Far from being a nameless, heroless mass.

I have also been told that it makes a good impression, an impression of modesty so to speak, if you begin by saying that a novel can’t have a hero any more because there are no more individualists, because individuality is a thing of the past, because man–each man and all men together–is alone in his loneliness and no one is entitled to individual loneliness, and all men lumped together make up a “lonely mass” without names and without heroes. All this may be true. But as far as I and Bruno my keeper are concerned, I beg leave to say that we are both heroes, very different heroes, he on his side of the peephole, and I one my side; and even when he opens the door, the two of us, with all our friendship and loneliness, are still far from being a nameless, heroless mass.

The Tin Drum by Günter Grass


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