Adolf Muschg

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Adolf Muschg, 2008 in Lausanne

Friedrich Adolf Muschg (born May 13, 1934 in Zollikon , canton Zurich ; resident in Zollikon and Männedorf ) is a Swiss poet , writer and literary scholar .


Adolf Muschg was born in 1934 as the son of the primary school teacher Adolf Muschg senior (1872-1946) and his second wife. His half-brother Walter Muschg was in his mid-thirties at the time. His half-sister Elsa (1899–1976) was a successful children's book author.

From 1946 to 1953 Adolf Muschg attended a grammar school in Zurich. He spent two years at a boarding school in Schiers and passed the Matura at the literary high school Rämibühl in Zurich. He then studied German , English and philosophy in Zurich and Cambridge and did his doctorate on Ernst Barlach .

From 1959 to 1962 he taught German as the main teacher of German at the cantonal high school, then various positions as a university professor followed, including in Germany ( University of Göttingen ), Japan and the USA . After his first marriage to Charlotte Iklé, he married the writer Hanna Johansen in 1967 . In 1969 he was one of the secessionists with Max Frisch , Friedrich Dürrenmatt , Peter Bichsel and others who left the Swiss Writers' Association and launched the Olten group , which was formally founded on April 25, 1971 in Biel.

From 1970 to 1999 he was professor for German language and literature at the Swiss Federal Institute of Technology in Zurich . In 1975 Muschg was a candidate for the Zurich Social Democratic Party for the Council of States . He was not elected, but subsequently commented regularly on political issues of the time. From 1988 to 1993 he moderated the program Baden-Badener Disput in the television program Südwest 3 ; then Gertrud Höhler took over the moderation.

In 1991 he married the Japanese Atsuko Kanto, his third marriage. In 1997 he gave the speech at the opening of the German Association of German Studies in Bonn.

He has been a member of the Academy of Arts in Berlin since 1976 , and is also a member of the Academy of Sciences and Literature in Mainz, the German Academy for Language and Poetry in Darmstadt and the Free Academy of the Arts Hamburg . In 2003 he was elected President of the Academy of Arts in Berlin. From this office he resigned on December 15, 2005 surprisingly. The reason for this decision are "irreconcilable differences with the Senate of the Academy". He found that the move to the new building on Pariser Platz had not been used to publicize the activities of the academy. In February 2009, after 35 years, Muschg announced the end of the collaboration with Suhrkamp Verlag and the change to Verlag CHBeck .

Muschg lives in Männedorf near Zurich. He has been an honorary citizen of the community since 2014. His archive is located in the Swiss Literature Archive in Bern .

Causa Becker

On March 15, 2010 he published an article in the Berlin daily Der Tagesspiegel and in the Zürcher Tages-Anzeiger in which he defended Gerold Becker , the former director of the Odenwald School , against accusations of abuse of several of his students. He described the coverage of the abuse allegations as "campaign" and "hypocrisy". Rather, he established a connection between the "educational eros" formulated by the Greek philosopher Plato and the sexual acts on several of his students, which Becker did not dispute. On March 16, the editor-in-chief of the Tagesspiegel , Lorenz Maroldt , distanced himself from Muschg's contribution in the newspaper's leading article.


Muschg suffered from an extreme form of hypochondria at an early age , which went so far that he once underwent brain surgery to cure a non-existent tumor and once an appendectomy, for which he flew to Zurich from the United States.

With self-irony, he tells of his honeymoon in 1968 on a cargo ship, how he became the captain's horror when, a few days away from the nearest port (and hospital), he claimed he had an ulcerated appendix that had to be operated on immediately. The first officer asked for a description of the symptoms, passed them on by radio to a clinic in Gdansk and then came to Muschg with the reassuring message that it was not a ruptured appendix, but a stomach cancer, and he left plenty of time for an operation. But Muschg was very healthy.

The subject of hypochondria also appears in his work, for example in the story Your Mr. Brother . In the Frankfurt lectures , the genesis of the story is analyzed under the heading: "How I let Raimund die for me." In the play Rumpelstilz (premiered in 1968) the protagonist, high school professor Viktor Leu, has difficulty swallowing and imagines cancer of the larynx.



  • In the summer of the hare. 1965
  • Counterspell. 1967
  • Foreign body. 1968
  • Rumpelstiltskin. A petty bourgeois tragedy. 1968
  • Played along. 1969
  • Paper walls. 1970
  • The excited of Goethe. A political drama. 1971
  • Love stories. 1972 (included in the Swiss library in 2005/2006 ).
  • Albisser's reason. Novel. Suhrkamp Verlag, Frankfurt am Main 1974.
  • Distant acquaintances. 1976
  • Keller evening. A piece from the 19th century. 1976
  • Nor a request. 1979
  • Baiyun or the friendship society. 1980
  • Body and life. 1982
  • The light and the key. Educational novel of a vampire. 1984, Suhrkamp, ​​Frankfurt a. M., ISBN 978-3-518-39329-1
  • Goethe as an emigrant. 1986
  • Deshima. Movie book. Suhrkamp Verlag, Frankfurt am Main 1987, ISBN 3-518-37882-1
  • The tower cock and other love stories. 1987
  • The red knight. A story of Parzival. 1993
  • Lord, what are you missing? Assurances and gossip from the Holy Grail consulting room. 1994
  • She just didn't want to undress. 1995
  • The island that Columbus didn't find. Seven faces of Japan . 1995, ISBN 3-518-40741-4 .
  • O my homeland !. 1998
  • Sutter's luck. Novel. Suhrkamp Verlag, Frankfurt am Main 2001.
  • The captive smile. A story. Suhrkamp Verlag, Frankfurt am Main 2002.
  • I can go alone and other love stories. Suhrkamp Verlag, Frankfurt am Main 2003, ISBN 3-518-41462-3 .
  • Appearances are not deceptive. About Goethe. Insel Verlag, Frankfurt am Main / Leipzig 2004, ISBN 3-458-17201-7 .
  • Eikan, you are late. Suhrkamp Verlag, Frankfurt am Main 2005, ISBN 3-518-41669-3 .
  • If it's lucky Love stories from four decades. Suhrkamp Verlag, Frankfurt am Main 2008, ISBN 978-3-518-41957-1 .
  • Children's wedding . Novel. Suhrkamp Verlag, Frankfurt am Main 2008, ISBN 978-3-518-42032-4 .
  • Sax. Roman. CH Beck Verlag, Munich 2010, ISBN 978-3-406-60517-8 .
  • Lion star. Novel. CH Beck Verlag, Munich 2012, ISBN 978-3-406-63951-7 .
  • In the event of survival. Trials and Speeches 2002–2013. CH Beck Verlag, Munich 2014, ISBN 978-3-406-65956-0 .
  • The Japanese bag. Novel. CH Beck Verlag, Munich 2015, ISBN 978-3-406-68201-8 .
  • White Friday. Tale of accommodating. CH Beck Verlag, Munich 2017, ISBN 978-3-406-70621-9 .
  • Return to Fukushima. Novel. CH Beck Verlag, Munich 2018, ISBN 978-3-406-72702-3 .

Other fonts

  • Gottfried Keller. Biography. 1977
  • Literature as therapy? An excursus on the wholesome and the incurable. Frankfurt lectures. 1981
  • Character shift. About the Japanese way of life and thinking. 1991
  • When Auschwitz is in Switzerland. 1997
  • What is european? Speaking for a hospitable part of the world. 2005

Sound carrier

  • Baiyun or the Friendship Society; Runners and Bridges - an unpublished tale. Excerpts from the reading in Hoser's bookstore on October 4, 1979. (Hoser's bookstore, Stuttgart, no number) (1 LP) ISBN 3-921414-05-9 .
  • The Zusenn or the home. Reading Walo Lüönd . 1 CD. Christoph Merian Verlag, Basel 2009, ISBN 978-3-85616-414-0 .


  • Judith Ricker-Abderhalden (Ed.): About Adolf Muschg. Suhrkamp, ​​Frankfurt am Main 1979, ISBN 3-518-10686-4 .
  • Renate Voris: Adolf Muschg. CH Beck, Munich 1984, ISBN 3-406-30165-7 .
  • Manfred Dierks (Ed.): Adolf Muschg. Suhrkamp, ​​Frankfurt am Main 1989, ISBN 3-518-38586-0 .
  • Fausia Hassan: The relationship patterns of women in Adolf Muschg's literary world. Dissertation. Marburg 1991.
  • Brigitte Marschall: Adolf Muschg . In: Andreas Kotte (Ed.): Theater Lexikon der Schweiz . Volume 2, Chronos, Zurich 2005, ISBN 3-0340-0715-9 , p. 1297 f.
  • Andreas Dorschel : Well lit home. In: Süddeutsche Zeitung No. 103 (May 5, 2004), p. 16.
  • Rüdiger Schaper : Anyone who sweats in a glass house. Academy President Adolf Muschg gives up. In: Der Tagesspiegel No. 19047 (December 16, 2005), p. 25.
  • Anne Meinberg: “I want to tell about love.” Love and sexuality in Adolf Muschg's narrative. A comparative text analysis of selected narratives including the novel "Eikan, you are late". Bouvier, Bonn 2007, ISBN 978-3-416-03204-9 .
  • Klaus Isele , Adrian Naef (ed.): Dasein als Da sein. Adolf Muschg on his 75th birthday. Isele, Eggingen 2009, ISBN 978-3-86142-463-5 .
  • Alexandre Mirlesse: En attendant l'Europe (Rencontre avec Adolf Muschg). La Contre Allée, Lille 2009, ISBN 978-2-917817-01-8 .
  • Christoph Gellner: Building bridges to the west and east. Literature, religion and the art of living with Adolf Muschg. Pano, Zurich 2010, ISBN 978-3-290-22004-4 .
  • Hans-Bernd Bunte: Antikratos' smile. Myth, love and death in Adolf Muschg's novel “Children's Wedding”. Tectum, Marburg 2012, ISBN 978-3-8288-3070-7 .
  • Hans-Bernd Bunte: From the end of all time. Spook, art and religion in Adolf Muschg's novel “Sax”. Tectum, Marburg 2013, ISBN 978-3-8288-3271-8 .
  • Manfred Dierks: Adolf Muschg. Life-saving imagination. A biographical portrait. CH Beck, Munich 2014, ISBN 978-3-406-65962-1 .
  • Hans-Bernd Bunte: The art of living fully. Adolf Muschg's novels and essays on literature Tectum, Marburg 2015, ISBN 978-3-8288-3588-7 .

Web links

Commons : Adolf Muschg  - Collection of images, videos and audio files

Individual evidence

  1. Franziska Meister: Muschg, Elsa. In: Historical Lexicon of Switzerland .
  2. Cosmopolitan on a journey for myself. St. Galler Tagblatt , May 13, 2014
  3. A. Muschg: The presence of the absent God. Speech at the opening of the Germanist Day 1997 in Bonn. In: Die Zeit , October 10, 1997.
  4. Adolf Muschg's membership entry at the Academy of Sciences and Literature
  5. Adolf Muschg leaves Suhrkamp-Verlag. in: Spiegel Online , February 9, 2009.
  6. Adolf Muschg: Proximity is food, not abuse. In: Der Tagesspiegel, March 15, 2010.
  7. Lorenz Maroldt: Dangerously close . In: Der Tagesspiegel , March 16, 2010.
  8. Manfred Dierks: Adolf Muschg: Lifesaving Fantasy. Publishing house CH Beck, 2014.
  9. Manfred Dierks: Adolf Muschg: Lifesaving Fantasy. Publishing house CH Beck, 2014.
  10. Adolf Musch: Body and Life. Stories. Suhrkamp 1982.
  11. ^ Hans Mayer: Missing life and missed life . Adolf Muschg's stories "Body and Life". In: Die Zeit, No. 29 . July 16, 1982.
  12. ↑ Office of the Federal President
  13. Medals. In: Retrieved January 5, 2017 .
  14. In: May 16, 2019, accessed May 17, 2019 .
  16. Book review in the show 52 best books on Swiss radio (May 14, 2017)
  17. Booklet  ( page no longer available , search in web archivesInfo: The link was automatically marked as defective. Please check the link according to the instructions and then remove this notice. (PDF file) on the JS Bach Foundation website, accessed on May 17, 2017.@1@ 2Template: Dead Link /