Bern University honours John le Carré

British spy novelist, John le Carré, has been given an honorary doctorate title by Bern University where he was once a student.

This content was published on December 6, 2008 - 12:02

David John Moore Cornwell, better known under his pseudonym John le Carré, studied German literature from 1948 to 1949 at the Swiss university.

On Saturday, the 77-year-old best-selling author was honoured for reviving the spy novel and giving it a profound, literary dimension.

He was called an analyst of the "mechanism of might and corruption which in his works uncover the unscrupulous manipulation of the secret services through the powers of the state".

According to le Carré's official website, the author left Bern to study modern languages at Oxford. He taught at Eton before he joined the British Foreign Service for five years in Germany.

He started writing novels in 1961, and since then has published 20 titles.

The head of Switzerland's State Secretariat for Economic Affairs, Jean-Daniel Gerber, also received an honorary doctorate title at the ceremony on Saturday, as did Bernese theologian Hans Rudolf Lavater.

Gerber received the title for his contribution to improving Switzerland's reputation as a trading partner, while Lavater was honoured for 30 years of researching church history.

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