German Nobel laureate Günter Grass reveals that he served in the Waffen SS during World War II. Many Germans are furious at the tardiness of the revelation, and Polish officials have called for Grass to renounce his honorary citizenship in the city of Gdansk. German-Jewish writer Ralph Giordano, on the other hand, says, “It’s good what Günter Grass has now done…. What’s worse than making a mistake is not coming to terms with it. His example also shows how seducible young people can be.” (Second link via Bookninja.)
The Literary Saloon rounds up reactions to Nell Freudenberger’s The Dissident, her second book and first novel. I saw Freudenberger read from her debut short fiction collection a few years ago. The story she read was competent, I guess — observed in a tranquil, patrician fashion — yet forgettable. Which is surprising, given my dim recollection that it revolved around a teenage girl’s first sexual experience.
Michael Dale says a new play based on Anaïs Nin’s diary “is filled with stilted dialogue, messy stagecraft and annoying pretentiousness trying to pass itself off as art.”