AT: The Tourist Guide A: Botho Strauss Pf: 1986, Berlin Pb: 1986 Tr: 1987 G: Drama in 2 acts; German prose S: Olympia stadium, holiday bungalow, and mountain cabin, Greece, 1980s C: 2m, 1f, extrasKristina, working as a tourist guide in Olympia, meets Martin, a German teacher of about 45. Kristina spends the night with Martin, even though she loves a young archaeologist Vassily, who is an alcoholic. Later she brings her drunken lover to Martin's house, and he accuses her of being totally dependent on this wastrel. Martin sleeps with her again and wants to be hers, but is dismayed to find Vassily in his house and throws him out. Kristina sleeps on the grass outside Martin's house, but only after some days does he let her in again. Kristina asks Martin for 1,000 Deutschmarks to send Vassily back to Germany for his health. Vassily's sister comes to take him away. Martin wants Kristina to come to Germany with him, but she remains elusive. Vassily drinks himself to death, and Martin and Kristina go to live in a primitive mountain cabin. Kristina's grieving, the silence and isolation of the cabin, and the oppressiveness of their relationship begin to take their toll. Martin becomes severely dehydrated. Kristina has to beat off a Pan figure, who appears at the window. Kristina leaves and returns, saying that she has found someone else to love. Martin is left alone, reading about Pan, who ‘held in his hands reeds instead of a nymph's body’, reeds that he then fashioned into pan pipes.
AT: The Tourist Guide A: Botho Strauss Pf: 1986, Berlin Pb: 1986 Tr: 1987 G: Drama in 2 acts; German prose S: Olympia stadium, holiday bungalow, and mountain cabin, Greece, 1980s C: 2m, 1f, extras
In lyrical language and hauntingly evocative scenes, Strauss traces the doomed affair between a teacher in a mid-life crisis and a young woman, who is ‘the woman, something that will never cease, as everything else, to be the opposite’ of Martin. She guides him into dangerous areas of experience, and although she abandons him, he, like Strauss, can make music from the reeds he is left clutching.