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Title: Günter Grass and German politics, 1960 to 1974
Author: Franks, Penelope Helen
ISNI:       0000 0001 3483 0836
Awarding Body: University of Warwick
Current Institution: University of Warwick
Date of Award: 1978
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This thesis is an historical case-study of the place of the writer Günter Grass in West German political life between 1960 and 1974. The primary research presented here is of the sequence and context of all the important political initiatives Grass was responsible for in the sixties and seventies. They are brought together here for the first time, using press reports, his publications and details of the origins and progress of the central Sozialdemokratische Wühlerinitiative gathered from its Bonn office. The presentation moves from Grass as writer to Grass as semi-politician; from his novels, through his ideas to political conditions and to the voters’ initiatives. I analyse how the treatment of political matters in the novels became increasingly subjective the more active a part Grass took in political affairs. His thinking is examined historically within the changing ideological climate of the sixties and through the language in which he sought to bring his views to bear. This shows how the traditions of liberalism and the demands made on modern social democracy mutually formed his resolve to make a creative contribution to democracy in Germany. The final part argues that his retreat from politics and the diminishing importance of the social-democratic voters’ initiatives after the 1972 election is to be explained in connection with the SPD government's loss of the reforming energy it had had, marked by Willy Brandt's resignation from office. Grass' political career corresponds to the period between the programmatic reform of the SPD in 1959 and the end of Brandt's chancellorship in 1974. I show here how it was in this chapter in the SPD's history under Brandt that Grass' views and commitment could grow and bear fruit in voters' initiatives.
Supervisor: Not available Sponsor: Not available
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID:  DOI: Not available
Keywords: PT Germanic literature