At the center of the first literary flourishing was the monastery of St. Gallen in the 9th century. The language was Latin, but soon got the Swiss Germanhis breakthrough as a literary language. The forerunner was Notker Labeo with translations of Latin texts. The most prominent of the German-speaking poets during the Middle Ages were Hartmann von Aue, Ulrich von Zatzikhoven, Konrad Fleck and Konrad von Würzburg. During the years 1200–1350, the so-called Manessian manuscript gave a test of the memory of Johannes Hadloub and Steinmar. Significant late medieval poets were Heinrich Wittenwiler and Ulrich Boner. In the Catholic Church, the mystery game was developed, while Niklaus Manuel’s determined play later brought forth the thoughts of the Reformation. In chronicles, ballads and dramas about e.g. Wilhelm Tell noticed in the 16th century an increasing national consciousness.
- Countryaah: Population and demographics of Switzerland, including population pyramid, density map, projection, data, and distribution.
During the Enlightenment, JJ Bodmer and JJ Breitinger turned to the French influence and cited English literature as a model. Albrecht von Haller, with the poem “Die Alpen” (1729), laid the foundation for a nationally embedded view of nature, which was passed on in Salomon Gessner’s shepherd poetry. The national perspective was also noticed by JC Lavater and Johannes von Müller, while the popular enlightenment was typical of JH Pestalozzi.
In the first half of the 19th century, German-speaking literature in Switzerland had a provincial character, but during the second half it got three realistic narrators of rank with Jeremias Gotthelf, Gottfried Keller and CF Meyer. Among them, Keller is regarded as Switzerland’s national call. These three realists usually portrayed a somewhat beautified village and small-town reality. The big cities and the new industrial era, however, did not leave significant traces in their works. On the whole, naturalism shines with its absence. The most read book of this time – “Heidi” – was written by Johanna Spyri. The realistic hometown literature for a long time was high in course and writers such as Jakob Christoph Heer, Heinrich Federer, Alfred Huggenberger, Felix Moeschlin and Meinrad Inglin won a large readership.
As a counterbalance to these portrayals of the hometown, around 1900 turned out strangers like Carl Spitteler and Robert Walser. Against traditional writing also Hugo Ball and his circle, which created Dadaism in Zurich in 1916. During the interwar period Caesar von Arx wrote fetish dramas, while Lisa Wenger, Cécile Lauber, Maria Dutli-Rutishauser and Ernst Zahn glorified the simple life of Swiss countryside. Time in general is marked by some break with the national tradition and an approach to expressionism, religion and nature. Names such as Max Pulver, Hans Ganz and Karl Stamm represented expressionism in Switzerland, though without any major literary significance.
The end of the war in 1945 meant a return to the homeland literature, but also a renewal of the dialectal lyric, among other things. through the concrete poetry of Eugen Gomringer. This can also be seen in lyric written by Kurt Marti, Ernst Eggimann and Ernst Burren. However, the great road jerks after the war were the two internationally acclaimed writers Friedrich Dürrenmatt and Max Frisch. The latter, with his critical attitude to self-indulgence in his own country, became a role model for a somewhat younger generation of experimental storytellers, such as Adolf Muschg, Paul Nizon, Peter Bichsel and Otto F. Walter.
For those writers who started writing and publishing in the 1970’s, e.g. However, Gertrud Leutenegger, Christoph Geiser and Hermann Burger, the criticism of Switzerland came increasingly into the background. Other important Swiss writers at the beginning of the 21st century are Hugo Loetscher, Franz Hohler, Jürg Federspiel, Urs Jäggi, Verena Stefan and Peter Stamm.
The French-speaking writers in Switzerland have always known fellowship with France but guarded their particularity early. The poet Othon de Grandson belongs to the Middle Ages; in the 16th century, the chronicler François Bonvard appeared. Significant to the Reformation became the French version of Calvin’s “Institutio religionis christianae” (“Teaching on the Christian Religion”). However, Switzerland’s big son was Rousseau. When “Le Contrat social” was banned in France, he sought refuge in Switzerland but had to flee. For many others, e.g. However, Voltaire and Madame de Staël, Switzerland became a refuge.
Towards the end of the 18th century, Isabelle de Charrière wrote subtle psychological novels, but it was the 19th century that gave Swiss French-speaking literature its own character, for example. by Rodolphe Toepffer. In the years 1847–81, Henri Frédéric Amiel wrote in his “Fragments d’un journal intime” (“A Dreamer’s Diary”), a finely tuned psychological and moral analysis of life.
During the early 1900’s, it was primarily two magazines, Voile latine (1904–10) and Cahiers vaudois (1914–19), who took a literary role. One of the employees was C.-F. Ramuz, among whose works can be mentioned “L’Histoire du soldat” (1918; “The story of a soldier”), composed by Stravinsky. Charles Albert Cingria had a more cosmopolitan focus in e.g. “Chronical”. René Morax, Edmond Gilliard and Paul Budry were prominent employees of Cahier’s vaudois.
Among the poets are Gustave Roud and Maurice Chappaz, who writes in an abrupt but poetic language about the peasant culture threatened by technology. His wife Corinna S. Bille told in his short stories about different forms of women. Among the younger writers, themes of revolt and riots recur, e.g. with Anne-Lise Grobéty, who in her debut novel described the rebellion of a teenage girl.
The Italian-language literature is geographically limited to the canton of Ticino. The first real contributions to a domestic literature in Italian came in the 18th century, but a more artistic dynamic development did not occur until the beginning of the 19th century. The era was marked by a conscious Italian language education and impressive writing, not least from politicians such as Vincenzo D’Alberti and Stefano Franscini.
Early on, the Italian-speaking authors began to take an interest in the terms of popular literature, and a regionally colored, sometimes idyllic, literature emerged. One of the foremost representatives of this direction was Francesco Chiesa in the early 1900’s. It was against this regionalism that the young literature then took hold, and traces of this struggle can be read in the important anthology “Scrittori della Svizzera italiana” (‘Italian-speaking Swiss writers’) published in 1936. The romantic tradition was not least consolidated by Giovanni Orelli, while Giorgio Orelli together with Franco Beltrametti and Alina Borioli made lasting contributions in the lyrics. The younger author generations have often cultivated more experimental literary forms and further distanced themselves from the regionally bound, dialect-linguistic orientation.
The oldest known works in Romanesque Romanesque have a religious character and were written in the 16th century. In the middle of the 19th century, a cultural awakening took place, and publications and literature began to discuss Romanesque culture and identity. Caspar Decurtins collected folk literature and Giachen Caspar Muoth and Peider Lansel sang the alpine landscape. The themes of modern literature oscillate between natural beauty and human conditions in the intersection of nature, village and city. Novels and poetry predominate, and the authors include Toni Halter, Flurin Darms, Jon Semadeni and children’s book author Selina Chönz.
Drama and theater
From the 17th century to the 19th century, the freedom of the domestic theater was limited by the intervention of the country’s governments. Foreign guest games, on the other hand, were common. The criticism of the theater that Rousseau formulated in “Lettre à d’Alembert” (“Letter to d’Alembert”, 1758) helped to give the scenic arts an uncertain position in Switzerland, where, on the other hand, there has always been a popular tradition with roots in the medieval religious theater. During the late 19th century, this movement gained a renaissance, which manifested itself in manifestations of festival-play character, including. in “Fête des Vignerons de Vevey”. Sets of Schiller’s “Wilhelm Tell” are recurring elements in the Swiss festival play theater.
The professional theater was developed later in Switzerland than in several other European countries. Adolphe Appia’s modernist scenography ideas had a hard time rooting in their home country. Only during Oskar Wälterlin’s foresight management of the theater in Basel did Appia in the 1920’s test its aesthetics in a set of Wagner’s “The Ring”. Among the Swiss theaters that have talked about them are also the Schauspielhaus in Zurich. It was also Wälterlin who commissioned Brecht’s “Mutter Courage” (1941), which drew the country’s two most renowned modern playwrights, Max Frisch and Friedrich Dürrenmatt.
Due to the country’s linguistic division and competition from surrounding countries, Switzerland had difficulties developing its own film industry. The first approaches were achieved by Lazar Wechsler (1896-1981) in Zurich with the founding of the Praesens Film in 1924. The company played a big part in the Swiss film’s first “golden age” 1938-45, not least thanks to the cooperation with the German refugee Leopold Lindtberg (1902 –84) which did, inter alia, “Füsilier Wipf” (1938), one of Switzerland’s biggest audience successes, and the 1946 Cannes Festival winner, “The Last Chance” (1945). Mention should also be made of the original Max Haufler (1910-65), the director of films such as “Michael Kolhaas” (1937) and actors also in international productions such as Orson Welles “The Process” (1962).
International recognition won after the war Lindtberg’s “Two girls on the fork” (1950) and “Der 10. Mai” (1957) by Franz Schnyder (1910-93), the most diligent director of the 1940’s-1950’s. For a revival of the 1930’s dialect films, in the 1950’s, Kurt Früh (1915-79) responded in particular. “Café Odeon” (1959). However, domestic film production was modest; In 1960, eight self-produced films were made against 459 imported. It was not until 1969 that a first federal film aid was introduced. Nevertheless, during the 1960’s, a revival of mainly the short and documentary film was made, which in the 1970’s also reached the feature film – the second “golden age”.
In Romanian Switzerland, filmmakers such as Alain Tanner (“Jonas – who turns 25 in 2000”, 1976), Claude Goretta (“The Lizard of Knights”, 1977), Yves Yersin (born 1942) and Michel Soutter (1932-191) stood for the renewal, in German Switzerland Kurt Gloor (1942–97), Peter von Gunten (born 1941), Rolf Lyssy (born 1936), Markus Imhoof (“The lifeboat is full”, 1980) and the quirky Daniel Schmid (1941–2006).
From recent decades in particular, Fredi M. Murer (born 1940; “Vitus”, 2006) deserves to be highlighted, as does Xavier Koller (born 1944) with his Oscar-winning “Journey to Hope” (1990). Among younger abilities are Ivan Engler (born 1971) and Ralph Etter (born 1978), who collaborated on the science fiction film “Cargo” (2009).
Famous actors from Switzerland include Ursula Andress (born 1936), Maximilian Schell and Bruno Ganz. Significant for scenography and visual design in especially the science fiction film, the artist HR Giger has been after the breakthrough with “Alien” (1979).
Since the 1990’s, Switzerland has been producing 15-20 feature films annually.
Art development is characterized by the proximity to both French, German and Italian cultural life as well as a lively exchange in both directions. A special position occupies the monastery of St. Gallen (600’s), during the 800’s, a center for Carolingian art, especially for the book painting. German-born painter Konrad Witz, based in Basel, Konstanz and Geneva, laid the foundation for the Swiss landscape painting in 1444 through a famous altarpiece. For the first time in the history of European art, here is a detailed view of Geneva and the altitude of Salève. Hans Holbein dy worked in Basel from 1515. Jean-Étienne Liotard is known for paintings with oriental motifs. Representatives of the landscape painting include the late romantic Caspar Wolf as well as Arnold Böcklin, primarily with the fate-filled painting “The Island of Death” (1880). Ferdinand Hodler is the most important representative of symbolism in association with art nouveau. Félix Vallotton developed a realistic syntheticism.
As in architecture, Switzerland has contributed with important artistic and intellectual impulses in modern art life. The Dada movement was started by poet Hugo Ball in Zurich in 1916 in connection with the inauguration of Cabaret Voltaire. Le Corbusier’s foremost representative of functionalism also worked as a visual artist. Paul Klee, one of the foremost representatives of international modernism, was active in Switzerland for a long time, and most of his life works are in the Bern Art Museum. Significant names during the 20th century are also the architect and the concrete artist Max Bill and the sculptor Alberto Giacometti with an origin in deeds and surrealism. In a younger generation of modernists is the sculptor Jean Tinguely, known for his playful mobile motorized sculptures.
Swiss furniture art joined the current trends during the 16th-18th centuries, but with characteristic local deviations. During the 15th century there was a rich goldsmith; among other branches of art, ceramics occupied the foremost place early on. The oldest is the harbor ceramics with tiled stoves and from about 1500 household utensils in lead glazed earthenware. In the 18th century, several pottery factories were built, the most significant being near Zurich (see Zurich pottery).
Switzerland’s older architecture is characterized by influences from France, Italy and Germany. Regional features are mainly seen in the home style of the popular building tradition, with houses characterized by multi-storey hallways and heavily projecting ceilings.
In the middle of the 19th century, attempts were made to create a new national identity. The Technical University of Zurich, where Gottfried Semper worked in 1855–70, prepared the ground for a modern approach to Swiss architecture. Significant early works in its spirit include the St. Antonius Church in Basel (1926–27) by Karl Moser and the residential area Siedlung Neubühl in Zurich (1930–32) by the Swiss Werkbund, as well as Robert Maillart’s bold concrete structures, such as Salginatobelbrücke (1930)., see picture Maillart). Rudolf Steiner’s life work Goetheanum in Dornach (1924-28), characterized by anthroposophical monumentality, is a technical and formal pioneer work. Le Corbusier is Switzerland’s foremost among internationally active architects. Maison Clarté in Geneva (1930–32) and Heidi-Weber-Haus in Zurich (1963–67) are among his best-known works in Switzerland.
With the founding of CIAM (1928), S. early gained a key position in the development of modernism. This legacy was reborn in the 1980’s and 1990’s and substantially renewed in an ambition to contribute to regional character as well. Notable architects include the Italian embossed Ticino school, especially Mario Botta, Aurelio Galfetti (born 1936) and Luigi Snozzi (born 1932), and within the German-oriented sphere around Basel Jacques Herzog (born 1950) and Pierre de Meuron (born 1950).
Folk music and classical music
The folk musical qualities found in Switzerland are related to the livelihood and alpine nature: the so-called Kuhreigen is a special form of vocal lure; Iodine and Alphorn blowing is also associated with Swiss folk music.
The Gregorian song had several important centers in Switzerland, such as St. Gallen and Reichenau. The country also had a rich organ culture early on; the world’s oldest playable organ is in Zion. The composer Ludwig Senfl and music theoretician Henricus Glareanus belonged to the 16th century music culture. With the Reformation, the sacred music making in parts of the country waned – reformers Huldrych Zwingli and Jean Calvin took a negative attitude to music in the worship service.
The national currents of the early 19th century favored a wide range of music; driving life and music education got a boost. The composer Hans-Georg Nägeli (1773-1836) made a great contribution to amateur music. The step from the 19th century tradition into the new century was taken by composers such as Othmar Schoeck, Arthur Honegger and Frank Martin.
Modernist developments in Switzerland largely follow patterns from neighboring countries. Well-known names are composer Klaus Huber and the oboist and composer Heinz Holliger.
Significant orchestral institutions are the Tonhalle Orchestra in Zurich and the Orchestra de la Suisse Romande (founded in 1918) in Geneva and Lausanne. The Schola Cantorum Basiliensis Conservatory (founded in Basel in 1934) has an international reputation, as do the opera houses in Zurich and Geneva. Attractive music festivals are held annually in Lucerne and Montreux.
The Swiss Schlager was influenced by operetta music and Anglo-American popular music during the 1930’s-50’s, but also featured traditional Alps music. Lys Assia (born 1924) became the first winner of the Eurovision Song Contest in 1956. She also sang in composer Paul Burkhard’s (1911-177) world hit “O mein Papa” (1950). Another drummer from the same time was Vico Torriani (1920–98).
Few Swiss artists have made international careers, which may be because many sing in one of the country’s languages or even in dialect, which in the German cultural area is called Mundartmusik. The dialectal song was launched in the 1960’s by some vispoets, so-called Liedermacher, from Berne (“Berner Troubadours”), with the front figure Mani Matter (1936-72).
Among the pop groups of the 1960’s, Les Sauterelles (formed in 1962) was the largest. Recent influential artists have been the lead singer Polo Hofer (born 1945) and his group Rumpelstilz (formed 1971), hard rock band Krokus (founded 1975), electronic duo Yello (formed 1979), pop singer Stephan Eicher (born 1960) and the post-industrial band The Young Goods (formed 1985). During the 1990’s, the Eurodance singer and music producer DJ BoBo (born 1968) broke through, which is regarded as the country’s most internationally successful artist. In the vital and stylistically varied rock and pop field of today, mention is jazz pop singer Sophie Hunger (born 1983), the spectacular dance punk collective Bonaparte (formed in 2006), the cajun rock band Mama Rosin (2007) and folk pop duo Boy (formed in 2008).
Throughout the 1960’s, the popular Volkstümliche popular folkloric style has flourished throughout the German cultural area, especially in the Alpine regions, which can be likened to Swedish dance-band music, schlagerpop or country. Present representatives are the iodine family ensemble Oesch’s die Dritten and the drummer singer Francine Jordi (born 1977).
Partly as a reaction to the stereotyped and commercialized folk music in the eyes of many people, during the 1990’s a renaissance of the Alpine countries’ music traditions emerged in a genre transcending style called Neue Volksmusik, often tangential world music. This genre includes the folk music groups Appenzeller Space Schöttl (founded in 1980) and Stimmhorn (formed in 1996) as well as the grower and pop singer Christine Lauterburg (born 1956).
Switzerland has many annual music festivals, such as the world’s second largest annual jazz festival, the Montreux Jazz Festival.
In Switzerland, three cultural areas meet: one Southern European (Italian), one Western European (French) and one Central European (German). The linguistic parallels must not be overstated – cultural and language boundaries do not coincide. An eye-catching cultural border, which largely follows the Reuss River, divides the German-speaking area and is basically a confessional border. Mittelland in the north-west can generally be said to have been the most important area of innovation, while the actual alpine areas are often marked by considerable conservatism.
The rural development is quite scattered, but the topography has in many places produced characteristic village types of row and round town character. Large, dense round villages are found especially in French Switzerland and in Ticino. The buildings often hold housing and outbuilding functions under the same roof – in the plain areas, often high, steep thatched roofs, in the mountains low wood or slate roofs. Especially in the large parts of the country where there was a special kitchen and heated the living room with a stove-fired stove from the kitchen flourished from the beginning of the 18th century a furniture painting with floral ornaments.
The popular costume has been heavily influenced by 18th century fashion apparel but exhibits many local variations. Remnants of Renaissance fashion survived into our time in some very peculiar costumes in e.g. Appenzell and Haslital. The annual parties are rich in design and are well preserved, not least for touristic reasons. For the Christmas and festivities, including old-fashioned worms, will also eg. shooting parties and historically founded, local parties, at which great costume shows often develop.
Swiss public life research has long been at a high level, and several of the leading ethnologists of the 20th century were Swiss, e.g. Eduard Hoffmann-Krayer and Richard Weiss. Museums with large collections of Swiss folk culture can be found in Basel (Museum für Volkerkunde and Swiss Museum of Volkskunde Basel) and in Zurich (Swiss Landesmuseum / Musée National Suisse).