Sudden stumbling

I never had a sweet tooth for Max Frisch. His writing seemed too artificial to me but not in a very artistic way. Too tearful the men and without any personal character the women he created. Stiller, a true everybody, a person you neither like or dislike. Biography as possibility as if ever much possibilities exist for a life and not compromises and tiredness, burnt milk and empty shelves would reign more powerful as any invention of Gantenbein. His drama pieces I didn’t like much either, political ambitious but in a way only Swiss architects might be able to be. Andorra, a childish, a simple play, simple moral, accurately fitting for generations of school theatre clubs. Vain his life as his pieces. But maybe I am just unjust and unable to excuse his marriage with Ingeborg Bachmann, whose literature I love so much. But as obviously anyone who reads Frisch, a few years ago I drove from New York to Montauk, still the book of him I like at least as much as I like the silly goose Emma Bovary,windy was the afternoon and for a long time I just looked and forgot the book in my handbag and wanted to stay for longer, for much longer, but I had to drive back soon, too soon. Then for many years my fingers didn’t stop at the books with Frisch on the back, but went in many other directions. Nothing I missed, no sentence came in my mind I wanted to breath or chew or look at, till last week, when I got up in the library quite sudden, ran along the shelves, searching till I found the blue volume. Max Frisch, Diaries, 1966-1971. Quite annoyed I became of myself, that it was Max Frisch who came first in my mind when thinking about the topic and even more annoyed when I realized that exactly his Questionnaire would fit better than anything else I thought of for my seminar. He of all people. And when I browsed through the pages I came across his description of meeting Bert Brecht first in Zurich and later in East-Berlin, his memoirs of traveling in the Soviet-Union and his quite ironic capability of transforming life into literature. But odd it remains that those come to us most often, we presume we need at least but maybe it is much simpler and in an alien land most impossible constellations are the most common ones, as the biography of Homo Faber is no longer a game but a simple string of neither good nor bad coincidences.

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