Thomas Hürlimann

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Thomas Hürlimann (born December 21, 1950 in Zug ) is a Swiss writer .


Thomas Hürlimann was born as the son of the later Federal Councilor Hans Hürlimann (1918–1994) in Zug. His mother Marie-Theres Hürlimann-Duft (1926-2001) came from the St. Gallen CVP dynasty Duft. After Hürlimann attended primary school in Zug and spent one summer working for his uncle Johannes Duft in the Abbey Library in St. Gallen , he entered the Einsiedeln Abbey School , where, according to his own words, he wore “acidic times” as a “shaved little monk in an ankle-length robe " got over.

After graduating from high school , he studied philosophy at the University of Zurich and, since 1974, at the Free University of Berlin . After dropping out of his studies, he worked from 1978 to 1980 as an assistant director and production dramaturge at the Berlin Schillertheater. He has been a freelance writer since 1980. In 1985 he returned to Switzerland and lived for the longest time in a village near Einsiedeln. In autumn 1996 he was visiting professor at Dartmouth College in New Hampshire, and in 2000 and 2001 he was a three semester lecturer at the German Literature Institute in Leipzig . Today Hürlimann lives in Walchwil . His life partner was the German writer and dramaturge Katja Oskamp for several years .

His archive has been in the Swiss Literature Archive in Bern since 2014 .

Artistic creation

Thomas Hürlimann made his debut as an author in 1981 with the volume of short stories Die Tessinerin , published by Ammann Verlag in Zurich . The narrative work of the author, who has repeatedly dealt with recent Swiss history, also includes The Garden House , The Satellite City , The Big Cat , Miss Stark and Forty Roses . There are also plays and comedies, including The Ambassador (about the Swiss Ambassador in Berlin during World War II, Hans Frölicher ), Der Franzos im Ybrig (1991) or Das Einsiedler Welttheater , Hürlimann's version of Calderón's mystery play El Gran teatro del mundo (2000, revised 2007).

The most popular work was the novella Miss Stark (2001). His uncle Johannes Duft felt himself to be the victim of a key novel and therefore wrote a ten-page polemic ( remarks and corrections ; published as private print ) in which he described Hürlimann as a “spoiled man's boy” among other things. Hürlimann had to lead similar discussions after the publication of his novel Der große Kater (1998; filmed in 2010), in which his father served as a literary model.

Hürlimann's drama text Was ihr wollt or Dreikönigsabend was staged by Barbara Schlumpf for the Lucerne Open Air Theater in 2019 . The play was performed in Central Swiss dialect, all actors acted in ice skates on an artificial ice surface. The NZZ theater critic called the result “a small theater miracle”.

Thomas Hürlimann has received numerous prizes and awards for his work. For example, in 2001 he received the Joseph Breitbach Prize for Fräulein Stark , the most highly endowed literary prize in German-speaking countries, and in 2012 the Thomas Mann Prize for his work, with which he “unites the knowledge of the fragility of existence oppose deep humanity ». His first volume of short stories, Die Tessinerin , was translated into six, the novella Das Gartenhaus into 13 languages. Hürlimann is a member of the German Academy for Language and Poetry , the Academy of Arts, Berlin , the PEN-Club Liechtenstein , the Central Switzerland Writers' Association and the Bavarian Academy of Fine Arts .





  • Grandfather and half-brother . A play. Premiere: Schauspielhaus Zürich 1981; Ammann, Zurich 1981, ISBN 3-250-01001-4 .
  • Due date . Premiere: Düsseldorfer Schauspielhaus 1984.
  • Deadline. Grandfather and half-brother . 2 plays: Fischer Taschenbuch, Frankfurt am Main 1984, ISBN 3-596-27086-3 .
  • Lymbacher . Comedy (after Meinrad Inglin ). Premiere: Schauspielhauskeller Zurich 1990; Chärnehus cultural association, Einsiedeln 2003, ISBN 3-909060-22-6 .
  • The last guest . Comedy. Premiere: Schauspielhaus Zürich 1991; Ammann, Zurich 1990, ISBN 3-250-01034-0 .
  • The envoy . Premiere: Schauspielhaus Zürich 1991; Ammann, Zurich 1991, ISBN 3-250-01063-4 .
  • De Franzos in Ybrig . Comedy. WP: Einsiedeln Monastery 1991; Ammann, Zurich 1996, ISBN 3-250-10286-5 .
  • Central Switzerland trilogy: De Franzos im Ybrig. Comedy - Twilight Cup. Novella - Lymbacher, after Inglin. Piece . Ammann, Zurich 1991, ISBN 3-250-01044-8 .
  • Güdelmäntig . Comedy. WP: Einsiedeln Monastery 1993; Chärnehus cultural association, Einsiedeln; Ammann, Zurich 1993, ISBN 3-909060-10-2 .
  • The French in Ybrig . Comedy (High German version). Premiere: Schauspielhaus Zürich 1995; Ammann, Zurich 1996, ISBN 3-250-10286-5 .
  • Carleton . One piece. Premiere: Theater am Neumarkt Zurich 1996; Ammann, Zurich 1996, ISBN 3-250-10352-7 .
  • The song of home . Piece. Premiere: Schauspielhaus Zürich 1998; Ammann, Zurich 1998, ISBN 3-250-10390-X .
  • The song of home . All pieces. Fischer Taschenbuch, Frankfurt am Main 1998, ISBN 3-596-14277-6 .
  • Due date . Opera. WP: Zurich 1998.
  • The Einsiedler World Theater . After Calderón de la Barca. WP: Einsiedeln Monastery 2000; Ammann, Zurich 2000, ISBN 3-250-10424-8 .
  • Synchronous . Premiere: Schauspielhaus Zurich 2002; in: Theater Theater. Current Pieces 12. Fischer Taschenbuch Verlag, Frankfurt am Main 2002, ISBN 3-596-15664-5 .
  • The Einsiedler World Theater 2007 . After Pedro Calderón de la Barca. WP: Einsiedeln Monastery 2007; Ammann, Zurich 2007, ISBN 978-3-250-10512-1 .
  • The airship - comedy of a summer night. Premiere: Lucerne Open Air Theater, Tribschen 2015.

Speech opera

  • Güdelmäntig . Speech opera for an actor, choir and orchestra. Music: John Wolf Brennan . WP: Aarau 2002; Musica Vocalis Rara, wind soloists Aargau. Ammann, Zurich 2001.


  • The midday devil. The thrownness speaks to drafts. Speech to the 2011 high school graduates . Gollenstein, Merzig 2011, ISBN 978-3-938823-92-7 .

Audio book


  • The mountain . (Script together with Markus Imhoof ), movie, 1990.
  • De Franzos in Ybrig . (Recording of a performance; video by Bernhard Lang), Schweizer Fernsehen , 1991.
  • The envoy . (Recording of a performance), Schweizer Fernsehen, 1993.
  • French in Ötz . (Recording of a performance), ORF , 1994.
  • The Einsiedler World Theater . (Documentation about a production), Kulturplatz Schweizer Fernsehen, 2007.
  • The big hangover . (Original book), movie, 2009.



Film and audio

  • Marianne Pletscher : Thomas Hürlimann - writer portrait. 1999.
  • Radio SRF 3 Focus: Thomas Hürlimann: “Sometimes I forget about cancer”. 2019. Editing and moderation: Anita Richner

Web links

Individual evidence

  1. Thomas Hürlimann, The Art of Living. View from the ferry house. Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung, features section, April 3, 2020, p. 11
  2. ^ Daniele Muscionico: The seducer longs for contemplation. In: NZZ online, Sept. 4, 2017.
  3. Thomas Hürlimann, It happened in the middle of the Indian Ocean. Years ago I fell in love with an Indian woman on the high seas. As a mirage I saw her again on the Rigi. NZZ, Feuilleton, February 3, 2020
  5. Daniele Muscionico: Thomas Hürlimann on Ice: The author brings Shakespeare to life with a breakneck idea , review in the NZZ on June 25, 2019, accessed June 26, 2019
  6. ^ Foundation Bible and Culture - Awards. Retrieved December 27, 2019 .
  7. Winner of the Jean Paul Prize ( Memento of the original from June 27, 2015 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. , Bavarian State Ministry for Education and Culture, Science and Art @1@ 2Template: Webachiv / IABot /
  8. Thomas Mann Prize goes to Thomas Hürlimann. Message from accessed on June 1, 2012.
  9. Thomas Hürlimann receives the Central Switzerland Theater Prize. Swiss radio and television , March 19, 2015, accessed on April 6, 2015.
  10. In: May 16, 2019, accessed May 17, 2019 .
  11. Book review in the show 52 best books on Swiss radio (May 5, 2019)
  12. Website for the play ( Memento of the original from June 13, 2015 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. @1@ 2Template: Webachiv / IABot /
  13. Description of the film on Marianne Pletscher's website , accessed on June 11, 2015
  14. Focus with Thomas Hürlimann on Radio SRF 3 , accessed on April 8, 2020