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4 - Max Frisch's Andorra: Balancing Act between Pattern and Particular

Published online by Cambridge University Press:  05 December 2013

Olaf Berwald
Affiliation:
Associate Professor of German and Chair of the Department of Modern and Classical Languages and Literatures at the University of North Dakota
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Summary

The theme ofAndorra: Ein Stück in zwölf Bildern (Andorra: A Play in Twelve Scenes, 1961), both as a geographical topos and as an allegory of isolation and narrowness, absorbed Max Frisch since the early stages of his career. In Frisch's Tagebuch 1946–1949, one finds a first reference to the small state: “Andorra ist ein kleines Land, sogar ein sehr kleines Land, und schon darum ist das Volk, das darin lebt, ein sonder-bares Volk, ebenso mißtrauisch wie ehrgeizig, mißtrauisch gegen alles, was aus den eigenen Tälern kommt” (Andorra is a small country, very small indeed, and just for this very reason the people living there are odd people, as distrustful as they are ambitious, suspicious of everything even when it comes out of their own valleys). A few entries later, under the heading “The Andorran Jew,” Frisch converges the thematic complex in one person who will eventually evolve into the main character of the play, a young man who was believed to be a Jew and onto whom everyone projected a ready-made image, “das fertige Bildnis, das ihn überall erwartet” (372; the fixed image that meets him everywhere: 19).

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Publisher: Boydell & Brewer
Print publication year: 2013

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