Peter Stamm

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Peter Stamm (2012)

Peter Stamm (born January 18, 1963 in Scherzingen , Canton Thurgau ) is a Swiss writer .


Peter Stamm was born the son of an accountant and grew up with three siblings in Weinfelden in the canton of Thurgau. According to his own statements, he was not challenged at school and therefore spent a lot of time in his fantasy world from an early age. After primary and secondary school, Stamm completed a commercial apprenticeship from 1979 to 1982 and worked temporarily as an accountant. On the second educational path he passed the Matura .

Peter-Stamm-Weg in Weinfelden

Stamm received many rejections on his first literary attempts. His first three novels did not find a publisher. Agnes , the fourth novel he started writing at 29, wasn't published until six years later. After studying English for six months at the University of Zurich in 1987 and then living in New York for six months, Stamm switched to psychology with psychopathology and computer science as a minor; He also worked as an intern at various psychiatric clinics. He explains his choice of studies out of literary interest: he wanted to learn more about people as the subject of literature. Dropping out of psychology studies was a conscious decision to put writing at the center of his life. Now all he had to do was write or go back to work as an accountant.

After long stays in New York, Paris and Scandinavia, Peter Stamm settled in Winterthur in 1990 . Here he mainly worked as a journalist , which enabled him to publish his texts for the first time. Stamm worked for the Neue Zürcher Zeitung , the Tages-Anzeiger , the Weltwoche and the satirical magazine Nebelspalter . From 1997 he was part of the editorial team of the literary magazine drafts . From 1998 to 2003 he lived in Zurich , and since then back in Winterthur. After the success of his first novel and the publications that followed, his journalistic activities faded more and more into the background to the literature on which he has now concentrated. Stamm has been a member of the Association of Authors of Switzerland since 2003 .

In the fall semester of 2018, Peter Stamm held the Friedrich Dürrenmatt visiting professorship for world literature at the University of Bern .


Peter Stamm is the author of narrative prose , radio plays and plays . It is characterized by his distant narrative style and his simple style , which consists of short main clauses and almost completely does without adjectives, metaphors or comparisons. Stamm himself describes that his style is based heavily on a repeated reduction of the written. The more the language fades into the background, the more real the drawn images become.

Stamm writes in his own words "about people and about relationships between people". Recurring topics are the manifold possibilities of love relationships, the impossibility of love, distance and closeness as well as the relationship between image and reality. In his work, the focus is not on the content, but on the way something is told. Therefore, he does not choose original content that distracts from the quality of the text.

With his third novel On a day like this , Stamm moved from the Zürcher Arche Verlag to the S. Fischer Verlag in Frankfurt am Main . In contrast to most Swiss authors, he had already sold his books five times more often in Germany than in Switzerland. Daniel Arnet explained this with a “ helvetism-free language” and “content that is free from geraniums” and in its universality “not federally coded”. A review in the Literary Quartet in 1999 also contributed to his success in Germany , in which Marcel Reich-Ranicki declared the collection of stories Blitzeis one of the most beautiful and most important books of the season, while Hellmuth Karasek said: “This is a narrator who can do a lot because he knows how to omit, how to concentrate. "

More than 150 translations of Peter Stamm's works have appeared in 39 languages, in French, English, Spanish, Catalan, Hebrew, Italian, Dutch, Serbian, Slovenian, Polish, Brazilian, Portuguese, Russian, Bulgarian, Slovak, Georgian, Czech, Danish , Korean, Lithuanian, Chinese, Norwegian, Estonian, Croatian, Thai, Japanese, Turkish, Arabic, Persian, Macedonian, Armenian, Swedish, Taiwanese, Hungarian, Azerbaijani, Albanian, Mongolian, Greek and Ukrainian.





Radio plays

  • Me and the others. Zurich 1991.
  • The night of habits. Zurich 1993.
  • In Vitro. Zurich 1994.
  • The last driver. Basel 1995.
  • Portrait of a boy with a whip. Basel 1995.
  • Demise. Cologne 1997 (= radio play version by Fremdiegen ).
  • Agnes. Bremen 1997.
  • Night Fight or the Art of the Tea Walk. Basel 1999.
  • Who lives in front of the city. Zurich 1999 (Swiss Radio Play Prize 2000).
  • Passion. SWR 2000.
  • What we can do. Cologne 2000.
  • Black ice. Cologne 2001.
  • The silence of the flowers. Basel 2004.
  • The kiss of the Kohaku. Baden-Baden 2005.
  • Flotsam. Berlin 2005.

Audio books


  • Service days. Swiss writers and their military. Nagel & Kimche, Munich 2003, ISBN 3-312-00330-X .



  • Olga O. Kasaty: Delimitation . Fourteen author interviews . edition text + kritik , Munich 2007, ISBN 978-3-88377-867-9 , pp. 395-430.
  • Kathrin Wimmer: Fear of death and longing for the trail. Snow, writing and photography as paradoxical memory strategies in Peter Stamm's “Agnes”, “Approximate Landscape” and “On a Day Like This”. In: Transit Art (PDF; 7.3 MB). Studies of the literature 1890–2010. Ed. V. Andrea Bartl and Annika Klinge. Bamberg 2012 (= Bamberg Studies on Literature, Culture and Media, Vol. 5), pp. 301–327. ISBN 978-3-86309-092-0 .
  • Christina Rossi: Peter Stamm's stories: Narrative strategy and existential content. Grin, Munich 2012, ISBN 978-3-656-21631-5 .
  • Andrea Bartl and Kathrin Wimmer (eds.): Speaking on the edge of silence. Approaches to the work of Peter Stamm. Wallstein, Göttingen 2016, ISBN 978-3-8353-1829-8 .

Web links

Commons : Peter Stamm  - collection of images, videos and audio files

Individual evidence

  1. To the section: Kasaty: Delimitations . 2007, pp. 412-417, 487.
  2. Peter Stamm. April 7, 2018, accessed August 3, 2020 .
  3. To the section: Kasaty: Delimitations . 2007, pp. 395-396, 420-421.
  4. Daniel Arnet: His first sunset . In: Facts 26/2006, pp. 56–57.
  5. ^ Search result on Peter Stamm in the Zurich Central Library for the languages ​​available there.
  6. ^ Literature prize from ZDF, 3sat and the city of Mainz. Peter Stamm moves into town clerk's apartment in Mainz , from November 2, 2012 (online edition of Börsenblatt , weekly magazine for the German book trade)
  7. Peter Stamm ( Memento of the original from September 15, 2013 in the Internet Archive ) Info: The archive link was inserted automatically and has not yet been checked. Please check the original and archive link according to the instructions and then remove this notice. from the Booker Prize competition website , accessed May 22, 2013. @1@ 2Template: Webachiv / IABot /
  8. ^ A great honor for the Thurgau writer Peter Stamm . For the awarding of the Friedrich-Hölderlin-Prize of the City of Bad Homburg 2014. SRF, March 25, 2014, accessed on July 17, 2015.
  9. Peter Stamm receives ZKB Schiller Prize 2017. Aargauer Zeitung , May 8, 2017, accessed on May 8, 2017 .
  10. Peter Stamm reads from Seerücken , 2011