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

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Gerhard P. Knapp (University of Utah)

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 Theaterprobleme [Problems of the Theater, 1955], written immediately before The Visit, he provided the theoretical foundations of his …

2026 words

Citation: Knapp, Gerhard P.. "Der Besuch der alten Dame". The Literary Encyclopedia. First published 12 August 2004 [https://www.litencyc.com/php/sworks.php?rec=true&UID=15455, accessed 03 February 2023.]

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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