Friedrich Durrenmatt, (born Jan. 5, 1921, Konolfingen, near Bern, Switz.--died Dec. 14, 1990, Neuchatel), Swiss playwright, novelist, and essayist whose satiric, almost farcical tragicomic plays were central to the post-World War II revival of German theatre.Durrenmatt, who was educated in Zurich and Bern, became a full-time writer in 1947. His technique was clearly influenced by the German expatriate writer Bertolt Brecht, as in the use of parables and of actors who step out of their roles to act as narrators. Durrenmatt's vision of the world as essentially absurd gave a comic flavour..
Max Frisch, in full Max Rudolf Frisch, (born May 15, 1911, Zurich, Switzerland--died April 4, 1991, Zurich), Swiss dramatist and novelist, noted for his depictions of the moral dilemmas of 20th-century life.In 1933 Frisch withdrew from the University of Zurich, where he had studied German literature, and became a newspaper correspondent. After touring southern and eastern Europe from 1934 to 1936, he returned to Zurich, where he studied architecture. Frisch worked as an architect after service in the Swiss army during World War II. He abandoned architecture in 1955 to devote himself full-time..
Elias Canetti, (born July 25, 1905, Ruse, Bulg.--died Aug. 14, 1994, Zurich, Switz.), German-language novelist and playwright whose works explore the emotions of crowds, the psychopathology of power, and the position of the individual at odds with the society around him. He was awarded the Nobel Prize for Literature in 1981.Canetti was descended from Spanish Sephardic Jews. He wrote in German, his third language, his first two being Ladino (Judeo-Spanish) and English. He learned the latter when his parents settled in England. After his father's death in 1913, he moved with his mother to Vienna...
Jean-Paul Marat, (born May 24, 1743, Boudry, near Neuchatel, Switzerland--died July 13, 1793, Paris, France), French politician, physician, and journalist, a leader of the radical Montagnard faction during the French Revolution. He was assassinated in his bath by Charlotte Corday, a young Girondin conservative.Early scientific workMarat, after obscure years in France and other European countries, became a well-known doctor in London in the 1770s and published a number of books on scientific and philosophical subjects. His Essay on the Human Soul (1771) had little success, but A Philosophical..
Peter Bichsel, (born March 24, 1935, Lucerne, Switz.), Swiss short-story writer, journalist, and novelist known for his simple, self-conscious writing style and his emphasis on language and conjecture.From 1941 Bichsel grew up in Olten, Switzerland. He graduated in 1955 from a teachers college in Solothurn and, after briefly serving in the military, taught elementary school until 1968. Thereafter he became a full-time writer. His early work was praised by the avant-garde Gruppe 47, a group of German-language writers who gave him their annual award in 1965. Eigentlich mochte Frau Blum..
Carl Spitteler, (born April 24, 1845, Liestal, Switz.--died Dec. 29, 1924, Lucerne), Swiss poet of visionary imagination and author of pessimistic yet heroic verse. He was awarded the Nobel Prize for Literature in 1919.Spitteler was a private tutor for eight years in Russia and Finland. After he returned to Switzerland in 1879, he made his living as a teacher and journalist. He contributed articles to Der Kunstwart and was an editor of the Neue Zurcher Zeitung. In 1892 a legacy enabled him to settle in Lucerne and devote himself to creative work.Spitteler's first great poetic work was the mythical..