Otto Weininger and the theme of the German-Jewish friendship in Günther Grass's Hundejahre

  • Jerry Schuchalter Åbo
Keywords: Weininger, Otto, 1880-1903, Grass, Günter, 1927-2015, Symbolism in literature, Fiction, Jewish literature, Austrian literature, German literature, Jewish authors, Authors, German, Symbolism, Jewish, Friendship


It has become a truism of contemporary literary criticism that every text contains overt and covert texts within its construction, that in other words each new text molds and fits previous texts into a new context. In Günther Grass’s Hundejahre (1963) this is especially discernible, since Grass’s novel is inter alia nothing short of a rewriting of a prominent German cultural narrative – namely, the narrative of friendship of two boys who grow into adulthood, one German and one Jewish. This narrative was familiar enough to broad sections of the reading public before the Second World War but disappeared from public consciousness as a result of the traumatized memories attached to German-Jewish relations emanating from the Third Reich. It is possible to exhume many texts in a work of such magnitude, but one text in particular appears with surprising frequency throughout Hundejahre – a fact which has received surprisingly little commentary from Grass critics – Otto Weininger´s Geschecht und Charakter (1903).
Sep 1, 1992
How to Cite
Schuchalter, J. (1992). Otto Weininger and the theme of the German-Jewish friendship in Günther Grass’s Hundejahre. Nordisk Judaistik/Scandinavian Jewish Studies, 13(2), 83-100.