Burger, Hermann

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Burger, Hermann Gender: M
born on 10 July 1942 at 06:45 (= 06:45 AM )
Place Aarau, Switzerland, 47n23, 8e03
Timezone MEDT h2e (is daylight saving time)
Data source
BC/BR in hand
Rodden Rating AA
Collector: Astrologie Heute
Astrology data s_su.18.gif s_cancol.18.gif 17°18' s_mo.18.gif s_gemcol.18.gif 11°10 Asc.s_cancol.18.gif 28°34'


Swiss poet, novelist and essayist. In his creative works Burger often focused on society's lonely outsiders and, increasingly, the inevitability of death. His virtuosity in applying literary styles and use of thorough research are significant features of many of his publications.

Hermann Burger's father worked for an insurance company. He enrolled at the ETH Zurich in 1962 and began studying architecture, but switched to German literature and art history in 1964. The publication of the poetry collection "Rauchsignale" ("Smoke Signals") in 1967 marked the beginning of his literary career, followed by the prose collection Bork in 1970. For the next couple of years Burger focused on his career in literary studies, writing his thesis on Paul Celan and his habilitation treatise on contemporary Swiss literature. He taught at universities in Zurich, Bern and Fribourg and worked as a literary editor for the Aargauer Tagblatt. His academic experience is reflected in the loosely autobiographical novel "Die künstliche Mutter" ("The Artificial Mother") which won him the Conrad-Ferdinand-Meyer-Preis in 1980.

He married in 1967 the jurist Anne Marie Carrel and had with her the two sons Hermann (1975) and Matthias (1976).

Burger's first major novel "Schilten. Schulbericht zuhanden der Inspektorenkonferenz" ("Schilten. School Report for the Attention of the Inspectors' Conference") was published in 1976 and made into a movie by Swiss film director Beat Kuert in 1979. It is about a teacher who has to tell the conference of inspectors about the development of his pupils, but speaks about death cult, graveyards and burials in a very detailed way. Archetypes of this novels are Franz Kafka and Thomas Bernhard. Burger mixes reality and fiction, and the more one reads about him, the more one finds out, that Burger writes about himself, his own suffering.

He won the Ingeborg Bachmann Prize in 1985 for his story "Die Wasserfallfinsternis von Badgastein" ("The Waterfall-Eclipse of Badgastein"). 1988, a changing of publishers from S. Fischer to Suhrkamp took place in a spectacular way.

The novel Brenner (in two volumes, four were planned), shows a protagonist wrapped in cigar smoke, who tells his life - Burger himself was a cigar smoker and descendant of cigar producers. Volume 1 has exactly 25 capitles, like a cigar box contains 25 cigars. Each capitle's name contains the name of a famous cigar brand. The second capitle announces the author's suicide intention: A red Ferrari is bought, because saving money no longer makes sense. It is about the divorce and the grief about having no contact to his two kids. Burger's last lessor was emeritus historian Jean Rudolf von Salis (= „Jérôme von Castelmur-Bondo“ in the novel). The last months of Burger's life and a review on his 46 years are described detailed in this roman a clef, he describes all coining persons (under changed names).

Burger's depressive and desperate moods grew with his literary acclaim, leading him to write the "Tractatus logico-suicidalis" (1988), a collection of aphorisms advocating suicide. The 1046 aphorisms are about the sentence „Gegeben ist der Tod, bitte finden Sie die Lebensursache heraus.“ (Death is given, please finde the cause of life.) The title remembers Ludwig Wittgenstein's Tractatus Logico-Philosophicus. The book about suicide was viewed by the critics with sarcasm, and the seriousity of his suicide plans were not recognized. On February 28, 1989 he committed suicide in Brunegg by taking an overdose of sleeping pills. Not until Burger's death the critics saw similarities to Jean Améry and his book Hand an sich legen (that Burger knew).

Link to Wikipedia biography


  • Work : Prize 1985 (Ingebort Bachmann literary prize)

Source Notes

Swiss journal Astrologie Heute quotes a reader who saw the birth record in the Aarau Museum. The journal editor, Armando Bertozzi, went to the museum and sent us a picture of the birth record exhibited there.


  • Vocation : Writers : Fiction