Man in the Holocene: A Story

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Dalkey Archive Press, 2007 - Fiction - 113 pages
12 Reviews

A stunning tour de force, Man in the Holocene constructs a powerful vision of our place in the world by combining the banality of an aging mans lonely inner life and the objective facts he finds in the books of his isolated home. As a rainstorm rages outside, Max Frischs protagonist, Geiser, watches the mountain landscape crumble beneath landslides and flooding, and speculates that the town will be wiped out by the collapse of a section of the mountain. Seeking refuge from the storm in town, he makes his way through a difficult and dangerous mountain pass, only to abandon his original plan and return home.

A compelling meditation by one of Frischs most original characters, Man in the Holocene charts Geisers desperate attempt to find his place in history and in the confusing and fragile world outside his window.

"A luminous parable. . . . A masterpiece." -New York Times

"Poetry of the mind rather than the senses--sparse and austere, with every detail chosen for its resonances. . . . A small book but a major achievement." -Washington Post

"Haunting, sad yet lovely. . . . An important, disturbing and powerful novel that deserves attention." -Chicago Sun-Times

"Frisch is a great, and even an inspiring, writer, because he gives us the unique sense that the act of analysis is a passionate act, impelled by our fear of the worlds dissolution and our knowledge of our own fragility." -Newsday


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Frisch's prose here is spare and precise. - Goodreads
I liked a lot that there are pictures. - Goodreads
Maybe I'll go there when I'm done writing this review.) - Goodreads

Review: Man in the Holocene

User Review  - Rand - Goodreads

[[sounds for this walk and so on]] (view spoiler)[ This book is deceptively easy to read. There's a word for that, but it's slipped my mind. Had some trouble connecting with the old geezer's ... Read full review

Review: Man in the Holocene

User Review  - Will - Goodreads

"The ants Geiser recently observed undrr a dripping fir tree are not concerned with what anyone might know about them; nor were the dinosaurs, which died out before a human being set eyes on them. All ... Read full review

Selected pages


Section 1
Section 2
Section 3
Section 4
Section 5

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About the author (2007)

Max Frisch was born in Switzerland in 1911. He attended the University of Zurich and spent six years in the Swiss Army. He also worked as a freelance writer and an architect. Frisch is most famous for writing the novel I'm Not Stiller and the play The Firebugs. Both works explore one of Frisch's major themes: the problematic nature of living life without a true understanding of one's identity. Many of his works feature explore this theme, including the plays The Chinese Wall, Andorra: A Play in Twelve Scenes, and Don Juan; or the Love of Geometry. He has also written several other novels, including Homo Faber: A Report, and Man in the Holocene. Frisch was awarded the International Neustadt Prize for Literature in 1987. He died in 1991 in Zurich.

Geoffrey Skelton has translated Max Frisch's Man in the Holocene, Sketchbook: 1966-1971 and Bluebeard, and Peter Weiss's Morat/Sade. In addition, Skelton has edited a number of books on classical music.

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