Peter of Matt

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Peter Matt (2008)

Peter von Matt (born May 20, 1937 in Lucerne ) is a Swiss Germanist and writer .


Peter von Matt comes from a family of printers, bookbinders, publishers and antiquarians. He grew up in Stans in the canton of Nidwalden . He studied German , English and art history in Zurich and Nottingham . Von Matt did his doctorate with Emil Staiger on Franz Grillparzer . In 1970 he completed his habilitation with a thesis on ETA Hoffmann .

From 1976 to 2002, von Matt taught as Professor of Modern German Literature at the University of Zurich . In 1980 he was visiting professor at Stanford University in California and in 1992/1993 a fellow at the Wissenschaftskolleg zu Berlin .

Von Matt is a member of the Order Pour le Mérite for Sciences and Arts , the German Academy for Language and Poetry Darmstadt , the Saxon Academy of the Arts , the Berlin Academy of the Arts , the Göttingen Academy of Sciences and the Academia Europaea .

Von Matt is a regular contributor to the Frankfurt anthology . Marcel Reich-Ranicki had discovered it for her. In 1998, von Matt was the first recipient of the anthology, founded in 1974.

Peter von Matt is married to the literary critic Beatrice von Matt-Albrecht and has lived with her in Dübendorf near Zurich since 1975 .


  • The layout of Grillparzer's theatrical art. Dissertation. Zurich 1965.
  • The eyes of the automatons. ETA Hoffmann's theory of imagination as a principle of his storytelling. Tübingen 1971. (Habilitation thesis).
  • ... the face is ready. On the literary history of the human face. Munich / Vienna 1983.
  • Treason of Love - The Faithless in Literature. Munich 1989.
  • as editor: Nice stories. German storytelling from two centuries. Philipp Reclam jun., Stuttgart 1992, ISBN 978-3-15-028840-5 .
  • The fate of the imagination. Studies on German Literature. Munich 1994.
  • The compass smith. Lever's last crook. (= Series of publications by the Leerrach Association, issue 41.) 1994.
  • Depraved sons, failed daughters. Family disaster in literature. Munich 1995, new edition: Munich 2014, ISBN 978-3-446-24783-3 .
  • The suspicious splendor. About poetry and poetry. Munich 1998.
  • Literary studies and psychoanalysis. Reclam, Stuttgart 2001, ISBN 978-3-15-017626-9 .
  • The ink-blue confederates. About literary and political Switzerland. Munich 2001.
  • Public worship of the air spirits. Munich 2003.
  • The intrigue. Theory and Practice of Deceit. Munich 2006.
  • The wild and the order. To German literature. Hanser, Munich 2007, ISBN 978-3-446-20840-7 .
  • The inflamed. About Elias Canetti. Nagel & Kimche , Munich / Zurich 2007, ISBN 978-3-312-00391-4 .
  • Words glow. Small interpretations of German poems. Hanser, Munich 2009, ISBN 978-3-446-23298-3 ; as paperback: dtv 34665, Munich 2011, ISBN 978-3-423-34665-8 .
  • The calf in front of the Gotthard Post. On Switzerland's literature and politics. Hanser, Munich 2012, ISBN 978-3-446-23880-0 .
  • Seven kisses. Happiness and unhappiness in literature. Hanser, Munich 2017, ISBN 978-3-446-25462-6 .
  • What is a poem Reclam, Ditzingen 2017, ISBN 978-3-15-019444-7 .
  • Don Quixote rides across borders. Europe as a space of inspiration. With a foreword by Roger de Weck . Schwabe, Basel 2017, ISBN 978-3-7965-3737-0 .

In addition, Peter von Matt published numerous articles in edited volumes and magazines.


Web links

Individual evidence

  1. Sandra Kegel: Sparkle of Knowledge. To the Germanist Peter von Matt on the eightieth . In: Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung of May 20, 2017, p. 13.
  2. There is not a day when I do not think about the ghetto. Conversation with Peter von Matt and Marcel Reich-Ranicki in the Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung on April 15, 2009.
  3. Urs Bühler: “Every donkey wants to break my viewing habits today”. Neue Zürcher Zeitung , December 31, 2012. (Interview)