My dwarfism

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?

Oskar: 35

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.

julie 超辣

Determined dreamer. Published author in English, Dutch, and Chinese. Former People’s Liberation Army (PLA) captain turned artist entrepreneur and screenwriter. She survived the Cultural Revolution as a baby. In the 1990’s she left for London and has lived and worked in free exile ever since. Her work covers a wide spectrum. As journalist, she creates content covering a range of topics on contemporary China from an insider perspective. In 2008, during the Beijing Olympics, she hosted a 5-episode talk show TV China for Netherlands’ national broadcaster and discussed China’s media landscape with media stars and experts from both China and the Netherlands. From 2013-2016 she was the Editor-in-Chief of the English/Chinese bilingual magazine XiN 新, focusing on today’s China shaped by consumerism. O’yang contributes a weekly column to Hoje Macau on contemporary Chinese art and culture. Her English language book titles include: Butterfly, a historical crime love story set in the Second World War. Since May 2016 O'yang has been collaborating with Flemish photographer Filip Naudts on an art project, which has resulted in the photo novel The Picture of Dorya Glenn. Julie works from the Netherlands and Denmark.

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  1. John Emerson says:

    Holland is the tallest nation in the world. There are peoples like the Dinka which are taller, but they don’t have states.

    1. I’m a dwarf sans frontières. Thx John.

  2. This is my favorite book of all time

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