The Visit of the old Lady
book — Switzerland — 1956

Once again I went to the library of German literature and once again I took a look at the shelf where Duerrenmatt is stored. And you can probably imagine how amazed I was when I noticed that at last the most famous of F.D`s plays had returned from the abyss. It was my tenth or eleventh time at this shelf and it seemed that the book had been stolen from the library ages ago, but surprise surprise - it wasn`t. Yet the sun doesn`t always shine on TV for I didn`t enjoy this play nearly as much as a few other of Duerrenmatt`s works. The whole thing is a weird one, of course. A rich billionaire woman named Clair Zachanassian comes to the town of her youth that made her become a whore and she`s looking for justice. The town has gone down all those years and only her money can save it now. And she`s ready to do that but she wants justice for her money - she`s willing to pay a billion for the death of Ill - her former lover. Why would one want such a thing? If your lover refuses to accept his child and drives you on the street you probably will feel a bit bitter. There are two remarkable things about the play - first it`s how the leaders of the town think how to greet Clair (the only things they find out about her is that her father founded a public toilet near the train station and that she was above average in biology at school). And the other thing is how Ill realises that the town`s people despite mutually being on his side and not wanting to give him up start buying lots of thing upon debt knowing that they`ll get the money to repay their debts. And even Ill`s own family does the same.
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