The Assignment: or, On the Observing of the Observer of the Observers (1986)

by Friedrich Durrenmatt


A filmmaker is hired to investigate the rape and murder of a woman in an unnamed North African country and becomes entangled in a web of secret plots and repressed sadism.
 

I am generally impatient with experimental literary techniques because they usually strike me as self-indulgences on the part of the author rather than attempts to communicate with the reader. 


However, there is something to be said for Friedrich Durrenmatt's use of chapters that consist of a single long sentence.
 
Friedrich Durrenmatt

It lends a certain breathlessness to the narrative and forces the author to winnow out all extraneous detail.
 
"The Order" (Spanish)

Indeed, this is a very short novel.
 
"Observer's Observer's Observation" (Turkish)

In the end, I did not find it effective.
 
"The Mission" (Greek)

Durrenmatt is making a statement about the nature of observation, but it was lost on me, perhaps because the headlong nature of the structure did not invite contemplation.
 
"Mission, or About the Observation of the Observer by the Observers" (Russian)

It doesn't help that the plot becomes increasingly preposterous until its deus ex machina ending.

"The Assignment, or the Viewer's Viewing of the Viewers" (Swedish)

"The Assignment" (Italian)

"The Mission, or Of the Observer Who Observes His Observers" (French)

"Supervisor's Order or Supervisor's Oversight" (Croatian)


Comments

Popular posts from this blog

There Will Be Blood (2007)

Captain America: The First Avenger (2011)

Hel on Earth! (The Mighty Thor #487) (1995)