Max Frisch

(1911-1991 / Zürich)

Max Frisch Quotes

  • ''It [Switzerland] has called for workers, and has been given human beings.''
    Max Frisch (1911-1991), Swiss author, critic. Originally published as Tagebuch 1966-1971, Suhrkamp (1972). Sketchbook 1966-1971, p. 8, trans. by Geoffrey Skelton (1971), Methuen (1974). In the 1980s and 1990s this phrase become an often-quoted adage in the Central European debate about guest workers.
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  • ''Dignity: the doomed man's final refuge.''
    Max Frisch (1911-1991), Swiss author, critic. Originally published as Tagebuch 1966-1971, Suhrkamp (1972). Sketchbook 1966-1971, p. 93, trans. by Geoffrey Skelton (1971), Methuen (1974). Part of Frisch's semi-satirical musings about a "voluntary death association."
  • ''In view of the fact that the number of people living too long has risen catastrophically and still continues to rise.... Question: Must we live as long as modern medicine enables us to?... We control our entry into life, it is time we began to control our exit.''
    Max Frisch (1911-1991), Swiss author, critic. Originally published as Tagebuch 1966-1971, Suhrkamp (1972). Sketchbook 1966-1971, p. 71, trans. by Geoffrey Skelton (1971), Methuen (1974). Introduction to Frisch's semi-satirical musings about a "voluntary death association."
  • ''It's precisely the disappointing stories, which have no proper ending and therefore no proper meaning, that sound true to life.''
    Max Frisch (1911-1991), Swiss author, architect. Stiller, in "First Notebook," I'm Not Stiller (1954, trans. 1958).
  • ''A real life, a life that leaves a deposit in the shape of something alive.... It's difficult to say what makes a life a real life.... You could also say it depends on a person being identical with himself.''
    Max Frisch (1911-1991), Swiss author, critic. Originally published as Stiller, Suhrkamp (1954). Stiller, in I'm Not Stiller, first notebook, pp. 55-56, trans. by Michael Bullock, Vintage (1958). Stiller's central conflict.
  • ''My greatest fear: repetition.''
    Max Frisch (1911-1991), Swiss author, critic. Originally published as Stiller, Suhrkamp (1954). Stiller, in I'm Not Stiller, first notebook, p. 58, trans. by Michael Bullock, Vintage (1958). One of Stiller's existential obsessions.
  • ''I have no words for my reality.''
    Max Frisch (1911-1991), Swiss author, critic. Originally published as Stiller, Suhrkamp (1954). Stiller, in I'm Not Stiller, first notebook p. 68, trans. by Michael Bullock, Vintage (1958). The problem of authenticity and its representation.
  • ''You can put anything into words, except your own life.''
    Max Frisch (1911-1991), Swiss author, critic. Originally published as Stiller, Suhrkamp (1954). Stiller, in I'm Not Stiller, first notebook, p. 54, trans. by Michael Bullock (1958), Vintage (1958). Epitomizing the novels central theme of modern man's problematic identity.
  • ''Ballet remained the only outlet for her sensuality.''
    Max Frisch (1911-1991), Swiss author, critic. Originally published as Stiller, Suhrkamp (1954). Stiller, in I'm Not Stiller, second notebook, p. 83, trans. by Michael Bullock, Vintage (1958). On Julika, Stiller's wife.
  • ''Our comparative fidelity was fear of defeat at the hands of another partner.''
    Max Frisch (1911-1991), Swiss author, critic. Originally published as Stiller, Suhrkamp (1954). Stiller, in I'm Not Stiller, second notebook, p. 132, trans. by Michael Bullock, Vintage (1958).

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