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Homo faber by Max Frisch
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Homo faber (original 1957; edition 2007)

by Max Frisch (Author), A. Rendi (Traduttore)

MembersReviewsPopularityAverage ratingMentions
2,134284,625 (3.8)47
Member:Pickled_vegetables
Title:Homo faber
Authors:Max Frisch (Author)
Other authors:A. Rendi (Traduttore)
Info:Feltrinelli (2007), Edition: 4, 176 pages
Collections:Read, Your library
Rating:****
Tags:Svizzera, romanzo, XX secolo, 1950s, owned, Feltrinelli

Work details

Homo Faber by Max Frisch (Author) (1957)

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» See also 47 mentions

English (22)  German (3)  Dutch (1)  Spanish (1)  All languages (27)
Showing 1-5 of 22 (next | show all)
This one was a relatively quick read, and one that I very much enjoyed. Many other reviews exist of this book (even on LT) so I’ll just focus on the things I particularly liked.

Much of the book reads like an account of care-free, leisurely tourism through Mexico and Europe. The main character has trouble engaging with art, emotions and non-calculatable motivations that drive other people. Usually, these characters get stereotyped into unrelatability, but here I thought the main character’s confrontation with other humans, art and sunrises through mid-life crisis romance felt fairly genuine and sometimes even endearing (YMMV though).

Another thing I liked very much is the way that the layering of focalizers added to the characterization. Normally, the accumulation of occasional meta-comments and the choice of what the narrator focuses on or introduces would read like a clumsy omniscient narrator failing to conceal their set-up of the big twist, a joke with the punch-line set up telegraphed way too obviously. But since the book is framed as the main character retelling their experiences after the fact, the clumsiness comes across as self-delusion, a blindness to certain areas of life that are entirely in line with the kind of person the main character is.

I’m glad I read this. It’s a pity I didn’t get to it sooner. ( )
  Petroglyph | Jul 9, 2017 |
Ich bin mir nicht sicher, was ich mit diesem Buch anfangen soll. Seit längerem ist es das erste, das mich fesseln konnte. Der Stil, die Handlung, ja, sogar die Personen wirken ausreichend echt. Max Frisch scheint mir durch die Zeilen hindurch ein wahres Ekel gewesen zu sein, aber dieses Buch, ich liebe es ein bisschen. (Vielleicht gerade für zeitweilige Offensichtlichkeiten.)
Angefangen hab ich damit ja nur, weil ich eigentlich "Maya oder das Wunder des Lebens" wieder einmal lesen wollte, was mich an das Kartengeheimnis erinnerte, was mich an den Geschichtenverkäufer erinnerte, was mich an diese Wissenslücker erinnerte. ( )
  kthxy | May 6, 2016 |
I wanted to like this book. The writing was very readable, I didn't realize there were no chapters until I was halfway into the book. There were a couple things that I had a hard time with, like the relationship with Sabeth, and his feelings on abortion. ( )
  AmieB7 | Jan 21, 2016 |
Homo Faber Max Frisch
★★★

The 1001 book says " Homo Faber is a tragicomic tale of the alienation of modern man and the dangers of rationalism"

Walter Faber is a Swiss technologist who works for UNESCO approaching 50 he is more at home with the rational world of machines than the unpredictable world of human emotions, he scorns dreams and feelings as a waste of time putting his faith in order and predictability.

On his way to a job in Venezuela Faber is over taken by the desire to escape his life, despite deliberately trying to miss the plane he is found and put aboard only to find the plane crashing in the desert.

Walter claims this crash is responsible for all that came after while still maintaining no belief in fate.

His fellow passenger Herbert turns out to be the brother of his best friend Joachim with whom he lost contact with during the war, from Herbert he learns that Joachim has married his (Faber's) sweetheart the half Jewish Hanna and that they have a daughter.

Taking a break from real life Faber first ventures out to Guatemala to find Joachim, he is then distracted by a younger girl on a cruise and his pursuit of her across Europe ends in tragedy.

Walter the narrator flips between telling us what is happening in the present and revealing parts of his past and how he has ended up where he is, a good technique as things are revealed slowly as we go along and the reader seems to be aware of consequences long before Faber himself connects the dots.

( )
  BookWormM | Jan 15, 2016 |
Plot:
Walter Faber is an engineer working for UNESCO and is en route to Latin America for a work project. When his plane has to do an emergency landing in the desert and he meets the brother of an old friend there, it is only the first of a series of coincidences that start to shake Walter’s belief in a rational, technocratic world and ultimately lead him to a young woman not even half his age, Sabeth, with whom he falls in love. But doom is not far away.

Despite many good qualities, Homo Faber feels longer than it is and I never really connected with Walter or any of the other characters in it.

Read more on my blog: http://kalafudra.com/2015/08/24/homo-faber-max-frisch/ ( )
  kalafudra | Aug 24, 2015 |
Showing 1-5 of 22 (next | show all)
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» Add other authors (21 possible)

Author nameRoleType of authorWork?Status
Frisch, MaxAuthorprimary authorall editionsconfirmed
Bullock, MichaelTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Fleckhaus, WillyCover designersecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Fontseré, MargaritaTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Groenewold, P.Afterwordsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Kallio, SinikkaTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Klaarhamer, MargotTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Rendi, AloisioTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Staudt, RolfCover designersecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Vilar, JudithTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
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We were leaving La Guardia airport, New York, three hours late because of snowstorms.
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You can do that when you’re wearing dark glasses; you stand smoking and studying people, unnoticed by those you are studying, quite calmly, quite objectively.
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Amazon.com Product Description (ISBN 0156421356, Paperback)

Walter Faber is an emotionally detached engineer forced by a string of coincidences to embark on a journey through his past. The basis for director Volker Schlšndorff’s movie Voyager. Translated by Michael Bullock. A Helen and Kurt Wolff Book

(retrieved from Amazon Thu, 12 Mar 2015 18:00:05 -0400)

(see all 2 descriptions)

Faber ist die vollkommene Verkorperung der technischen Existenz, die sich vor dem Zufall und dem Schicksal sicher glaubt. Diesen Faber, der das funfzigste Lebensjahr schon uberschritten hat, lasst [den Autor] systematisch mit der aussertechnischen Welt, der Selbstmord seines ehemaligen Freundes im Dschungal von Mexiko - das bringt sein rational zementiertes Weltbild nicht ins Wanken. Erstshaft wird es erst bedroht, als Faber durch die Ereignisse zu einem Rechenscchaftsbericht uber seine eigene Vergangenheit gezwungen wird. Ein junges Masdchen verliebt sich in ihn. Es stellt sich heraus, dass es seine eigene Tochter ist, von deren Existenz er nichts gewusst hat. Hineingezogen in das Starkste, was das menschliche Leben an irrationalen Einbruchen zu beiten hat, bricht sein frohgemuter Rationalismus zusammen. [Das Autor] sieht sein verfehltes Leben and nimmt den Tod in seine Welt auf. -Darmstadter Echo.… (more)

(summary from another edition)

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