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I’m Not Stiller (1954)

Arrested and imprisoned in a small Swiss town, a prisoner begins I’m Not Stiller with that proclamation. He claims his real name is Jim White and he has been jailed under false charges and the wrong identity. To prove he is who he claims to be, he confesses to three unsolved murders and recalls and recounts an adventurous life in America and Mexico among cowboys and peasants. He is consumed by the morbid impulse to convince, though no one believes him.

I’m Not Stiller has been recognized as “one of the major post-war works of fiction” and a German masterpiece of literature. I’m Not Stiller (German title: Stiller) was written by Swiss author Max Frisch who was born and died in Zurich. The question of identity was a recurring theme in the work of Frisch.

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