“Guest writer” Max Frisch

I have read many books by many authors that I admire in one way or another. One of the writer’s who I’ve always had a soft spot for is Swiss playwright and novelist Max Frisch. Maybe, because he loved asking questions and because he had good questions.

Rather then myself asking a question tonight, I’ll leave you with one of his questionnaires…. no need for answers here but as always, I’d love to hear what you feel like sharing.

Questionnaire from Max Frisch
(From his Sketchbook, 1961-1971)

1. Are you really interested in the preservation of the human race once you and all the people you know are no longer alive?
2. State briefly why.
3. How many of your children do not owe their existence to deliberate intention?
4. Whom would you rather never have met?
5. Are you conscious of being in the wrong in relation to some other person (who need not necessarily be aware of it)? If so, does this make you hate yourself — or the other person?
6. Would you like to have perfect memory?
7. Give the name of a politician whose death through illness, accident, etc. would fill you with hope. Or do you consider none of them indispensible?
8. Which person or persons, now dead, would you like to see again?
9. Which not?
10. Would you rather have belonged to a different nation (or civilization)? If so, which?
11. To what age do you wish to live?
12. If you had the power to put into effect things you consider right, would you do so against the wishes of the majority? (Yes or no)
13. Why not, if you think they are right?
14. Which do you find it easier to hate, a group or an individual? And do you prefer to hate individually or as part of a group?
15. When did you stop believing you could become wiser–or do you still believe it? Give your age.
16. Are you convinced by your own self-criticism?
17. What in your opinion do others dislike about you, and what do you dislike about yourself? If not the same thing, which do you find it easier to excuse?
18. Do you find the thought that you might never have been born (if it ever occurs to you) disturbing?
19. When you think of someone dead, would you like him to speak to you, or would you rather say something more to him?
20. Do you love anybody?
21. How do you know?
22. Let us assume that you have never killed another human being. How do you account for it?
23. What do you need in order to be happy?
24. What are you grateful for?
25. Which would you rather do: die or live on as a healthy animal? Which animal?


~ by spasmicallyperfect on August 11, 2007.

6 Responses to ““Guest writer” Max Frisch”

  1. What a mind this man had. I think you could write an essay based on each of his questions. Not the type you could just rattle off though. I think it would require some real consideration and thought to answer them honestly. 22 made me laugh, especially the ‘how do you account for it?’ part.

    I may have to do a post on two on a few of these questions.


    Yes, I thought some people might be able to spin off a post or two. I really enjoy thinking about some of the questions, especially the ones that start with “what a silly/simple question” but then as you think about take on a whole new dimension. These are not your usual meme questions and I didn’t put this post up as such either.

  2. You did it again.Super.
    Amazing that little Switzerland has brought forth such great writers.I suppose we could almost call Hermann Hesse our own too.

    Ah…. we still have Duerrenmatt as well. I like them both. But Frisch just makes me think more. Next time I’m back home I really have to pick up some more Frisch books. I read “Andorra”, “Biedermann und die Brandstifter”, “Homo Faber” as well as “Stiller” years ago but I only have the latter with me here. I’d love to re-read some of the above, as Frisch is one of those “Deep Treasure box”-type of writers, that you can read over and over again and find something new each time. Considering that both Herman Hesse and Heinrich Boell got Nobel prizes for Literature, I’m a bit disappointed to see that neither Frisch nor Duerrenmatt did. But at least we did have one Nobel prize for Literature winner that was all Swiss: Carl Friedrich Georg Spitteler. Guess for a country as small as Switzerland, that’s enough? And isn’t it just typical that we count Herman Hesse as our own?

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  4. Reblogged this on Will to Write and commented:
    While this post is from 2007, which makes it nearly internet antiquity, it is an interesting an interesting questionnaire. I am looking forward to thinking on them in the next day and I will share the answers, or at least some of the answers, on Thursday.

  5. Reblogged this on Myblog's Blog.

  6. […] found this blogpost while tooling around ye olde internette, and I thought it did some neat […]

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