Review: Dürrenmatt, Selected Writings
The December 22 & 29 issue of the TLS is packed with reviews of our new volumes of the writings of Friedrich Dürrennmatt (see below). Each of the reviews—not to mention the books themselves—merits a separate blog post. Michael Butler’s review of Friedrich Dürrenmatt’s Selected Writings completes the TLS‘s coverage of our publications from this prodigious and engaging writer who is regrettably known only for several of his plays. Butler notes that since Dürrenmatt’s death in 1990, his work has suffered a “long silence at least outside of the industrious groves of academe.” Butler continues:
The University of Chicago’s bold attempt with these meticulously presented volumes to “rediscover” Dürrenmatt for an English speaking readership is therefore welcome. The names of such distinguished scholars as Kenneth J. Northcott and Theodore Ziolkowski are a guarantee of high editorial standards, and each volume is equipped with a succinct and sensible introduction.… English readers have much to be grateful for. Above all, they have been provided with translations of impressive accuracy. Dürrenmatt is not an easy author to get into English, but Joel Agee has succeeded splendidly. He catches with admirable linguistic agility the shifts of tone and the unexpected shafts of humor amid the stygian gloom that constantly challenges Dürrenmatt’s readers.
Take a look at the website we’ve created for Dürrenmatt’s Selected Writings where you can peruse a fascinating collection of excerpts and essays, including those “succinct and sensible” introductions and an interview with Dürrenmatt.