This novel by esteemed Swiss writer Max Frisch is an exploration of the question: 'Why don't we live when we know we're here just this one time, just one single, unrepeatable time in this unutterably magnificent world?!' This outcry against the emptiness of ordinary, everyday life uttered by the hero of Frisch's book is countered by 'an answer from the silence' he meets when face to face with death. "When An Answer from the Silence" begins, the protagonist has just turned thirty and is engaged to be married and about to start work as a teacher. Frightened by the idea of settling down, he journeys to the Alps in a do-or-die effort to climb the unclimbed North Ridge, and by doing so prove he is not ordinary. But having reached the top he returns not in triumph, but in frostbitten shock, having come dangerously close to death. This highly personal early novel reflects a crisis in Frisch's own life, and perhaps because of this intimate connection, he refused to allow it to be included in his 'Collected Works in the 1970s'. Now available in English, this distinctive book will thrill fans of Frisch's other works.
Max Frisch (1911-91) was one of the giants of twentieth-century literature, achieving fame as a novelist, playwright, diarist, and essayist. His works include Andorra, I'm Not Stiller, A Wilderness of Mirrors, and Man in the Holocene. Mike Mitchell has published over fifty translations, including works by Goethe, Thomas Bernhard, and Oskar Kokoschka.