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Frisch, Max

Country/Region:
Switzerland
Born:
May 15, 1911
Dead:
April 4, 1991
Genres:
Miscellaneous prose, Drama
The Swiss author Max Frisch was born in Zurich, Switzerland. His father was an architect. Frisch dreamed of becoming an author from an early age, and in the early 1930s he began to read German literature and linguistics at the University of Zurich. Although disenchanted with university, he became influenced by prominent teachers such as Walter Muschg. When his father suddenly died in 1932, Frisch was forced to abandon his studies and earn a living as a journalist. He found inspiration for his first novel, Jürg Reinhart : Eine sommerliche Schicksalsfahrt (1934), during an extended journey in the Balkans and South-East Europe in 1933, but he later lost confidence and burned his manuscript. A friend provided the funds for him to study architecture at ETH Zurich between 1936 and 1940 and he served in the Swiss army on and off between 1939 and 1945. In 1942, he opened an architect's office in Zurich and married Gertrud Frisch-von Meyenburg. He sold his company in 1955, left his wife and three children and embarked on a writing career. He lived in Rome, Berzona (Ticino) and New York, and in the 1960s he had a complicated love affair with the Austrian poet Ingeborg Bachmann. In the 1970s, he mostly lived in West Berlin from where he kept contact with Jurek Becker and Christa Wolf as well as his friends Günter Grass and Uwe Johnson. Max Frisch returned to Zurich in 1984 where he died shortly before his eightieth birthday.

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