Friedrich Josef Dürrenmatt. Biography

Friedrich Dürrenmatt is a Swiss playwright, novelist, publicist, author of screenplays and radio plays, whose work is marked by a number of national and international prizes. His “grotesque theater”, developed within the genre of tragicomedy and exposing the vices of public consciousness, became one of the most striking phenomena of the world drama of the second half of the 20th century.

Life of F. Durenmatt in dates and facts

January 5, 1921 – was born in Konolfingen in the family of a pastor. At the end of the gymnasium in Bern he continued his education at the university, where he listened to lectures on literature, philosophy, and natural sciences.

1946 – debuted with the drama “The Scripture says…”

In 1947 – married actress Lotti Geisler, who gave birth to him three children.

1949 – wrote the first mature play “Romulus the Great”.

In 1952 he settled in Neuchatel.


the 1950’s and 1960’s. – the flourishing of the writer’s talent was crowned with numerous dramaturgical and prosaic works, which brought the writer a notoriety. Among them – plays “Marriage of Mississippi”, “Angel descends to Babylon”, “Visit of the old lady”, “Frank Fifth”, “Physicists”, “Hercules and Augean stables”, “Meteor”, “Crossbreds”, “Portrait of the Planet” “,” King Johann “,” We Play Strindberg “, etc.; radio plays “Night Talk with the Executioner”, “Stranitsky and the National Hero”, “Evening in the Fall”, etc.; novels “Judge and his executioner”, “Promise”, “Suspicion”; story “Greek is looking for a Greek”, “Accident”, a collection of short stories “The City”

1959 – received the Schiller Prize.

1969 – was awarded the Grand Literary Prize of the Canton of Berne and the title of Honorary Doctor of the University

of Tempel in Philadelphia.

In the 1970’s and 1980’s. – made new plays “Titus Andronicus”, “Participant”, “Term” and others; prose works “Crash”, “The Gorge of the UpperMash”, etc., as well as with screenplays, theatrical and journalistic articles.

1977 – was elected Honorary Doctor of the Universities of Nice and Jerusalem.

1981 – to the 60th anniversary of Dürrenmatt, a 30-volume collection of his works was published.

In 1982, the writer’s wife died. Three years later, Durenmatt married a screenwriter and director Charlotte Kerr, who shot a four-hour film about him.

December 14, 1990 – the writer died.

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Friedrich Josef Dürrenmatt. Biography