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Other titles in the German List series:
An Answer from the Silence: A Story from the Mountains (Sb-The German List)by Max Frisch
Synopses & Reviews
“New York . . . I HATE IT. . . I LOVE IT. . . I DONT KNOW. . .” These are the reflections of Max Frisch (1911-91) writing from his apartment in the Big Apple near the end of the twentieth century. Beginning in 1946 and continuing until his death at the age of eighty, the man whom many see as Switzerlands greatest writer kept a series of sketchbooks to record his reactions to events of the time and people he encountered in his daily life. Neither a commonplace book nor a diary, these volumes contain the seeds for many of Frischs most famous works—including Homo Faber, Im Not Stiller, and Man in the Holocene—as well as his cynical meditations, fictions, incidents, conversations, meetings, newspaper headlines and dark fantasies—anything, in short, that the author found significant.
Drafts for a Third Sketchbook treats the reader to an even more personal document. Unpublished at the time of Frischs death, this collection was edited by Peter von Matt, president of the Max Frisch Foundation, with an eye toward expanding our knowledge of this legendary writers last days. Ranging from a couple of sentences to several pages, the sketches collected in this volume recall the United States of the Reagan years and the authors own growing sense of age as both the threat of nuclear war and some of his most treasured friendships pass on. Representing an unusually personal vista onto the world as Frisch knew it, this is a wonderful self-portrait of an extraordinary intelligence.
"In acclaimed Swiss writer Frisch's novella, available for the first time in English, a young man wrestles with his horror of ordinariness (i.e. getting married and starting a career as a teacher) by going on walkabout in the Swiss Alps, while his long-suffering fiancÃ© Barbara wonders why he's disappeared 10 days before their wedding. In the mountains, he meets Irene, a 'young foreign woman,' who briefly diverts him from his desire to climb the treacherous North Ridge, giving rise to a hope that flirting with her rather than dying will satisfy his desire to 'live...just one single, unrepeatable time in this unutterably magnificent world!' But even Irene's charms are not enough to distract him from his quest and he slips away early one morning to continue alone. Infused with a post-WWI despair at the human condition, Frisch (1911-1991) refused this early piece's inclusion in his collected works in the 1970s, having burned the original manuscript in the woods in 1937. It seems a pity that this earnest and unusual book, in a crisp translation by Mitchell, has been denied us until now. (Mar.)" Publishers Weekly Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved.
This novel by esteemed Swiss writer Max Frisch is an exploration of the question: “Why dont we live when we know were here just this one time, just one single, unrepeatable time in this unutterably magnificent world?!” This outcry against the emptiness of ordinary everyday life uttered by the hero of Frischs book is countered by “an answer from the silence” he meets when face-to-face with death.
When An Answer from the Silence begins, the protagonist has just turned thirty and is engaged to be married and about to start work as a teacher. Frightened by the idea of settling down, he journeys to the Alps in a do-or-die effort to climb the unclimbed North Ridge, and by doing so prove he is not ordinary. But having reached the top he returns not in triumph, but in frostbitten shock, having come dangerously close to death.
This highly personal early novel reflects a crisis in Frischs own life, and perhaps because of this intimate connection, he refused to allow it to be included in his Collected Works in the 1970s. Now available in English, this distinctive book will thrill fans of Frischs other works.
About the Author
Max Frisch (1911-91) was one of the giants of twentieth-century literature, achieving fame as a novelist, playwright, diarist, and essayist. His works include Andorra, Im Not Stiller, A Wilderness of Mirrors, and Man in the Holocene. Mike Mitchell has published over fifty translations, including works by Goethe, Thomas Bernhard, and Oskar Kokoschka.
Table of Contents
An Answer from the Silence: A Story from the Mountains
Afterword by Peter von Matt
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