die Onleihe der Bibliotheken des Goethe-Instituts e.V.. Drafts for a third sketchbook

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This could serve as a motto to large parts of Drafts for a Third Sketchbook, much of which focuses on America, where Frisch had an apartment, as well as his house in rural Switzerland. He wrote three Sketchbooks, of which the third was left unpublished at his death in 1991, that record his reactions to events of the time and people he encountered in his daily life. Despite the German title Tagebuch, they are not diaries in the formal sense, though they do progress chronologically but mostly without dates and only contain the pieces Frisch felt were significant. These 'sketches', ranging from a couple of sentences to several pages, are not casual jottings but carefully crafted pieces. Central to them is his reaction to the America of the Reagan years and the threat of nuclear war but another important theme is his own sense of growing old and the prospect of dying; this is particularly movingly portrayed in the decline and death from cancer of his close friend, Peter Noll.

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Max Frisch (1911-91) was one of the giants of twentieth-century literature, achieving fame as a novelist, playwright, diarist and essayist. He received the Georg Büchner prize in 1958 and the Neustadt Literature prize in 1986.

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