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Eros and Thanatos

A Psycho-Literary Investigation of Walter Vogt’s Life and Works


Bennett I. Enowitch

Walter Vogt, the Swiss psychiatrist and author (1927-1988), can be considered a gadfly in the Swiss medical profession and a paradox in the Swiss literary arena. This ‘writing doctor’ shocked the Swiss medical establishment with a scathing exposé in his 1965 novel, Wüthrich, and then continued to write prolifically until his death. He was noted for his use of the grotesque, as well as for his literary sarcasm and use of parody. Vogt’s use of the diary as his main genre enhanced his popularity. He was one of the first Swiss writers with a strong commitment to preventing environmental degradation.
Vogt suffered from many physical illnesses, in addition to a multitude of psychological conflicts throughout his life. He was focused on death and illness from his early adult years. This book not only looks at Vogt from a psychiatric point of view, but also at his contribution to contemporary Swiss-German literature.
Contents: Walter Vogt’s earlier years as a writer – Vogt’s most productive period – Sexual issues – Drug addiction and physical illnesses – Vogt’s literary and public figure – Swiss literature.