'GRASS GOES TO THE MOVIES.' GUEST LECTURE BY BRITISH PROFESSOR JULIAN PREECE

A screen capture from the adaptation of the novel 'The Tin Drum'

A screen capture from the adaptation of the novel 'The Tin Drum'

We would like to invite you to another Grassovian lecture organised by the Research Workshop on Borderland Narratives as a prelude to the celebrations of the 95th birthday of Günter Grass at the University of Gdańsk. Under the patronage of the Rector Major, prof. Piotr Stepnowski, together with the Günter Grass Association in Gdańsk, we are planning a series of events for October this year. Professor Julian Preece, a recognised British researcher of the Nobel Prize winner's works and the author of his biography, will give a lecture on May 31, at 1.15 pm, on the following topic: Grass geht ins Kino: Das Zeit-Problem in den Verfilmungen seiner Prosawerke (Grass Goes to the Movies: The Problem of Time in the Screenings of His Novels).

The meeting, moderated by dr hab. Miłosława Borzyszkowska-Szewczyk, prof. UG, will take place in room 1.68 in the Neophilology building. The lecture is organised in the framework of the IDUB project 'Borderlands in dialogue. Dialogues on the borderland. Narrations - memory - identity'.

We invite you to listen to the lecture.

About the lecture:

The balance sheet is rather modest and this is despite the worldwide success of Volker Schlöndorff's 1979 adaptation of the novel 'The Tin Drum'. So far, a total of four books by Günter Grass have been filmed. 'The Cat and the Mouse' (1967), 'The Rat' (1997) and 'The Call of the Toad' (2005) are the other three.

So what deters filmmakers from home and abroad? Certainly not the scale of popularity of the source material. The author, too, was always ready to support his literary texts' way to the screen. He stood alongside Schlöndorff, and first tried to win Andrzej Wajda over to the screen adaptation of 'Wróżby kumaka'.

My thesis is that Grass's works intertwine time planes and that the relationship between the time of the story and the story is highly variable (Schlöndorff almost completely ignored this aspect), and it is these literary strategies that make film adaptation difficult. In my talk, I will unveil how the problem of time has been dealt with in films and how directors have learned from each other or what they have not learned from their predecessors.

Julian Preece is a Professor of German Studies at the University of Swansea (Wales, UK). He is the author of numerous books, including Nine Lives: Ethnic Conflict in the Polish-Ukrainian Borderlands (1999) and two monographs on Günter Grass (2001 / 2018). His most recent book is 'The Lost Honour of Katharina Blum' in the British Film Institute Classics series (2022).

MJ/Press Office UG