Friedrich Dürrenmatt: Selected Writings, Volume 2, Fictions by Friedrich DürrenmattFriedrich Dürrenmatt: Selected Writings, Volume 2, Fictions by Friedrich Dürrenmatt

Friedrich Dürrenmatt: Selected Writings, Volume 2, Fictions

byFriedrich Dürrenmatt

Hardcover | October 15, 2006

Pricing and Purchase Info


Earn 228 plum® points

Prices and offers may vary in store

Out of stock online

Not available in stores


The Swiss writer Friedrich Dürrenmatt (1921–90) was one of the most important literary figures of the second half of the twentieth century. During the years of the cold war, arguably only Beckett, Camus, Sartre, and Brecht rivaled him as a presence in European letters. Yet outside Europe, this prolific author is primarily known for only one work, The Visit. With these long-awaited translations of his plays, fictions, and essays, Dürrenmatt becomes available again in all his brilliance to the English-speaking world.

This second volume of Selected Writings reveals a writer who may stand as Kafka’s greatest heir. Dürrenmatt’s novellas and short stories are searing, tragicomic explorations of the ironies of justice and the corruptibility of institutions. Apart from The Pledge, a requiem to the detective story that was made into a film starring Jack Nicholson, none of the works in this volume are available elsewhere in English. Among the most evocative fictions included here are two novellas: The Assignment and Traps. The Assignment tells the story of a woman filmmaker investigating a mysterious murder in an unnamed Arab country and has been hailed by Sven Birkerts as “a parable of hell for an age consumed by images.” Traps, meanwhile, is a chilling comic novella about a traveling salesman who agrees to play the role of the defendant in a mock trial among dinner companions—and then pays the ultimate penalty.

Dürrenmatt has long been considered a great writer—but one unfairly neglected in the modern world of letters. With these elegantly conceived and expertly translated volumes, a new generation of readers will rediscover his greatest works.

Friedrich Dürrenmatt was born in 1921 in the village of Konolfingen, near Berne, Switzerland, and was the son of a Protestant minister. During World War II he studied philosophy and literature at the Universities of Berne and Zurich. He wrote prolifically and traveled widely in the 1950s, ’60s, and ’70s, taking particular interest in h...
Title:Friedrich Dürrenmatt: Selected Writings, Volume 2, FictionsFormat:HardcoverDimensions:408 pages, 9 × 6 × 1.3 inPublished:October 15, 2006Publisher:University Of Chicago PressLanguage:English

The following ISBNs are associated with this title:

ISBN - 10:0226174298

ISBN - 13:9780226174297


Table of Contents

Introduction by Theodore Ziolkowski

The Sausage
The Old Man
The Theater Director
The Dog
The Tunnel
The Pledge  - Requiem for the Detective Novel
Greek Man Seeks Greek Wife - A Prose Comedy
Traps - A Still Possible Story
The Coup
The Dying of the Pythia
The Minotaur - A Ballad
The Assignment; or, On the Observing of the Observer of the Observers - A Novella in Twenty-four Sentences