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December 1963

The Tin Drum.

Arch Intern Med. 1963;112(6):1008. doi:10.1001/archinte.1963.03860060220053

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The air of credible unreality that surrounds Roskolnikov and Hans Castorp completely envelops Oskar Bronski-Matzerath as the genius of Günter Grass somehow transforms a premise beyond logic and plot beyond probability into a thoroughly believable picaresque novel. Even the casual reader will be aware that Oskar not only lives, but that he is certainly drumming up some new entanglement just down the block.

At least I hope he has a drum, for without one Oskar is emotionally mute. Who would not attach great importance to a drum if scarcely past navigating the birth canal he heard his mother's expressions of joy and her first promise—to buy him a drum for his third birthday? In some circles, indeed, this might be called psychic imprinting. By the time Oskar receives the gift, he has had plenty of time to consider the proper place of drums in the world and to analyze his

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