The humanism of Max Frisch as revealed in his plays, 1945-1961

Lewis, Barbara (Kelly) (1973) The humanism of Max Frisch as revealed in his plays, 1945-1961. Masters thesis, Memorial University of Newfoundland.

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Max Frisch, a Swiss, and one-time professional architect, is considered one of the most important literary men writing in German since World War II. He cannot easily be classified in conventional literary terms; his scope of artistic activity is too broad and therefore evades a single and clear-cut definition. This thesis is primarily concerned with Max Frisch, the playwright. -- There are numerous ways in which one can view the theatrical efforts of Frisch. He is often considered a devoted disciple of Bertolt Brecht, an antithetical imitator of Thornton Wilder, and a friendly rival of Friedrich Dürrenmatt. I have chosen a less comparative view of Frisch's plays, and will concentrate on one essential feature of his dramaturgy: - how his plays reflect his personal and lingering humanistic concerns. -- Frisch's sincere interest in the humanistic ethic is, however, crucially different from the humanism of the past. This new understanding of the meaning of humanism will be discussed in the introductory pages of this thesis. The inhumanity clearly displayed during World War II was the instigating factor for Frisch's serious and sincere probing of man, the social and political creature. This thesis is an attempt to show that this theme forms an essential continuous thread of thought through five of his most important plays written between 1945 and 1961: Nun singen sie wieder (1945), Als der Krieg zu Ende war (1949), Die Chinesische Mauer (1946, 1955), Biedermann und die Brandstifter (1958) and Andorra (1961). These plays demonstrate Frisch's concern for the condition of man and the condition of the world, a concern which underlies his understanding of humanism.

Item Type: Thesis (Masters)
Item ID: 7510
Additional Information: Bibliography: leaves 138-143
Department(s): Humanities and Social Sciences, Faculty of > German and Russian
Date: 1973
Date Type: Submission
Library of Congress Subject Heading: Frisch, Max, 1911-1991

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