By Max Frisch
Translated via Geoffrey Skelton
from internal flap:
A shattering portrait of a guy on trial
in a courtroom of legislation 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
Schaad’s ready room, as soon as crowded,
is now empty. Now he has time: time to
play billiards, feed swans, stroll. Walking
releases suggestions, clarifies, confuses,
embellishes, creates labyrinths. Schaad
relives the testimony of his courtroom
trial — the bills of his buddies 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
Where is the line among guilt and in-
nocence, among damnation and re-
demption? Can whatever ease the mind
of a guy who doesn’t comprehend what guilt
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Extra info for Bluebeard
The witness nods. — And in what manner did his almost patholog* ical jealousy reveal itself? 34 The witness reflects. — — — — Did he open letters? I don’t think so. Yet all the same he didn’t trust you. . For instance, he would send me flowers. W ith no indication o f who sent them. And when I unwrapped them, he would watch me, trying to see if the flowers made me embarrassed. I am still sitting there steaming, I place my blue towel over my belly as the state-appointed defense attorney takes the floor.
Because he began drinking. — And when he was drunk, Frau Schaad—and this is my final question—what did he do when he had too much to drink? — He talked. . — W hat about? — Always the same thing . . ' — And that was? — I can’t remember. — You can’t remember. . Sometimes the presiding judge has also had enough: 46 — Can the witness now be allowed to stand down? The witness takes up her handbag. — The trial is adjourned to Monday morning at eight. I place my billiard cue back in the rack. I put on my jacket.
Yes. Did you speak to her? No. Why not? Her friend said my wife was already asleep and it was very late, which it was—it was nearly three in the morning—so I begged her pardon. You were relieved? I was drunk. And your wife found out. . Unfortunately, yes; I apparently talked a lot of nonsense, and my wife heard about it in the morning. After that you never telephoned again? No. On another occasion when your wife felt threatened at home by you, and for that reason spent the night with the afore-mentioned friend, you went to a concert in the Tonhalle and saw the afore-mentioned friend in the lobby.