'His wincing recollection,' Part II
John Irving, a long-time friend of Gunter Grass, comes to the defense
of his mentor. As previously noted
, there's a part of me who wants to feel sorry for Grass. Irving, initially and indirectly, makes a good case that only someone with hidden shame could have written with such poignancy about other people's hidden shame. It's one of the reasons why I firmly believe Grass's books should be judged on their own -- and why he shouldn't have the Nobel prize stripped from him. But Irving lowers the intergrity standards bar when he exclaims, "What is breathtaking about this autobiography is Grass’s honesty about his dishonesty." Well, that's that! ... And, oh, 'craven critics' should feel 'ashamed.' ... Irving has learned well from his master. ...