Das Kalb vor der Gotthardpost
Peter von Matt, one of the leading lights of Swiss Germanism, presents us with a critical yet ultimately affectionate take on Switzerland – a country situated at the very heart of Europe which has nevertheless always followed its own idiosyncratic path.
Peter von Matt loves his homeland for its contrasts – its time-honoured alpine traditions and the high-tech futurism o f its modern tunnels. Switzerland should count itself fortunate that it is also home to such a clever and astute critic – and proud that it isn’t afraid to heed his words.
Switzerland is by no means alone in ?nding itself caught between rural idyll and globalisation, so non-Swiss readers will be able to recognize their own home-grown sins and failings as the author gives his compatriots a piece of his mind concerning their slipshod use of language or their bull-headed, insular policy towards immigrants.
Rich in imagery and acute observational wisdom, von Matt casts a fresh light on a variety of themes with hard-hitting irony and barbed humour. As always, his observations are under-pinned by German literature throughout, from Friedrich Schiller via Robert Walser to Max Frisch and many other authors – all the way to the modern literary aspirants. This book is proof that a closer scrutiny of a country’s literature and language can give us a more comprehensive understanding of its socio-political attitudes.
The Calf That Stopped the Gotthard Coach
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