Günter Grass: Im Krebsgang [Crabwalk]

(2985 words)
  • Sigrid Mayer (University of Wyoming)

In 2002 Günter Grass published Im Krebsgang. Eine Novelle [Crabwalk. A Novel]. The title - “walking like a crab” - and the text’s first sentence, “‘Why only now?’ he says, this person not to be confused with me” indicate that Grass’ choice of narrative technique and narrator are integral parts of his story. Grass applies the non-linear spatial progression of the crab to the narrative movement in historical time, “seeming to go backward but actually scuttling sideways, and thereby working my way forward fairly rapidly”. This crabwalk approach to time reveals a surprising coincidence of historical dates: “on 30 January 1945, fifty years to the day after [Wilhelm Gustloff’s] birth, the ship named …

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Mayer, Sigrid. "Im Krebsgang". The Literary Encyclopedia. First published 11 October 2004
[http://www.litencyc.com/php/sworks.php?rec=true&UID=4540, accessed 25 September 2016.]