " The Tin Drum", makes an appearance as "a little brat, who must have been about three, pound [ing] monotonously on a child's tin drum, turning the afternoon into an infernal smithy" (p. 17). He appears later in reference to the "Dusters" as "a three-year old child whom the gang had cherished as a kind of mascot" (p. 86).
In 1961 an attempt was made to put the book on the index of Germany's Federal Department for Media Harmful to Young Persons, particularly due to a scene of group masturbation, in which Mahlke displays his enormous penis and remarkable sexual endurance. After protest from both the public and other writers the request was withdrawn.
The quoted English edition is:
* cite book|last=Grass|first=Günter|title=Cat and Mouse
editor=Ralph Manheim (translator)
Penguin Books|year= [1961 German] [1963 English] 1975
Wikimedia Foundation. 2010.
См. также в других словарях:
Cat and mouse (disambiguation) — Cat and mouse is an English idiom meaning a situation where a prey entity continually escapes its predator. It may also refer to: * Cat and Mouse (Günter Grass book), a German novel by Günter Grass * Cat and Mouse (James Patterson novel), the… … Wikipedia
Günter Grass — Infobox Writer name = Günter Grass birthname = Günter Wilhelm Grass birthdate = birth date and age|df=yes|1927|10|16 birthplace = Danzig Langfuhr, Free City of Danzig deathdate = deathplace = occupation = Novelist nationality = German period =… … Wikipedia
List of satirists and satires — Below is a list of writers, cartoonists and others known for their involvement in satire humorous social criticism. They are grouped by era and listed by year of birth. Also included is a list of modern satires. Early satirical authors *Aesop (c … Wikipedia
Nobel Prizes — ▪ 2009 Introduction Prize for Peace The 2008 Nobel Prize for Peace was awarded to Martti Ahtisaari, former president (1994–2000) of Finland, for his work over more than 30 years in settling international disputes, many involving ethnic,… … Universalium
The Tin Drum — For the Japan album, see Tin Drum. For the film adaptation, see The Tin Drum (film). The Tin Drum … Wikipedia
German literature — Introduction German literature comprises the written works of the German speaking peoples of central Europe. It has shared the fate of German politics and history: fragmentation and discontinuity. Germany did not become a modern nation… … Universalium
List of authors of erotic works — This is a list of notable authors of erotic literature. Sex manuals * Vatsayana famous for the Kama Sutra * Yasodhara author of the Jayamangala * Kokkoka author of the Ratirahasya * Kalyanamalla author of the Ananga Ranga * Praudha Devaraya… … Wikipedia
performing arts — arts or skills that require public performance, as acting, singing, or dancing. [1945 50] * * * ▪ 2009 Introduction Music Classical. The last vestiges of the Cold War seemed to thaw for a moment on Feb. 26, 2008, when the unfamiliar strains … Universalium
European polecat — This article is about a species of mammal referred to as polecat . For other uses, see Polecat (disambiguation). European polecat Temporal range: Middle Pleistocene – Recent Welsh polecat (Mustela p. anglia) at the British Wildlife Centre,… … Wikipedia