FIXED SENSORY IMAGES OF CHARACTERS AND SETTINGS IN FRIEDRICH DUERRENMATT'S "HORSPIELE" (SWITZERLAND)
CAMP, GEORGE SELVIDGE
Doctor of Philosophy
The present study examines occurrences, constructions, and functions of the fixed sensory images by which Durrenmatt projects the characters and settings of his eight Horspiele. Fixed sensory images (or "FSIs") are basically permanent images of sight, sound, touch, smell, etc. by which characters and settings are given physical dimension in a Horspiel. The present study reveals that the characters and settings of Durrenmatt's Horspiele are projected sparingly with few but usually highly evocative FSIs which impinge with sensory concreteness on the Horspiel listener's consciousness. Excluding images suggested by voices, FSIs of characters are conveyed by words which are chiefly visual in nature. FSIs of settings are projected usually by words but sometimes with the assistance of sound effects and occasionally entirely by sound effects. FSIs of settings are almost always entirely or partially visual in nature, but they frequently also appeal to other of the human senses--especially hearing, smell, temperature, and taste. More importantly, the present study reveals that Durrenmatt uses highly selected and vivid FSIs of characters and settings as symbols and as other carriers of information by which such important ideas of the Horspiele are conveyed that no interpretive analysis of any of Durrenmatt's Horspiele can be complete without an understanding of the contributions made by the FSIs of characters and settings in this respect. Some of the FSIs of characters function alone as agents of a Horspiel's ideas. Others function in combination with other FSIs--most notably in some kind of conspicuous contrast or another. Among FSIs of characters, some reveal the inner natures of characters, and some reflect the functionary roles of characters. Others reflect relationships between and among characters or between characters and other forces in the stories. Still others assist in projecting central themes of the stories. Among FSIs of settings, some help to establish the central themes and moods of the stories. Some reflect inner natures, states of mind, or mentalities of characters or societies. Others reveal the emptiness of human ideals or symbolically presage or parallel unpleasant events. Still others reflect economic and physical conditions of characters or societies.