Max Frisch: Stiller [I'm not Stiller]

(1729 words)
  • Judith Ricker-Abderhalden (University of Arkansas)

Stiller is the first major novel by the most celebrated Swiss writer of the 20th century, Max Frisch. Often linked with its successor, Homo faber (1957), it introduces what later became a hallmark of Frisch’s corpus: the quest for an authentic, individual identity. Unique in Stiller, however, and what gives this novel its distinctive character, is the extent to which that individual identity is defined and limited by art. At the most basic level, Anatol Stiller is Frisch’s prototype of the artist, struggling to escape the confines of a pedestrian society. Walter Faber, in the second novel, is the quintessential technocrat, an engineer with neither …

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Ricker-Abderhalden, Judith. "Stiller". The Literary Encyclopedia. First published 30 March 2005
[, accessed 28 September 2016.]