“An idea which is a distortion may have a greater intellectual thrust than the truth; it may serve the needs of the spirit.”
“Those whom the gods wish to destroy, they first make mad. We must be mad, literally mad, as a nation to be permitting the annual inflow of some 50,000 dependents, who are for the most part the future growth of the immigrant-dependent population. It is like watching a nation busily engaged in heaping its own funeral pyre.”
In Max Frisch’s prophetic, absurdist masterpiece The Firebugs, a well-off family live in an unnamed city in which arsonists have been burning down the houses. One of the firebugs, posing as a peddler, appears at their home asking for food and shelter. Notwithstanding all the evidence that Sepp Schmidt is undoubtedly one of the arsonists, Gottlieb Biedermann, the husband, allows him to sleep in the attic. His wife, Babette, is troubled but acquiesces. Filled with guilt for firing his best employee, Herr Knecktling, who never appears, Gott-lieb Biedermann assuages his guilt with what he believes is an act of charity.
Biedermann then welcomes Schmidt’s friend, Willie Eisenring, into his house, although he arrives...