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The Warsaw Voice » Society » October 24, 2002
GRASS
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And the Oskar Goes To...
October 24, 2002   
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In Gdańsk, on a square near the house where Günter Grass used to live, there is a bench. On the bench sits a bronze figure of Oskar Matzerath, the main character of The Tin Drum, a novel about a boy who grew up in an increasingly nazified Gdańsk. The idea to place a monument-bench in the neighborhood of Lelewela Street, where Grass was born and spent his childhood, came from the city authorities.

Originally, Grass "himself" was supposed to sit on the bench as well, but the Nobel Prize winner objected to the idea of having a monument during his lifetime. "I am convinced that Oskar will cope on his own, especially that he has become independent anyway without looking to his creator," Grass wrote in a letter to Paweł Adamowicz, mayor of Gdańsk. "I am grateful that the idea of putting me out for public sight [in bronze] while I'm still alive has been abandoned. The possibility will always be there, once I say goodbye to this contradictory world," the writer modestly said.
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