Quotations From FRIEDRICH DÜRRENMATT


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  • Our science has become terrible, our research dangerous, our findings deadly. We physicists have to make peace with reality. Reality is not as strong as we are. We will ruin reality.
    Friedrich Dürrenmatt (1921-1990), Swiss dramatist, novelist, essayist. Trans. by Gerhard P. Knapp (1995). The Physicists, act II (1962). On nuclear physics.

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  • A reasonable change of the world can not be instrumented by pure reason.
    Friedrich Dürrenmatt (1921-1990), Swiss dramatist, novelist, essayist. Trans. by Gerhard P. Knapp (1995). Czechoslovakia 1968 (1968).

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  • You can't take back an act you were able to think.
    Friedrich Dürrenmatt (1921-1990), Swiss dramatist, novelist, essayist. Trans. by Gerhard P. Knapp (1995). The Vega Expedition (1969).
  • A story has been thought through to the end when it has taken the worst possible turn.
    Friedrich Dürrenmatt (1921-1990), Swiss dramatist, novelist, essayist, and trans. by Gerhard P. Knapp (1995). The Physicists, 21 points to The Physicists (1962).
  • The rightful claim to dissent is an existential right of the individual.
    Friedrich Dürrenmatt (1921-1990), Swiss dramatist, novelist, essayist. Trans. by Gerhard P. Knapp (1995). About Tolerance (1977).
  • The archetype of all humans, their ideal image, is the computer, once it has liberated itself from its creator, man. The computer is the essence of the human being. In the computer, man reaches his completion.
    Friedrich Dürrenmatt (1921-1990), Swiss dramatist, novelist, essayist. Trans. by Gerhard P. Knapp (1995). Achterloo III, act I (1986). Ironical statement on contemporary rampant computeritis.
  • People like us who are on their last leg can only understand comedies.
    Friedrich Dürrenmatt (1921-1990), Swiss dramatist, novelist, essayist, and trans. by Gerhard P. Knapp (1995). Romulus the Great, act I (1956). On the state of today's world.

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  • Today's Communism can survive only if it abandons the myth of an infallible party, if it continues to think, and if it becomes democratic.
    Friedrich Dürrenmatt (1921-1990), Swiss dramatist, novelist, essayist. Trans. by Gerhard P. Knapp (1995). Czechoslovakia 1968 (1968).

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  • Politics at all times lead to bloody wars, and not only politics, but also religions as well as social and economic systems of all times are spattered with blood. Invariably the big ones devoured the little ones, and the little ones the tiny ones.
    Friedrich Dürrenmatt (1921-1990), Swiss dramatist, novelist, essayist. Trans. by Gerhard P. Knapp (1995). Czechoslovakia 1968 (1968).
  • For people who have no critical acumen, a state is a mythical entity, for those who think critically it is a rational fiction, created by man in order to facilitate human coexistence.
    Friedrich Dürrenmatt (1921-1990), Swiss dramatist, novelist, essayist. Trans. by Gerhard P. Knapp (1995). Czechoslovakia 1968 (1968).

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