When Friedrich DÃ¼rrenmatt was a child, his parents told him the Greek myths and the stories of the Old Testament. These became the essentials of his future artistic material. A student of literature and philosophy in Switzerland spared by the cruelties of World War II, DÃ¼rrenmatt imagined the apocalypse in expressionistic paintings and in a first play, which scandalized the Swiss and made DÃ¼rrenmatt into a household name. In 1952 he moved with his wife and children to NeuchÃ¢tel. It was here, in peace and solitude, that he wrote his internationally acclaimed plays (â€ºThe Visitâ€¹, â€ºThe Physicistsâ€¹) and his bestselling crime novels (â€ºThe Judge and his Hangmanâ€¹, â€ºThe Pledgeâ€¹). His late works, considered by many as his crowning achievement, are yet to be discovered by a large audience. Hundreds of unpublished photographs from the writerâ€™s private archives are juxtaposed and â€ºcommentedâ€¹ by excerpts from DÃ¼rrenmattâ€™s autobiographical works and interviews. A fantastic and vivid life in pictures.
Â»This biographical photo album is also a tour round cultural and theatrical history â€“ and not only that of Switzerland. We spent hours leafing through it, reading, and looking and thinking: What a treasure trove! What a cosmos it contains! And we admit: we revelled in it! Â«Aargauer Zeitung
Â»It is only a few weeks ago that Peter RÃ¼ediâ€™s authoritative DÃ¼rrenmatt biography was published by Diogenes â€“ and the picture album now extends this written account to look at the visual universe of what was an exceptional life story: outwardly rather uneventful, but inwardly explosively exceptional.Â«Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung
Â»DÃ¼rrenmatt was a spiritual colossus in this world, and still is. Just how colossal this colossus was is made clear by the large-format book â€ºFriedrich DÃ¼rrenmatt. His Life in Picturesâ€¹.Â«St. Galler Tagblatt
Â»Some 650 illustrations show the writer and his environment, and then there are documents and numerous paintings and drawings, surrounded by biographical quotations, mainly from his â€ºStoffeâ€¹, and tied together by intelligent and useful linking texts by Margaux de Weck, which enable even readers who are quite unfamiliar with DÃ¼rrenmatt to quickly find their way. So the book is an introduction to his life and work, a visual complement to both (and to RÃ¼edlâ€™s long biographical essay) - and above all a huge pleasure to read and to look at.Â« Tagesâ€“Anzeiger