die Onleihe Niederbayern-Oberpfalz. Selected Essays



By turns playful and polemical, poetic and provocative, mordantly comical and deadly serious, these "Selected Essays" by Friedrich Dürrenmatt provide a fine introduction to the great Swiss writer's restless intellect and the remarkable scope of his oeuvre. A cluster of essays on the theatre illuminate his idiosyncratic dramaturgical theories, drawing on examples from Attic comedy to Schiller, Brecht and professional wrestling. The spectrum of philosophical essays is equally broad, encompassing sceptical forays into metaphysics and hard-nosed yet passionate reflections on ethical and political questions. Finally, autobiographical pieces such as the monumental 'Vallon de l'Ermitage' offer an intimate look at the 'web of time', place and people in which Dürrenmatt lived and worked, suffused with melancholy, flashes of tenderness and his inimitable sense of the grotesque and absurd.

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Friedrich Dürrenmatt became famous for his philosophical mystery novels, most notably "The Pledge" (1958), and provocative and darkly comic plays such as "The Visit" (1956). Throughout his life, his main focus lay on the theatre; he combined hands-on theatrical work with extensive theorizing on his own brand of epic theatre. A talented visual artist, he left a distinguished body of painting and graphic work that complements his literary oeuvre. He died in Neuchâtel in 1990, universally regarded as one of Switzerland's greatest modern writers.

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