By Max Frisch
Translated via Geoffrey Skelton
from internal flap:
A shattering portrait of a guy on trial
in a court docket 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
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 debts of his buddies and
former better 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 something ease the mind
of a guy who doesn’t understand what guilt
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Additional info for Bluebeard
Your first name? — Lilian. — Your maiden name was Habersack. — That is correct. — Occupation? — Nursery-school teacher. — You are divorced, Frau Schaad? — That is correct. — So you know the accused personally. . Laughter in court. — Your duty as a witness is to tell the truth and nothing but the truth; you are aware that per 33 jury carries a prison sentence—in aggravated cases, up to five years’ penal servitude. When wives are being questioned the courtroom is full; marriage, even for young people, still seems to be a problem.
For how long? — For days, and then he went on a trip. . — And a letter arrived from Vienna, a copy of which lies before the court; I don ’t know, Frau Schaad, whether you remember this rather lengthy letter? — By then this affair, as he thought o f it, was over. — And what happened after that? — From then on he slept in his studio. — And what else? — I was very depressed at that time. — Because he was so possessive? — 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?
A man, maybe? A young man, an old man? Someone like Herr Schaad . . The girl shrugs her shoulders. Did you hear any screams? The girl is silent. You don’t know any longer. . No. Well, it was a long time ago.
Bluebeard by Max Frisch