Friedrich Dürrenmatt was born in Konolfingen in the Canton of Bern, Switzerland, on January 5, 1921. His father, Reinhold, was a Protestant minister. In 1935, the family moved to Bern, where Dürrenmatt was graduated from the Humboldtianum (a high school) in 1941. In 1941 and 1942, Dürrenmatt studied philosophy, literature, and the natural sciences at the universities of Zürich and Bern, but he did not complete his studies. At this time, he wanted to be a painter, not a writer. During these years, Dürrenmatt read works by Franz Kafka (whose influence is evident in Dürrenmatt’s early works) and Søren Kierkegaard. He says that his greatest literary experience was reading Aristophanes, whose comedies helped shape Dürrenmatt’s own views of comedy. In 1946, Dürrenmatt moved to Basel; he married the actress Lotte Geissler in 1947. For a time, he tried to earn his living as a theater critic for the Bern newspaper Die Nation and later, between 1951 and 1953, for the Zürcher Weltwoche. In 1948, Dürrenmatt and his family moved to Ligerz on Lake Biel, where they stayed until 1952, when Dürrenmatt bought a house in Neuchâtel and settled there with his family. He died there on December 14, 1990.