Günter Grass (1927 – 2015) was a prominent german writer and in this letter I want to discuss some of his most controversial ideas that he expressed in an interview.
He says that «Facebook is shit», because someome who has 500 virtual friends actually has no friends. Now let’s think about this statement, what has Facebook brought in a positive way? Perhaps Grass is right when he says that virtual friends are not real, but Facebook has some good sides, for example, I wouldn’t have been invited to a program for young writers If the coordinator wouldn’t have contacted me by Facebook. Most events in which I am invited are publicized through this social network, and I get contacted through it too, so for me Facebook is valuable and worthy. But I don’t have many “friends” in Facebook, in fact, I haven’t reached 500 yet. What I’m trying to say is that I don’t use the social network for catharsis or to publish every “brilliant” opinion I have, or to post about what I had for lunch, or pictures of my intimacy. I primarily use it to promote myself as a young writer. I do publish some photos of my getaways sometimes, but nothing inappropriate. In any case, the real friend that I have has no Facebook account, but She is everywhere.
Günter also says that it is absurd to have a cellphone because the idea of being so available all of the time is inconceivable. Now let’s stop here for a moment and think that he might be right, but also, a cellphone is useful for emergencies. Sometimes it saves lives. So I may suggest that a cellphone is necessary in our time.
He also claims that there’s nothing like a physical book, that when he needs information, he goes to the library and do the research. It could take longer, but in Literature this is a process that takes time and without the effort the work may lose quality. Now I may agree with this, but unfortunately, I have learned how to use the internet to obtain books, electronic books, I have a Kindle and sometimes is cheaper to buy kindle editions. At this point, I think the great author of The Tin Drum is just a man of another era, this doesn’t mean he is less of a writer, this means he was born in a time in which things were slower, and we must respect that, for his work is timeless.
The author also states that a writer is someone selfish that looks up to his own interests. Well I happen to believe that this is very sad, because I don’t want to live in a world where being egoist is an advantage. I refuse to be a bad writer, but most of all, I refuse to be a bad person. And let me disagree with you Mr. Grass, but I don’t want to be egoist to be a good writer, I will fight to be a good one, and make sure all the goodness in me takes over the world to change it positively.
So, these are the controversial thoughts of a famous writer that happened to be awarded with the Nobel Prize in 1999. I believe every great person is eccentric, well take these ideas as a product of that eccentricity, learn from them and keep on going, for tomorrow, the sun will light your mind.
I hope you enjoyed reading this letter, luckily found inspiration for your own philosophy of life as someone passionate about writing. How about your thoughts? Do you agree with Mr. Grass? I’ll be delighted to know about your thoughts and comments, please leave them below.