»the end of the world, ladies and gentlemen has already begun.«
The writer, cabaret artist and songwriter Franz Hohler was born in Biel in 1943. His multifarious work is meant for both adults and children, so if you grew up in Swiss, chances are you grew up with him. With his song "Der Weltuntergang" (The End of the World) from 1973 and his story "Die Rückeroberung" (The Reconquest) from 1982, Franz Hohler became an early pioneer of climate fiction. In his stories, songs and essays, he successfully combines a tendency toward the fantastic with political engagement.
»The End of the World
But there's still one more question
I'm ready to answer it
when will this happen?
That makes most of the scientists scratch their heads
they say in ten, in twenty years
perhaps in fifty or even only in a hundred
but as for me, I have my own way of looking at it
the end of the world, ladies and gentlemen
The more harmless the beginning, the greater the catastrophe – that is the subversiveness of Franz Hohler's literary practice. In his song, the end of the world begins with the disappearance of a beetle on a rather tiny island in the South Pacific, and the reconquest, which turns Zurich into a jungle, is announced with an eagle landing on a television antenna in the story by the same name. Franz Hohler was the first Swiss author to deal explicitly with climate change. More recently, he has also devoted a text to the retreating glaciers, the melting of which he has been observing for decades on his walks.