Urteilen als Paradigma des Erzählens: Dürrenmatts Narratologie der Gerechtigkeit in seiner Geschichte Die Panne (1955/56)

Urs Büttner


Friedrich Dürrenmatt is an author well-known for engaging issues of law and literature. Using the example of his popular short story „Die Panne“ this paper argues that judging means making a decision in favor of one particular version of what happend. Telling a story goes along with selecting only certain facts, using them to motivate a specific result, and thereby excluding others. This idea is performed in the trial in Dürrenmatt’s story when the case is told in versions which portray the accused as hero, perpetrator, and victim. The unexplained remainder of facts draws each judgment into question since there are possible other stories. Only god, in case he exists, could render a really just judgement since only he could tell a story considering all facts. Dürrenmatt provokes the reader of his story with his apparently unjust judgement to think about the question of justice and search for other possible stories. (UB; in German)

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