Inside a story there are no mistakes, only the living through of mistakes: Berger on Grass

In response to the recent controversy around Günther Grass‘s membership of the Waffen SS as a young man, John Berger writes on ethics and experience in The Guardian:

The denial of true reflection


These thoughts come to my mind as I read the macabre denunciations being levelled today against Günter Grass. About him as a man and about his great work as a writer, they totally miss the point, and might be dismissed as laughable, but, as an index of a certain recent moral climate in Europe, they are troubling. They are an example of moral judgments made in a carefully constructed vacuum of experience. They are what is left after the emptying out of lived experience, and they are a strident denial of what we know in our bones to be real.

via Charlotte Street