This integrated five-year chronology of both fiction and non-fiction in notebook form by the noted Swiss journalist,...

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SKETCHBOOK 1966-1971

This integrated five-year chronology of both fiction and non-fiction in notebook form by the noted Swiss journalist, architect, playwright and novelist stuns the intellect with a constantly changing current. Frisch's dated journal of his trips to Russia and America, his meeting with Henry Kissinger at the time of the Cambodian invasion, his encounter with a benign old peasant who may or may not be Nikita Khrushchev, his portraits of Brecht and Grass, his ironic excerpts of newspaper articles, are factual accounts. The short stories included here are solely the product of an artist's imagination. But other pieces fall into a generic shadow -- his Questionnaires about marriage, friendship, women (Who invented the castration complex?), hope, property (Are you frightened of the poor? Why not?), death, humor (Is there such a thing as classless humor?); his Notes for a Handbook of a society formed by older persons for self-determined euthanasia; and his Interrogations, or dialogues, on the use of violence for political ends. The themes of paranoia, failure, age, death, and self-doubt recur throughout. Within his presentation of the political climate of the Western world (including Vietnam), Frisch paints the faintly absurd politics of the young with wonder and misgiving at the gap between immaturity and the senility of aging policymakers. Frisch's Man in all his relationships and at all his ages is a highly political animal, but a frail and foolish one. A sketchbook; yet an unusual vision of the limits of human knowledge and the dilemma that it poses -- and an extraordinary intelligence at work.

Pub Date: April 3, 1974

ISBN: 0156827476

Page Count: -

Publisher: Harcourt Brace Jovanovich

Review Posted Online: N/A

Kirkus Reviews Issue: April 1, 1974