This introductory volume explores the playwright's chaotic universe, where God has retreated beyond the stars and where blind chance is the real prime mover, justice is corruptible, ideologies useless, and tragedy no longer possible. Yet despite the overriding pessimism of Durrenmatt's Weltanschauung, the author argues that the playwright remains a genial master of comedy. Through the laughter he allows his readers to see that all is not lost, that there are virtues worth fighting for, and that there are still courageous Don Quixotes worthy of the title "hero." Crockett contends that as a theorist of the modern German stage, Durrenmatt challenges Bertolt Brecht and offers alternatives. As a craftsman of prose fiction, he fashions the stout thread with which the readers enter his labyrinths and eventually find their way back out, while his literary Theseuses, clinging to gossamer strands, sometimes fall prey to the monster in the maze.
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