Swiss-German literature has enjoyed an unprecedented status within the larger corpus of literature written in German during the past fifty years.
The world renown of Max Frisch (b. 1911) and Friedrich Dürrenmatt (b. 1921) was based substantially on the plays Der Besuch der alten Dame
(The Visit: A Tragi-Comedy,
1956), Biedermann und die Brandstifter
1961), Andorra (
and Die Physiker
1962), which mocked consumerism and political complacency, targets to be found well beyond Switzerland. Stiller
(I'm Not Stiller
, 1954), Frisch's major European novel, which challenged, within the framework of other themes, a specifically Swiss self-perception for being stagnant and backward-looking and for refusing to re-examine values in the light of changing circumstances, was massively influential for subsequent Swiss-German literature. Both authors exemplify the fact that post-1945 Swiss-German writing has been frequently, and often fiercely, critical of a social and political system whose success in terms of stability and wealth has been the envy of Europe, a feature which makes this literature accessible and relevant to a wider readership.More ...