Friedrich Dürrenmatt

Selected Writings, Volume 3, Essays

Friedrich Dürrenmatt

Friedrich Dürrenmatt

Translated by Joel Agee
Edited by Kenneth J. Northcott
With an Introduction by Brian Evenson
184 pages | 6 x 9 | © 2006
Cloth $29.00 ISBN: 9780226174327 Published October 2006

The Swiss writer Friedrich Dürrenmatt (1921–90) was one of the most important literary figures of the second half of the twentieth century. During the years of the cold war, arguably only Beckett, Camus, Sartre, and Brecht rivaled him as a presence in European letters. Yet outside Europe, this prolific author is primarily known for only one work, The Visit. With these long-awaited translations of his plays, fictions, and essays, Dürrenmatt becomes available again in all his brilliance to the English-speaking world. 

Dürrenmatt’s essays, gathered in this third volume of Selected Writings, are among his most impressive achievements. Their range alone is astonishing: he wrote with authority and charm about art, literature, philosophy, politics, and the theater. The selections here include Dürrenmatt’s best-known essays, such as “Theater Problems” and “Monster Essay on Justice and Law,” as well as the notes he took on a 1970 journey in America (in which he finds the United States “increasingly susceptible to every kind of fascism”). This third volume of Selected Writings also includes essays that shade into fiction, such as “The Winter War in Tibet,” a fantasy of a third world war waged in a vast subterranean labyrinth—a Plato’s Cave allegory rewritten for our own troubled times. 

Dürrenmatt has long been considered a great writer—but one unfairly neglected in the modern world of letters. With these elegantly conceived and expertly translated volumes, a new generation of readers will rediscover his greatest works.

Contents
Introduction
by Brian Evenson
 
The Winter War in Tibet
The Bridge
Switzerland—A Prison - A Speech for Václav Havel
Monster Lecture on Justice and Law, with a Helvetian Interlude - A Minor Dramaturgy of Politics
Sentences from America
Theater Problems
Automobile and Railroad Nations
The Brain
Vinter
The Traveler's Standpoint
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