Black Lawrence Press
Contemporary Literature & Non-Fiction
ISBN 978-0-9826228-1-0     $17.00
"Much the way Dürrenmatt himself reclaims in verse the psyche of the Minotaur from the ancient labyrinth, so Daniele Pantano brings down from the Alps and the secret land of bank vaults the poetry of Switzerland’s most important writer of the twentieth century."
        --James Reidel

FRIEDRICH DÜRRENMATT (1921-1990) is commonly seen not only as the most prominent Swiss novelist, playwright, and essayist of the twentieth century but as one of the most influential authors of modern literature.  Dürrenmatt’s works have been translated into virtually all languages, and his oeuvre is inextricably linked to the modernist canon. Among his best-known works are the plays The Visit (1956) and The Physicists (1962), as well as the novels The Judge and His Executioner (1952) and The Pledge (1958).  In 2001, The Pledge was adapted for the screen (directed by Sean Penn and starring Jack Nicholson). However, while Dürrenmatt, the author, is well known in the United States and throughout the world, Dürrenmatt, the poet, is not.  Perhaps only German and Swiss readers are aware of Dürrenmatt’s poems that were originally published by the Swiss Diogenes Verlag in 1980 as part of his thirty-volume Werkausgabe.  In 1993, after his death, Diogenes published the first individual collection of Dürrenmatt’s work as poet: Das Mögliche ist ungeheuer
(The Possible Is Monstrous). The publication of Dürrenmatt’s poetry in English, therefore, fills a crucial gap and allows one to experience Dürrenmatt as he saw himself at the beginning of his literary career––as poet.