Friedrich D├╝rrenmatt, Max Frisch

Translated by Birgit Schreyer Duarte


4.25 x 7 inches, 286pp, 15 halftones, 3 facsimilies February 2012

ISBN : 9781906497910

Rs  450.00 (HB)
$20.00 (HB)
£13.00 (HB)

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Together Max Frisch and Friedrich Dürrenmatt are not only two of the most esteemed Swiss writers of the twentieth century, but arguably two of the most important European writers since World War II. The remarkable letters gathered here document their unique, unlikely and extraordinary friendship.


This collection of correspondence offers a picture of two temperaments that could not have been more different. As their letters show, at first their friendship was tentative, both critical and respectful, as one might imagine of two contemporary literary giants. Then, under the pressure of their increasing fame, Frisch and Dürrenmatt’s letters became more teasing in spirit and began to carry a noted undertone of irony. Finally, perhaps inevitably, the friendship became seriously endangered and failed.


Available in English for the first time, this collection includes an introduction by Peter Rüedi that places the letters within the context of the authors’ lives and works, as well as the larger historical events of the time. Detailed notes, a chronology, photographs and facsimiles of the original letters complete the book, which will be engaging reading for admirers of Frisch and Dürrenmatt as well as fans of modern German writing in general. 

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, I’m Not Stiller, A Wilderness of Mirrors, and Man in the Holocene.

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. 


Birgit Schreyer Duarte is a freelance dramaturge, theatre director, and translator. She has also translated works by Pascal Mercier and Roland Schimmelpfennig.

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