An ‘Innocent’ Desire: Food in Günter Grass’s The Tin Drum

Title: An ‘Innocent’ Desire: Food in Günter Grass’s The Tin Drum
Authors: Niemann, Alicia
Date: 2016
Abstract: In the original English translation of Günter Grass’ The Tin Drum, the “Schwarze Köchin” was translated as “witch, black as pitch.” Breon Mitchell’s new 2009 translation reinstates the “Black Cook” to her rightful place as the inescapable terror that haunts Oskar Matzerath throughout his life. For English-language readers, her reappearance helps to emphasize the importance of food in Grass’ novel. This essay explores food’s multifaceted role in The Tin Drum; it is by turns a comforter, a tempter, and a murderer. Ultimately, however, it stands as a warning to the reader, as food’s presumed innocence, its everyday banality, belies its potential to destroy.
CollectionConfetti - Un journal de littératures et cultures du monde // Confetti - A World Literatures and Cultures Journal