Already in the first stories of Dyurrenmatt, included in the collection “The City”, his literary landmarks appeared. Kafka, French writers, existentialists, Dostoevsky, and Gogol, in whose works the Swiss playwright especially appreciated “Evenings on a Farm near Dikanka” and “Notes of a Madman” were among them, in the first place. Already in the early works the leading themes of Dyurrenmatt’s creative work were defined: guilt and moral judgment, justice and violence, the relationship between the victim and the executioner, etc. Attention to these topics was largely due to the writer’s interest in the detective genre, which he satiated with intellectual and moral content, believing that modern literature should combine exciting stories with
Important for his dramatic work experience the writer acquired, working on popular in the 50-60’s. radio plays and modernized revisions for the modern stage of classical works of earlier eras.
His playwriting Dyurrenmatt called “the theater of the grotesque.” He was convinced that it was the grotesque that gave the most accurate artistic representation of modern life and even claimed that the grotesque and the atomic bomb are the most revealing realities of the world in the second half of the 20th century. Gravitation to the grotesque is largely determined by Durenmatt’s characteristic desire to bring the plots of his dramas to the “worst end”. Emphasized by the “improbable” sharpening of the moral problem posed in the play, predicting its cataclysmic denouement, the writer drew attention to its causes and implanted into the minds of the spectators the idea of the inadmissibility of an indifferent attitude toward it. Thus, the grotesque in his theater served as a kind of “amplifier” of moral preaching.