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Corriere della Sera - Italy | Thursday, April 5, 2012

Diatribe as a marketing strategy

With his anti-Israeli poem What Must be Said Günter Grass is only doing himself a favour, writes the liberal-conservative daily Corriere della Sera: "Grass has always been good at self-promotion. ... He has now proven this once again with the publication of his poem against Israel. In a cool marketing strategy he selected several newspapers to disseminate his Brechtian diatribe against the great lie. ... Grass is shrewd. He incorporated the accusations he knew this would reap into his poem. The problem is that the accusations against which Grass pre-emptively defends himself are all true. … For instance the 'crimes' of his country. Certainly, it's not easy to come to terms with the past, but Grass can't afford to use ironic words on a subject as sensitive as the role the German people played in the extermination of the Jews in Europe. Even the poem format can't obscure such blatant insensitivity."

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