Work

Montauk

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Montauk is a story by Swiss writer Max Frisch. It first appeared in 1975 and takes an exceptional position in Frisch's work. While fictional stories previously served Frisch for exploring the possible behavior of his protagonists, in Montauk, he tells an authentic experience: a weekend which he spent with a young woman in Montauk on the American East Coast. The short-run love affair is used by Frisch as a retrospective on his own biography. In line with Philip Roth he tells his "life as a man", relates to the women with whom he was associated, and the failure of their relationship. Further reflections apply to the author's age and his near-death and the mutual influence of life and work. Also, the story is about the emergence of Montauk: in contrast to his previous work Frisch describes his decision to document this weekend's direct experience without adding anything. Montauk met with strongly polarized reception. When faced by the open descriptions of their past, former partners of Frisch felt duped. Some readers were embarrassed by Frisch's self-exposure. Other critics hailed the story as his most important work and praised the achievement to make a literary masterpiece of his own life. Marcel Reich-Ranicki adopted Montauk in his Canon of German literature. The 2017 film Return to Montauk by Volker Schlöndorff and Colm Tóibín was inspired by the novel.
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language: German
date of publication: 1975
genre: novel

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