Switzerland at the summit of mountain literature
Situated in the heart of Europe, where some of the continent's great rivers originate, Switzerland has since the Renaissance attracted a great many visitors engaged in what might be called a quest for origins. They have marvelled at animals grazing peacefully in a pristine natural environment, guarded by simple-hearted guardians of what is surely a last bit of paradise. Squeezed in between major powers that were frequently at war with each other and lying at a crossroads between north and south, eastern and Western Europe, France, Germany and Italy, Switzerland has over the centuries been a citadel preserved by its geography, the wisdom of its people, its fear of invasion, or its calculating disposition, depending on one's perspective. Literature has not been immune to these facts, myths and interpretations; it has echoed, propagated and explored them, and sometimes also challenged them.