Gunter Grass, The Rat, Translated by Ralph Manheim
Where man had been, in every place he left, garbage remained. Even in his pursuit of the ultimate truth and quest for his God, he produced garbage. By his garbage, which lay stratum upon stratum, he could always - one only had to dig - be known. For more long-lived than man is his refuse. Garbage alone lives after him.
Vast plains infested with garbage, beaches strewn with garbage, valleys clogged with garbage. Synthetic flakes on the move. Tubes that have forgotten their ketchup and never rot. Shoes of neither leather nore straw walk self-propelled with the sand and collect in pits full of garbage, where already yachtsman's gloves and droll inflatable animals are waiting. All these things speak of you, now and forever. You and your works wrapped in clear plastic, sealed in vacuum bags, moulded in synthetic resin, you in chips and clips: the human race that was.
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