MONTAUK by Max Frisch


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Indian summer notations about a May weekend spent at Long Island's Montauk Point by the Swiss novelist, aged 62, and ""Lynn,"" a young Manhattan career woman. ""In order to remain a writer, he has to treat things that recur in his life in a different way each time. . . I want to invent nothing."" So Frisch, bemused, follows Lynn through the obligatory movements of the Montauk weekend--the motel (dinner, ping-pong, and sex), a beach sprawl in capricious weather, the long car trip--while candidly observing the total engagement of an aging novelist with his psycho-social baggage. He brings to mind friends and the gifts of fame, marriage, property--and women: ""They are surprised when I see in them something my predecessors had not seen."" But abruptly there is a crisis, and a terrifying premonition: ""Yesterday the long, easy afternoon: as if everything had been solved (as often before) once and for all. [Then] my fears of my mind's forsaking me. . . the world withdrawn into its future without me . . . ."" Back in the city, he parts from Lynn (would she be his last woman?) and the narrative clicks off with a glimpse of her ""walking figure."" A cannily artful journal, not meant for ""exemplary"" significance, but which may indicate, just where, at one particular moment, one indisputably is.

Pub Date: May 17th, 1976
Publisher: Harcourt Brace Jovanovich