By Max Frisch
Translated by way of Geoffrey Skelton
from internal flap:
A shattering portrait of a guy on trial
in a courtroom of legislations and in his personal mind
Felix Schaad, a physician, stands accused
of strangling a name girl— his 6th wife.
He has no alibi. yet nor is there evi
dence pointing to his guilt, and he is
Schaad’s ready room, as soon as crowded,
is now empty. Now he has time: time to
play billiards, feed swans, stroll. Walking
releases recommendations, clarifies, confuses,
embellishes, creates labyrinths. Schaad
relives the testimony of his courtroom
trial — the bills of his neighbors and
former better halves. And he provides depositions
of these lengthy useless, together with his mother
and father. the reality and not anything yet the
Where is the line among guilt and in-
nocence, among damnation and re-
demption? Can whatever ease the mind
of a guy who doesn’t understand what guilt
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Extra info for Bluebeard
As long as I could keep moving my elbows. 49 Like wings. But that is very tiring. Even so, I nearly reached the ceiling in this room. — That would be twenty-four feet. — Actually, it isn’t permitted, I knew that, but it was a sort of lust, also pride: you are the only person who can fly. — And what happened next? — A gliding flight. — What do you mean by that? — A curve, I managed besides to glide in a curve, but that was no longer in the courtroom ; all at once a stretch o f country, m ountainous, a green reservoir beneath me, I was afraid my gliding flight w ouldn’t carry me to the bank—and the bank was perpendicular, a rocky cliff, abso lutely perpendicular.
I have now become so adept that, unless faced with a particularly difficult problem on the green rectangle beneath the lamp, I can go right on playing while I listen to yet another wife. — You are likewise Frau Schaad? — That is correct. — Your first name? — Andrea. — Your maiden name? — Padrutt. — Your occupation is housewife. — That is not correct. — But it’s entered here: housewife. — At the moment Pm working in a gallery. — What do you call such work? — I was a graduate student. . — Your duty as a witness, Frau Doktor, is to tell the truth and nothing but the truth; you are aware that perjury carries a prison sentence—in aggravated cases, up to five years’ penal servi tude.
The witness reflects. — Was he talking to himself? — He asked where the telephone was. — And did he go to the telephone? — Not right away. . — And what happened next? — Then he suddenly got up. — How long was he telephoning? — He didn’t get through, he said, and that was true—we can see by the meter—but later the gentleman went back to the booth, then once more, and he said the line was busy. The truth and nothing but the truth. — Herr Schaad, whom were you trying just now to call from this restaurant?