Friedrich Dürrenmatt, Der Besuch der alten Dame [The Visit]

Gerhard P. Knapp (University of Utah)
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When Friedrich Dürrenmatt wrote his “tragische Komödie” (tragic comedy)

Der Besuch der alten Dame


The Visit

, 1956], he had already tested his innovative concept of tragicomedy in the previous play,

Die Ehe des Herrn Mississippi


The Marriage of Mr. Mississippi

, 1952], an “open” parable in the Brechtian tradition, witty and brimming with puns and grotesque effects, meant to challenge his audience to re-think reality along the lines of an anti-mimetic counter-conception to the miserable real world of Cold War and ideological strife. In his



Problems of the Theater

, 1955], written immediately before

The Visit,

he provided the theoretical foundations of his dramaturgy of the grotesque and of the comedy as the only dramatic genre fit to come to grips with the…

2026 words

Citation: Knapp, Gerhard P.. "Der Besuch der alten Dame". The Literary Encyclopedia. First published 12 August 2004 [, accessed 21 June 2024.]

15455 Der Besuch der alten Dame 3 Historical context notes are intended to give basic and preliminary information on a topic. In some cases they will be expanded into longer entries as the Literary Encyclopedia evolves.

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