Bluebeard by Max Frisch

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
acquitted.
Schaad’s ready room, as soon as crowded,
is now empty. Now he has time: time to
play billiards, feed swans, stroll. Walking
releases options, clarifies, confuses,
embellishes, creates labyrinths. Schaad
relives the testimony of his courtroom
trial — the bills of his neighbors and
former other halves. And he provides depositions
of these lengthy lifeless, together with his mother
and father. the reality and not anything yet the
truth.
Where is the line among guilt and in­-
nocence, among damnation and re­-
demption? Can something ease the mind
of a guy who doesn’t be aware of what guilt
signifies?

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Extra info for Bluebeard

Example text

Three. 27 — W hat effect did they have on him? — He was sweating. — What else did you notice? 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.

One is that the spring lock was opened from the inside, which means that Rosalinde Z. let the murderer into her apartment. , as we have heard, was under the influence of a strong sedative. W hich is the reason, presumably, why there was no resistance. The second possibility: that the murderer was in possession o f a key to the apartment. We do not know who, apart from the accused and the cleaning lady, possessed a key; but it is beyond all doubt that the accused possessed a key. What was not disclosed in court: our former boy­ hood games in the gravel pit.

Only as a woman, I believe, did she always enjoy suc­ cess, and she needed that as self-affirmation. That is easy enough to understand. All I know is that in Bern she lived with a man whom she really loved, for three or five years. A singer. I have forgotten his name. It says here a commercial artist. The commercial artist was her second husband. The singer was married, often away on tours, and almost ten years older than Rosalinde. W hat else did you know? She was not a nymphomaniac. But from time to time she needed self-afiirmation as a woman, because her father the major in Sion had other expectations for her, and all of that you could understand, Herr D oktor Schaad.

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