Adolf Muschg was born on the 13th May 1934 in Zurich the only child of the second marriage of his father Friedrich Adolf sen (1872 – 1948), primary school teacher in Zollikon close to Zurich. His mother Frieda was a nurse. Muschg went to the Kantonale Literaturgymnasium, Typus A in Zurich, with a two years intermezzo in the Evangelische Lehranstalt Schiers in the canton of Grisons. From 1953 to 1959 he studied germanistik, anglistik and psychology in Zurich, with two trimesters as a research student in Cambridge – England. He obtained his doctor degree Dr. phil. at the University of Zurich with Emil Staiger with a dissertation on Ernst Barlachs writings. From 1959 to 1962 he was a teacher at the gymnasium in Zurich. From 1962 to 1964 he was a lecturer at the International Christian University of Tokyo; from 1964 to 1967 he was a scientific assistant at the University of Gottingen; from 1967 to 1969 an assistance professor at Cornell University, Ithaca N.Y.; from 1969 to 1970 he was researcher at the University of Geneva. In 1970 he became a Professor for German Language and Literature at the Swiss Federal Institute of Technology in Zurich. In 1997 he was the founding director of the Collegium Helveticum (post graduate college) at the Semper-Observatory in Zurich. In 1999 he became an emeritus.
From 1974 to 1977 he was a member of the commission of the minister of justice for an integral revision of the federal constitution in 1975 he was a candidate of the Social Democratic Party of the Canton of Zurich to become a senator. In 1979 he was a visiting professor for poetics in Frankfurt. In 1975 he was writer in residence at the USC in Los Angeles. From 1987 to 1988 he was a fellow of the Wissenschaftskollegin Berlin. He was the host of the Baden-Badener Dispute (SWF-TV) from 1986 to 1993. In 1995 he was a member of a project group of the Foundation Solidarity Switzerland. From 2003 to 2006 he was president of the Academy of Arts in Berlin, since 2010 he is a member of the Senate of the Berlin-Brandenburg Academy of Sciences.
Additional memberships: Co-founder of the “Gruppe Olten” of Swiss authors, member of the academies of Berlin, Mainz, Darmstadt, Hamburg and Munich.
He was awarded among others the following prizes: Hamburger Leserpreis 1967; C.F.Meyer-Preis 1968; Hermann Hesse-Preis 1974; Zürcher Literaturpreis 1984; Carl-Zuckmayer-Medaille 1989; Ricarda Huch-Preis 1993; Georg Büchner-Preis 1994; Int. Vilenica-Literaturpreis 1995; Premio Antico Fattore (Florence) 1995; Grimmelshausen-Preis 2001; Bundesverdienstkreuz 2004.
References: personal website Adolf Muschg, http://adolfmuschg.com/lebenslauf, (translated by editor)
For further informations, other works, voice recordings, literature and external links in the biography in wikipedia: de.wikipedia.org/wiki/Adolf_Muschg