Homo Faber by Max Frisch

Homo Faber by Max Frisch

Translator – Michael Bullock

Swiss Fiction

Max Frisch was Swiss writer ,he worked for a early part  of his career as a journalist ,then study architecture and became a architect .he was a member of gruppe Olten a group of post war swiss writer that meet in a old swiss rail cafe they beleived in a democratic  socailist   society .Homo Faber is the story of Walter Faber he is an  engineer,we meet him as he is travleing roun the world on behalf of the united nations .He is onn a flight that crashes in Mexican desert .This leads Walter to confront his life firstly loooking back to an affair in europe when younger ,this in turns leads to a meeting with a daughter he never knew he had .all this has the feel of a Greek tragedy Walter is on a journey through hisd life and what has happened in his life first his love of Hannah who is now married to some one else ,he sits next to a man on the flight who is the brother of his old friend that married hannah ,this is all in what is the first section then in the second section after the crash and he returns to europe and takes a cruise on this cruise he meets a young women called Sabeth that he falls in love with mainly due to the fact she so reminds him of his first love Hannah ,is she her daughter ? well you’ll have to read Homo faber to find out so they spend the night together after watching a lunar eclipse ,at the same time Walter is having stomach trouble this leads to the fact when he arrives in athens he has to have an operation .this where the book ends or the reports end as Max Frisch use a report style to narrate the novel .

Sabeth was standing above and beside me .I could see her rope soled shoes ,then her bare calves ,her thighs ,which even when foreshortened very slender ,anmd her pelvis in the tight jeans she was standing with both hands in her trouser  pockets

Walter is weight up Sabeth a younger women that may be his daughter

I so pleased for german lit month and it making me look up and down the library shelves for some new german language fiction tpo me this is one such ,although after some rersearch I ve a feeling I may have seen the film version of this book callerd voyager a number of years ago .Max Frisch is a clever writer this book has so many layers and twist and turns ,it links the modern world to that of Greek legend ,but also you can see his architects eye in the structure of the prose the abilty to see what has been and what will be and able to link them together like drawing up the plans for a modernist building .there are so many themes in this book forbidden love ,lost ,growing use of technology for man , feminism it is a book that will have you thinking for weeks after you put it down it did me oh and just for my friend rob Walter types his reports on a hermes baby typewriter .The translation was by Michael Bullock exiled for this is a ook that has so many turns and Bullock kept it a page turner .

Have you read this book ?

7 Comments (+add yours?)

  1. parrish lantern
    Nov 13, 2011 @ 17:56:14

    It’s fascinating how many books there are that in some form or another recount one of the Greek Myths, whether It’s the fatalism of Oedipus or the ideas of exile through the ideas of Odysseus, Alberto Manguel wrote a wonderful book, Homer’s the Iliad and the Odyssey, which traced It’s influence on literature.

    Reply

  2. Tony
    Nov 14, 2011 @ 06:32:19

    I’d like to read this – the only Frisch I’ve read was his play ‘Andorra’, back at school. I didn’t even know he had written any novels…

    Reply

  3. Rob
    Nov 14, 2011 @ 12:07:59

    Walter has exquisite taste in his choice of writing platform, Stu, the Hermes Baby is simply breathtaking, both to look at and to use. Give me a Hermes over an iMac, ANY DAY!🙂
    Thanks for pointing this out Stu. You’ve made my day.
    Warmest
    Rob

    Reply

  4. Max Cairnduff
    Nov 22, 2011 @ 15:51:37

    I have a Frisch, but not this one (Man in the Holocene, as yet unread). I was pleased when you tied it to Greek legend, as at that point in your review I was rather wondering about that possible link.

    Nice review Stu and thanks for the encouragement to read the Frisch I have sitting at home.

    Reply

    • winstonsdad
      Nov 23, 2011 @ 23:15:40

      I look forward to your review of that Max I think I ll read another of his at some point ,I read the german wiki page which was huge he is a really well regard writer there ,all the best stu

      Reply

  5. Trackback: German Literature Month 2011: Author Index « Lizzy’s Literary Life

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