Blechtrommel (The Tin Drum) By Günter Grass is one of my faves, along with the adapted movie version that hit the screen in 1979. The following, memorable conversation took place between two little people, Herr Bebra & our protagonist Oskar who decided to stop growing at the age of three.
(Herr Bebra, 1 meter in height, dressed in a swallow-tail coat completed with white tie, observing Oskar who enters the backstage/circus ground.)
Herr Bebra: Obviously in our time even a 3-year-old choose not to grow up. (offering a handshake to little Oskar). My name is Bebra. I am a direct descendant of Prince Eugene, whose father is King Louise XIV… No, I’m not a Savoy as they say. I stopped growing on my tenth birthday. Better than never, don’t you agree? Tell me, dear Oskar. How old are you? 14? 15?
Oskar: 12 ½
Herr Bebra: You can’t be serious! You know how old I am?
Herr Bebra: You are flattering me. I will be 53 in August. I could be your grandpa! (Studying the big tin drum around Oscar’s neck) Are you an artist too?
Oskar: Not really. Well… I can do tricks. (Starts screaming intensely, around them window and glasses fall to pieces.)
Herr Bebra (impressed): You must join us in the circus. You MUST!
Oskar: You know, Herr Bebra. To tell the truth: I’d rather be an observer. I prefer to nourish my art in secret.
Herr Bebra: Oh dear Oskar. Please trust the words of an experienced colleague. Our sort should never belong to the observer. Our sort should put on a show and be in control of the show. Otherwise it would be the others who control us.
P.S.: I’m 1m55 (5′ 1″). I’m a fervent South Europe-goer, because I feel less a dwarf there.