The Meeting at Telgte
|Original title||Das Treffen in Telgte|
Published in English
The Meeting at Telgte (German: Das Treffen in Telgte) is a 1979 novel by the West German writer Günter Grass. The narrative revolves around a fictional meeting for intellectuals hosted by Simon Dach after the Thirty Years' War. The story is an analogy for the post-World War II society in Germany, and of Group 47 in West Germany, of which Grass was a member.
Theodore Ziolkowski wrote in The New York Times that "Grass has chosen his historical analogy with brilliant precision" and that "the book is diverting as a history of 17th-century German literature, liberally sprinkled with quotations from the works and poetic treatises of the period." Ziolkowski continued: "All in all, however, the story remains a lifeless literary construct. The author, whose unerring sense of place put his native Danzig on the literary map along with Kafka's Prague, Joyce's Dublin, and Bellow's Chicago, has not succeeded in giving us a persuasive Westphalian town of the 17th century. With the exception of Dach and the young Grimmelshausen, whose ebullient novels anticipated Grass's own explosive works, none of the literary figures comes alive."