Friedrich Dürrenmatt

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Dürrenmatt in April 1989

Friedrich Dürrenmatt (January 5, 1921 in Konolfingen, canton of Bern – December 14, 1990 in Neuchâtel) was a writer and philosopher from Switzerland.

Personal life[change | change source]

Dürrenmatt was the son of a protestant pastor. He was always interested in drawing. He went to school until 1941, afterwards he studied philosophy, sciences (deep point physics) and German literature at the University of Bern. He dropped studies in 1946, when he published his first written work.

One year later he married the Swiss actress Lotti Geissler (1919–1983). They had three children. The financial situation of the family got better, when Dürrenmatt began to write radio dramas and crime fiction.

In 1984 he married the German actress and television director Charlotte Kerr (1927–2011).

His world-wide success is based on two plays: The Visit and The Physicists.

Selected Works[change | change source]

  • Romulus the Great (Romulus der Große, 1950, play)
  • The Judge and His Hangman (Der Richter und sein Henker, 1950, novella)
  • Suspicion (Der Verdacht, 1951, also known as The Quarry, novella)
  • The Tunnel (Der Tunnel, 1952, short story)
  • The Marriage of Mr. Mississippi (Die Ehe des Herrn Mississippi, 1952, play)
  • Theatre Problems (Theaterprobleme, 1954, essay)
  • Once a Greek (Grieche sucht Griechin, 1955, novel)
  • The Visit (Der Besuch der alten Dame, 1956, play)
  • A Dangerous Game (Die Panne, 1956, novel / novella, also known as Traps)
  • The Pledge (Das Versprechen, 1958, novella)
  • The Physicists (Die Physiker, 1962, play)
  • King John (König Johann, 1968, play)
  • Play Strindberg (1969, play)
  • Monster Lecture on Justice and Law (Monstervortrag, 1969, lecture)
  • The Coup (Der Sturz, 1971, short story)
  • Achterloo (1982, play)
  • The Execution of Justice (Justiz, 1985, novel)
  • The Assignment (Der Auftrag, 1986, novella)
  • Switzerland, A Prison: A Speech for Václav Havel (Die Schweiz — ein Gefängnis, 1990, speech)

Secondary Literature[change | change source]

  • Goertz, Heinrich: Friedrich Dürrenmatt, Reinbek 1987, ISBN 3-499-50380-8.
  • Rüedi, Peter: Dürrenmatt oder Die Ahnung vom Ganzen, Zürich 2011, ISBN 978-3-257-06797-2.

Other websites[change | change source]