Books: Poets in Search of Peace

THE MEETING AT TELGTE by Günter Grass

Translated by Ralph Manheim; Harcourt Brace Jovanovich; 147 pages; $9.95

Historical novelists commonly cast imaginary characters in real events. Author Günter Grass, 53, turns this standard formula on its head. The Meeting at Telgte teems with more than 20 German writers and literary figures, all of whom actually lived and worked during the 17th century. What these people did not do, how ever, is precisely the subject of Grass's novel. They did not meet together in 1647, near the end of the Thirty Years' War, nor did...

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