The Marriage of Mr. Mississippi. Friedrich Durrenmatt.

The Marriage of Mr. Mississippi.
Friedrich Durrenmatt.
Grove Press: 1964.

Durrenmatt, a playwright by profession, wrote one of my favorite books: Traps.  Mr. Mississippi, a play, is more his standard work.  One funny thing about plays is that characters often spout off didactic monologues–this is allowed in a dramatic situation, but not in the (usually) more realistic prose work.  This play is full of mini-monologues as instructive & thought-provoking for the audience as they are revelatory of the characters’ inner beings.

The play centers around the theme of justice–who decides what is just? a mass or a man, and in what situations?  Dare we follow a dream of ideal justice or settle for practical justice? Are there any truly just men?  In the midst is a love quadrangle between a married couple (who have killer their former spouses and have married each other for penance), a political aspirant, and a failed professional–and the lady, of course.  Very good.