A Potful of Time
One of Switzerland's leading post-war writers, he is without doubt the most important Swiss poet and Protestant. Here, Kurt Marti, the man who has had such a significant influence on many younger colleagues, describes his years as a child and a young adult during an era that left a more profound impression on present-day Switzerland than any that followed.
1928 marked the beginning of Kurt Marti"s schooling, and 1948 the final year of his University education. Over the course of these two decades, overshadowed by Europe's decline, the lives of an entire generation – in Marti's words, the "active-service generation" – became embroiled in world affairs like never before or since. His memoirs bear this out: a childhood spent in Berne, his schooldays, his first love and his passion for jazz; national service followed by active service in the Alps. He chronicles his theological studies and his inspiration by Karl Barth, one of the most significant Christian thinkers of the 20th century; the church dispute at Berne, as well as his time in Paris as head of the ecumenical church commission for the pastoral care of German prisoners of war. Additionally, he explores the existentialist circles with particular emphasis on Boris Vian. Seamlessly merging his personal experiences with the pervading mood and events of the period, Marti offers us a vibrant piece of first-hand history.
"Kurt Marti's writing is fresh, brash and brazen." (Schweizer Radio DRS 2)
"Kurt Marti doesn't just shine a light, he is also a master of hide-and-seek. Simultaneously at home in many realms, he effortlessly blends the "high" world of the spirit and the "low" of the flesh. With him, they are just different aspects of one and the same world." (Neue Zürcher Zeitung)