örtlich betäubt; Local Anaesthetic

örtlich betäubt; Local Anaesthetic (1969)This novel is a study of intergenerational conflict which addresses the student movement of the 1960s. It follows Eberhard Starusch, who featured in the Danzig trilogy as Störtebeker, the leader of an anarchic teenage gang known as the Stäuber. These teenage gangs, known as Edelweiss Pirates, emerged in the late 1930s as a reaction against the Hitler Youth. By the time of this novel, however, Starusch has become a middle-aged school teacher and thus a representative of the prevailing social order. Now he is confronted with the student activists of the sixties who reject the existing order because they regard it as tainted by its continuity with the National Socialist past.

Further Reading

Chloe Paver, ‘Lois Lane, Donald Duck and Joan Baez: Popular Culture and Protest Culture in Günter Grass’s örtlich betäubt’, German Life and Letters 50 (1997), 53-64

Chloe Paver, ‘Günter Grass: örtlich betäubt’ in Paver, Narrative and Fantasy in the Postwar German Novel (Oxford: Oxford University Press, 1999), pp. 164-95

Stuart Taberner, ‘Feigning the Anaesthetization of Literary Inventiveness: Günter Grass’s örtlich betäubt and the Public Responsibility of the Politically Engaged Author’, Forum for Modern Language Studies 34 (1997), 69-81