Issue 152, Fall 1999
Finally, in the mid-sixties, after two of my colleagues at the institute tried and failed several times, I managed to bring the two elderly gentlemen together. Perhaps I had better luck because I was a young woman, and Swiss to boot, that is, I had the bonus of neutrality. My letters, despite the objective tone I used to describe the object of my research, were meant as a sensitive if not timid knock at the door. The acceptances arrived within a few days and at nearly the same time.
I characterized them to my colleagues as an impressive, if slightly fossilized pair. I had booked them quiet rooms in the Zum Storchen. We spent much of the time in the Rotisserie there with its view of the Limmat, the Town Hall directly opposite, and the Zum Rliden house. Herr Remarque, who was sixty-seven at the time, had come from Locarno. Clearly a bon vivant, he seemed more fragile to me than Herr Jünger, who had just turned seventy and made a sprightly, pointedly athletic impression. He lives …