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This is the first study to discuss the affinity between Grass's complete works and baroque literature. Grass's employment of baroque literature is of particular interest because it takes up a tradition from which German literature has long broken away. Alexander Weber's argument moves from an outline of general thematic parallels in the early works to an analysis of the conscious use of baroque literature in Der Butt and Das Treffen in Telgte. He offers both a close reading of Grass and general reflections on how a past literary tradition can be adopted by a modern writer. The study focuses on the themes of vanity, carpe diem, and Senecan Stoicism in the early works; it discusses parallels between the rhetorical structure of the courtly-historical novel and Der Butt and traces the artist's melancholy and baroque allegories in Der Butt and Das Treffen in Telgte.
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