CHILD'S HOROSCOPEfor Friedrich Dürrenmatt,
born 5 January 1921
A child of nature
Friedrich is a child with an essentially earthy and solid nature, and from a very early age he will probably exhibit a lively, sensuous and well-adapted relationship with the physical world. Yet he also possesses a powerful imagination, and there is likely to be a certain tension between these two sides of his developing personality which would benefit from the support and understanding of those around him. You may find that this imaginative but unpredictable side of Friedrich causes him to suffer from inexplicable anxieties and fantasies. These he may try to subdue through a more intensive effort to create external security - such as overdoing school work or domestic routines, or displaying intense possessiveness about particular objects or articles of clothing. These anxieties are not "abnormal", but are the natural result of a nature which contains two very different gifts. Such a polarity, although it may take some time to get used to, will help Friedrich to develop into a sensible and practical child who also knows how to take his ideas and creative inspirations and turn them into actualities. It may be helpful to encourage Friedrich to express his fears - through painting or drawing if he is reluctant with words - because however odd or irrational they seem these fears are really the reflection of a particularly rich imagination which he finds hard to accommodate to his already very strong perception of material reality. It is especially important, as he gets older and begins to perceive himself as an independent entity, to help him to understand these two sides of his nature. Because his strengths lie on the concrete side of life, Friedrich may ignore the gifts of the imagination and concentrate on physical activities and on producing good results in the outer world. He will probably respond with intelligence and patience to the material requirements of life, accepting the necessity of discipline and learning to cope early with personal responsibilities. The danger is that this emphasis on material reality may become a good means of avoiding that very active but sometimes frightening world of the imagination, which really needs to be encouraged and expressed. Friedrich is a secret dreamer who will probably give the impression of being a much more active and practical child. Probably he will not really know which of these personalities is truly his own for a number of years. With understanding and support from those around him, he will be able to find both sides of his personality equally rewarding as he grows....
Outer and inner worlds collide
Because Friedrich has an acute sensitivity to everything which is going on around him, he is likely from a very early age to intuit the expectations - conscious or unconscious - which are placed upon him by parents and family members. He has an innately helpful and conscientious nature, and is therefore likely to be very eager to please others - a lovely quality which will inevitably earn appreciation and love, but which may also be taken for granted or even abused by those who forget that he is not a miniature adult but a child who needs the time and freedom to play. If Friedrich has siblings, he may display an eager willingness to look after them, showing a wonderfully protective instinct which may also extend to animals and plants. But this tendency to look after others - even his parents if he senses they are feeling sad or upset - may conflict with his equally important need to express the strong imagination at work within him. If too much maturity and discipline are expected of Friedrich too early, he will no doubt try to oblige and provide loved ones with what is needed. This would have the unfortunate effect of stifling his creative gifts, which are considerable.
As Friedrich grows older, creative hobbies are essential to provide an emotional release and a channel for imaginative self-expression. If he shows a definite interest in or preference for some particular type of creative activity, it would be a great help if this were encouraged. He may show quickness or cleverness with his hands, or display a pleasing coordination of the body which might reflect talent at sport or dance. Or he may love the world of nature, and long to explore it. Because Friedrich is likely to grow into such a deeply responsible and essentially caring child, there is not much likelihood of his taking life and others for granted. But there are real creative gifts here which should not be overlooked, either by others or by Friedrich himself. This is a child with a complex yet fascinating nature and a rare blend of practical ability and imagination - but as is so often the case in life, the best things are unlikely to be displayed in the shop window all at once. ...
A child with a dedicated spirit
Friedrich is earthy, solid and sensible at heart, and well adapted to the world in which he finds himself. Yet as he grows up there is a spirit within him which will restlessly strive toward something beyond ordinary everyday life. During childhood this inner spirit may reveal itself as a rare capacity for dedication to whomever or whatever he cares for - whether this is a beloved parent, a sibling, a pet or a friend. His ability to devote himself wholeheartedly to something outside himself is unusual in one so young, and the ordinary self-centredness and subjectivity of childhood seem somehow lacking in the face of his strangely mature loyalty. Throughout his life he will need to feel that there is some purpose to his existence beyond the gratification of his own needs, and in his early years this search for meaning is likely to be expressed through devotion and dedication. Once he reaches school age, he may demonstrate his qualities of spirit through the taking up of causes - the championing of the class scapegoat or the rights of other pupils unfairly treated by a teacher or headmaster. To Friedrich love is only valid if expressed through active service on behalf of the loved one, and his instinctive perception of goodness is synonymous with good actions and not just with good intentions. Despite his healthy appetites and appreciation of the good things of this world, his guiding spirit will always seek some reality beyond the physical one.
Within Friedrich there is a tug-of-war between his sensory perceptions and his imagination. Probably he will favour the former most of the time, for he is strongly sensual and has a deep appreciation not only of good food and beautiful things but also of order, structure and a stable outer life. Thus he is likely to show a lot of common sense from quite a young age, and will be able to competently handle responsibilities and duties as well as enjoy everyday pleasures with gusto. Parents and family members are not likely to identify him as a dreamer, especially since he will probably be very physically active and energetic. Yet he has a secret inner life which may sometimes make him restless, irritable and discontented without any apparent reason. He may have unaccountable moods of deep melancholy, or phases when nothing can please him and whatever he wants is always what he hasn't got. During such periods he may be anything but sensible, and may be very difficult to deal with because of his impatience and fractious temper.
Faith in the future
Friedrich is a small philosopher and from quite a young age may be heard proclaiming his interpretations of why things happen. The mysteries of life will always fascinate him. So will the possibilities of the future, which always appear to him happy, positive and full of promise. He is not afraid of life, and has an innate sense of being "lucky" - which really means that he assumes life will be kind and that there will always be a pot of gold at the end of the rainbow. Sometimes it may seem that he actively seeks difficult challenges, since they test his need to believe in a wise and benign force at work in life. If he can win the desired prize or achieve the desired goal in the face of obstacles and competition, then this is an affirmation of his "luck". Friedrich has a unique blend of realism and a visionary and far- ranging spirit which peers around the corner into the future in pursuit of a wonderful destiny. This combination allows him to meet challenges with optimism and buoyancy. He can be surprisingly wise because his perspective of life is broad and tolerant. As he gets older he will probably love giving advice to younger siblings and friends - although he may be bad at taking advice (particularly parental) because he usually feels he knows better. He also has a restless and inquisitive mind which questions everything - especially intellectual authority, whether religious, political or scientific. He may have some difficulty in adapting to school rules, not because he is incapable of discipline but because he has a low boredom threshold and may find an unimaginative subject or teacher tiresome and dreary. He is eager to learn and expand his fund of knowledge about all sorts of things, but needs to be inspired before he expresses his real potentials. Physically as well as mentally restless, he may be the first to try some daring feat, especially if other children display reluctance or timidity. His lively, inquiring and hopeful attitude will always make life and people interesting to him.
Coping with powerful emotional needs
Friedrich's powerful emotional needs may cause him conflict as he grows up because they challenge his devoted and loyal nature, attuned to being "good" in the deepest sense. He feels considerable aggression and possessiveness as well as a strong desire to control and own what he loves. Yet at the same time he is sensitive to the feelings of those he cares for and instinctively moral and decent in his attitude toward other people. In early childhood this conflict may reveal itself through dramatic swings in attitude. He may display extreme self-will at one moment and then in the next moment feel dreadfully anxious, guilty and fearful of being rejected by those around him. He may then try to overcompensate by being especially devoted and dutiful, and wind up feeling frustrated and angry - thus starting the cycle all over again. Even if no rejection is forthcoming after a bout of bad behaviour, Friedrich carries within him his own sense of right and wrong and can be his own worst judge without additional parental censuring. As he gets older Friedrich may need help in reconciling his rather dominant nature with his innate desire to be helpful to others...
Loyalty to an inner voice
Thus Friedrich is fascinating and complex, containing within him two powerful extremes - an intense emotional and instinctual nature and a highly active imaginative and spiritual life. In adulthood these two poles of his nature will probably find their best expression through commitment to a vocation in which he can contribute something practical to life which also fulfills his deeply felt ideals. But during childhood he may find it very difficult to balance two such opposing elements, since the ideals are not yet formed and he will need time to learn containment of his powerful instinctual needs. He needs structure and stability in his material environment yet at the same time requires room for his imagination and inquisitive mind to explore both the inner and outer worlds. The more parents and family members can help Friedrich to get to recognise his internal dichotomy and value both sides, the more confident he will feel in expressing both his earthiness and his innate spirituality. The glue which binds his complex nature is his deep commitment to life and his profound capacity for love and loyalty - precious qualities which should never be exploited but will always be appreciated and valued by those who are fortunate enough to have his love.
A child with an honest soul
Friedrich's nature contains no pretense or evasiveness. From the earliest months of life he will express himself forcefully and directly, whether he is hungry, lonely, angry or loving. He is not inclined to placate in order to get what he needs. He is also perfectly willing to challenge and, if necessary, offend those who offend him. He may sometimes seem deliberately provocative because of his refusal to be "good" simply to please others. Parents should not expect him to collude with any effort to present things as other than what they are, for he is liable to blurt out exactly what is going on just at the moment the family are trying to make the best possible impression on a teacher or a neighbour.
Learning compassion through father
Friedrich loves his father not for any fantasised perfection, but for the ordinary human flaws and weaknesses which he instinctively perceives. It is therefore important that his father allows himself to be seen as a real human being and does not hide behind some collective image of paternal authority in order to make himself feel stronger. At the core of the boy's deep attachment to his father is a profound sense of compassion - perhaps unformulated and unsophisticated, but genuine nonetheless. Although it may seem strange for a child to have such adult feelings toward a parent, Friedrich's father is for his son a figure of fallible humanity, and whatever failings this parent may possess do not lessen his son's love of him. This sense of the father as a fellow human being caught in life's toils like everyone else will form the basis of Friedrich's developing qualities of empathy, which will flower as he reaches adulthood. Such a subtle bond might be uncomfortable for some parents because it is too disturbingly honest. Friedrich may therefore provoke anger in his father, or a belief that this parent's authority is being undermined. But what the boy needs most from his father is not some superhuman authority figure who always gets everything right. He seeks emotional honesty, understanding and a willingness to share his questions and concerns about life's more difficult and painful face.
Recognising mother's unconventionality
Friedrich has an image of his mother as a free spirit longing to fly. He looks to her for the courage to transcend or transform rigid social and sexual roles. This mythic image of a free feminine spirit will also colour his appreciation of women's independent personalities when he reaches adulthood. Even if his mother feels tired, stressed and anything but free and courageous, Friedrich does not see her merely as "mother" - she is to him a fascinating individual in her own right, unpredictable and exciting, with gifts and potentials perhaps unlived but nonetheless real. At the core of this relationship is a highly creative mental bond. Although his need for comfort and affection is the same as that of any other child, on the most profound level he looks to his mother for friendship, communication and mental rapport - a relationship of individuals who genuinely like each other and find each other interesting without depending solely on ties of blood or instinctual needs. Friedrich's mother may help him greatly by recognising that fanatical adherence to the collective role of "mother" may not suit her son any more than it suits her. She may need to find the courage to be truly herself, for it is this independent spirit that Friedrich most loves and admires in her and needs as a model for his own developing sense of individuality.
Making an impact on life
Friedrich is interested in facts and realities, but at the same time his mind is attuned to future potentials and possibilities. The need to express his developing ideas to others is highly important to him. He will try to inject a note of individuality into any subject he studies. Because he is likely to be more interested in the broader picture than in one highly specialised area of knowledge, he needs an educational environment where teachers can recognise that music has something in common with mathematics, and that one cannot study history without studying human nature as well. This holistic and far-ranging quality of mind may make Friedrich do extremely well in subjects which inspire him, while he may do surprisingly poorly if the subject or the teacher are too narrow or mundane. The operative word here is inspiration - he needs to feel his understanding is growing through discovering meaningful connections, not shrinking through memorising too many facts. He is quite capable of self-discipline and should be able to handle the drearier aspects of learning (such as memorising multiplication tables) without difficulty. He is also wise enough to know that he cannot always have it his own way. But he will repeatedly seek mental refreshment in those areas of study where his imagination can play without constriction. He should therefore always have a good supply of books at home - particularly novels, poetry, history, mythology - so that his imagination can be rekindled after the homework is done.
Friedrich's perception of life tends toward the dramatic, and this may incline him toward creative subjects - particularly the arts. Genuine interest from parents and personal attention from teachers are also extremely important as he is highly receptive to others' feelings. A smaller educational establishment which encourages plenty of creative self-expression and gives value to languages, theatre, literature, music and visual arts may be preferable to a larger, more collective institution which places its focus solely on academic achievement or "social" interaction.
Friedrich Dürrenmatt was a Swiss author and dramatist. He was a proponent of epic theater whose plays reflected the recent experiences of World War II. The politically active author's work included avant-garde dramas, philosophically deep crime novels, and often macabre satire. One of his leading sentences was: "A story is not finished, until it has taken the worst turn". Dürrenmatt was a member of the Gruppe Olten. v
Dürrenmatt was born in Konolfingen, in the Emmental (canton of Bern), the son of a Protestant pastor. His grandfather, Ulrich Dürrenmatt, was a conservative politician. The family moved to Bern in 1935. Dürrenmatt began studies in philosophy and German language and literature at the University of Zurich in 1941, but moved to the University of Bern after one semester. In 1943, he decided to become an author and dramatist and dropped his academic career. In 1945-46, he wrote his first play It is written. On 11 October 1946, he married the actress Lotti Geissler. She died on 16 January 1983, and Dürrenmatt married again in 1984 to another actress, Charlotte Kerr. Dürrenmatt also enjoyed painting. Some of his own works and his drawings were exhibited in Neuchâtel in 1976 and 1985, as well as in Zürich in 1978.
Like Brecht, Dürrenmatt explored the dramatic possibilities of epic theater. His plays are meant to involve the audience in a theoretical debate, rather than act as purely passive entertainment. When he was 26, his first play, It Is Written, premiered to great controversy. The story of the play revolves around a battle between a sensation-craving cynic and a religious fanatic who takes scripture literally, all of this taking place while the city they live in is under siege. The play's opening night in April, 1947, caused fights and protests in the audience. His first major success was the play Romulus the Great. Set in the year A.D. 476, the play explores the last days of the Roman Empire, presided over, and brought about by its last emperor. The Visit (Der Besuch der alten Dame, 1956) is a grotesque fusion of comedy and tragedy that creates a superb dramaturgic effect. It is the work best known in the United States. The satirical drama The Physicists (Die Physiker, 1962), which deals with issues concerning science and its responsibility for dramatic and even dangerous changes to our world, has also been presented in translation. Radio plays published in English include Hercules in the Augean Stables (Herkules und der Stall des Augias, 1954), Incident at Twilight (Abendstunde im Spätherbst, 1952) and The Mission of the Vega (Das Unternehmen der Wega, 1954). The two late works "Labyrinth" and "Turmbau zu Babel" are a collection of unfinished ideas, stories, and philosophical thoughts.
In 1990, he gave two famous speeches, one in honour of Václav Havel (Die Schweiz, ein Gefängnis? / Switzerland a Prison?), and the other in honour of Mikhail Gorbachev (Kants Hoffnung / Kant's Hope). Dürrenmatt often compared the three Abrahamic religions and Marxism, which he also saw as a religion. Even if there are several parallels between Dürrenmatt and Brecht, Dürrenmatt never took a political position, but represented a pragmatic philosophy of life. In 1969, he traveled in the USA, in 1974 to Israel, and in 1990 to Auschwitz in Poland. Dürrenmatt died on 14 December 1990 in Neuchâtel.Source: Wikipedia
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