?From the great beyond into the present? ? an interview with Jo Lendle

Hanser publisher Jo Lendle talks about gentle adjustments of languages and marketing strategies.... more more

GoetheInstitute

22/05/2007

Magazine Roundup

Magazine Roundup, which appears every Tuesday at 12 p.m., is originally published by Perlentaucher.

The Spectator | resetdoc | Il Foglio | Europa | Outlook India | The New Yorker | Al Ahram Weekly | The New Statesman | Le point | The Guardian | Asharq al-Awsat | Vanity Fair | Nepszabadsag | The New Republic | The New York Times


The Spectator 21.05.2007 (UK)

Thinking about Zimbabwe has Rian Malan recall "the demise of Louis XVI, of Mussolini and Ceausescu", asking "is it not time to abandon Mugabe to a similar fate?" Malan gives a bitter description of the support that Mugabe has received from the entire world - especially from blacks, but also from liberal whites. "One understands the wounds of history, but even so one believed there would come a day when Mugabe's militant fans realised their behaviour was restoring the reputation of Ian Smith, who prophesised that Rhodesia would be 'buggered' if the black took over. By the beginning of this year, Smith was utterly vindicated. Eight out of ten Zimbabweans were jobless, and those who had work were screwed anyway, because inflation was 2,200 per cent and they couldn't afford anything. Hospitals and schools were collapsing, factories closing. Millions were facing starvation."

Simon Sebag Montefiore has discovered in an archive in Tbilisi that Stalin worked for the Rothchilds in Batumi. In his first day the family's refinery burned down, and a little later there was an assassination attempt on the director. "This was not the end of Stalin’s relations with the Rothschilds. In 1907 he moved to the lawless boom city Baku, home of super-rich oil barons who were much the same as today's oligarchs. To finance Lenin, Stalin's gangster outfit of hitmen and bank robbers used protection rackets, piracy, blackmail and kidnapping. The Rothschilds were hugely powerful in Baku, yet the Tsar's secret police and Bolshevik memoirists recorded how the Rothschilds contributed to Stalin's funds, even paying him off to stop a strike."


ResetDoc 21.05.2007 (Italy)

In an interview with the Italian online magazine resetdoc.org, Ayaan Hirsi Ali makes reference to the Bruckner-Buruma debate launched by perlentaucher and signandsight.com. She asks what 'left' and 'right' mean today. "When fathers take their daughters out of school and force them to marry, when genital mutilation is taking place and socialists and social democrats say: 'That is their culture, that's multiculturalism, we have to protect that', then I think, that's not left. If 'being left' means preoccupying oneself with 'individual rights' as it was in the classic liberalism of the 19th century, then I would define myself as left. But the left today is only interested in groups: workers, women and men, rich and poor. They don't take care of the individual."


Il Foglio 19.05.2007 (Italy)

The Agnelli family, owners of the Fiat, have long been rich but they only acquired class when Gianni Agnelli's sister Cristiana married Brando Brandolini. Marco Ferrante describes Italy's famous family dynasty in his most recent book, from which Il Foglio prints excerpts. "He was a man from another era. Venetian family, thousands of years old, maternal nephew of the eighth duke of Cadaval, Portugese (connections to the Braganzas and the duchess of Berry), hero of the Venetian 50s, very elegant, a shirt expert, he wore 'pumps' with his blue suits, low smoking-shoes with a flecked gros grain. He was an opera lover, a friend of Callas' and he liked Stendhal and Balzac."

Further articles: Francesca Bellino visits the Jewish quarter of Buenos Aires. Fausto Biloslavo portrays the Italian journalist Almerigo Grilz who was murdered in Mosambique in 1987.


Europa 18.05.2007 (Poland)

Two interesting articles in the weekend supplement of the daily Dziennik address the question of old and new intellectual elites. In an interview, the famed director Agnieszka Holland wonders why those in power in Poland are spending so much energy trying to destroy the old elites, when the country's supply is already scarce. "Elites are not decreed. The status is not to be acquired in an election but with an ethical standpoint, talent, charisma, courage etc. Representatives of the elite don't have to dominate the political scene but that doesn't mean that in times when they are politically less visible, they should be proven to have no place in the value system. Otherise, we would be dealing with a cultural revolution and not with a real, natural change of elites."

Maciej Urbanowski is certain that the voluminous collection of letters between the exiled writer Slawomir Mrozek and the exiled publisher Wojciech Skalmowski is going to be a "major event." "One can read this correspondence in two ways: cursorily, by picking out the brilliant ideas and juicy commentaries and discovering unknown facts and scandals. Or from the beginning to the end, like an 'artist's novel' in letters, a novel about the skillfulness of Polish intelligence at the end of the 20th century or about the personal experience of political exile. The collection of letters can be read as a multi-voiced self-portrait of the generation of 1930 and an intellectual autobiography of Mrozek."


Outlook India 28.05.2007 (India)

Raghu Karnad reports that the most active members of the nationalistic Hindu-party BJP stormed an exhibition of the art student Chandramohan Srimantula at the University of Baroda. "They claimed his artwork, of religious images with anatomical details, was obscene and offended their religious sensibilities. The police arrived and arrested the student, who was charged with being a threat to peace and communal harmony. He spent four days in the lock-up before the judge ruled that his intentions were not malafide, he posed no threat to public peace, and let him off on unconditional bail." After, protestors in ten cities reminded the Hindu nationalists that erotic respresentations are a part of Hindu culture.


The New Yorker 28.05.2007 (US)

On the fortieth anniversary of the Six Day War, several books have appeared by Israeli historians, among them Tom Segev's "1967 - Israel, the War, and the Year that Transformed the Middle East" and Michael Oren's "Six Days of War: June 1967 and the Making of the Modern Middle East," which have inspired David Remnick to write a long essay on the subject. He recommends a third book: "The most complete book on the war’s aftermath––the 'seventh day'––is the journalist Gershom Gorenberg’s riveting and deeply depressing 'The Accidental Empire,' (excerpt) which describes how, in the decade following the war, the mainstream Labor governments of Levi Eshkol, Golda Meir, and Yitzhak Rabin either feigned ignorance of the growing settlements or blatantly encouraged them. As a result, they helped to legitimatize the settlement ideology of their right-wing successors Menachem Begin, Benjamin Netanyahu, and Ariel Sharon."

Alec Wilkinson portrays the eccentric Microsoft-programmer Gordon Bell, Nicholas Lemann reads from the diaries of Ronald Reagan and George Saunders publishes his story "Puppy".


Al Ahram Weekly 17.05.2007 (Egypt)

Ramzy Baroud calls the Palestinian conference that took place at the beginning of May in Rotterdam a catastrophe. There was no central message, and most of the Arab speakers were not translated into English – which at times was almost better. "Furious contributions by furious sounding Arab men overshadowed or replaced some of the most brilliant speeches by the wittiest Palestinian teachers and activists living in Europe. There were hardly any female participants. All in all, a wonderful expression of the cliches of Arabs whose culture is already represented in the media as male-dominated, aggressive and irrational. Of course the conference was everything but a conference. There were no working papers, nothing was published. In fact there was nothing printed that was evidence of anything meaningful."


The New Statesman date (UK)

Roger Boyes warns of the growing influence that Moscow is trying to exert on the states of Eastern Europe. It's not only meddling in the affairs of Belarus and Ukraine, but also in those of EU members Estonia and Romania. "The EU should intervene more directly in the affairs of its border states, because, when pitted against Moscow, it is better to have even a half-baked policy than none at all. If you have no programme, no EU-defined goal for the neighbourhood, you lose any interest in what is happening; Moldovans and Ukrainians become little more than immigration statistics and whole societies are allowed to drift. We cannot afford to be mere spectators: two of the countries in trouble, Estonia and Romania, are EU members. Oil and gas from Russia to the EU cross the borderland states, most of which are heavily indebted to Moscow. It is not good enough to lie supine whenever Putin threatens a new cold war. We are allowing Russia to dictate the EU agenda on too many issues."


Le Point 16.05.2007 (France)

Francois Dufay has a thoroughly engaging talk with French-German writer Georges-Arthur Goldschmidt about Germany and France. The author also speaks about the case of Günter Grass (more here): "In view of the amoral - or better - the morally false camaraderie that Nazism drummed into the youth, I don't accuse Grass of joining the SS at 17. I grew up in Nazi Germany, and I know full well that it would have taken enormous courage and clairvoyance to avoid being implicated. No, what deeply unsettled me is that Grass writes about joining the SS in the language of the time, without critical distance, in a language that is still that of the Third Reich. That was normal in 1944, but not today."

In his "Notebook" column, Bernard-Henri Levy once more defends Italian ex-terrorist and crime writer Cesare Battisti, who he doesn't want to see extradited to Italy.


The Guardian 21.05.2007 (UK)

On the occasion of the publication of Don DeLillo's novel "Falling Man," the author Pankaj Mishra writes a lengthy essay on how September 11 has been dealt with in literature. Mishra compares the terror attack with World War I, suggesting that to a certain extent, the West is just as morally bankrupt today as it was then. In his view, the belief that the West could go on living the good life, isolated from other worlds, has collapsed. "Most of the literary fiction that self-consciously addresses 9/11 still seems underpinned by outdated assumptions of national isolation and self-sufficiency. The 'reconsiderations' DeLillo promised after 9/11 don't seem to have led to a renewed historical consciousness. Composed within the narcissistic heart of the West, most 9/11 fictions seem unable to acknowledge political and ideological belief as a social and emotional reality in the world - the kind of fact that cannot be reduced to the individual experience of rage, envy, sexual frustration and constipation."


Asharq al-Awsat 16.05.2007 (UK / Saudi Arabia)

Samir Saliha reports from Turkey on the "Women's intifada," which seeks to counter the growing Islamisation of society: "For several days the Turkish media have been giving prominent coverage to this phenomenon, putting it in its social, cultural and political context. They all come to a similar result: The women are doing the right thing.... In the past Turkey has taken a leading role in championing women's social and political rights. But practically speaking it gave women insufficient opportunity to participate in parliament, the government and the administration. The most recent reports now confirm that this Intifada has caused concern in the political parties and among their leaders. The parties are now vying with each other to include the women into their ranks, and are wooing them for their support in the upcoming parliamentary elections. But what the parties are doing is acting as if they'd understood the women's message, as if they accepted the message and as if they adopted it as their own."


Vanity Fair 01.06.2007 (USA)

Christopher Hitchens takes a look at his old London neighbourhood of Finsbury Park, today inhabited mostly by Algerian and Bangladeshi immigrants. The neighbourhood is famous for the Finsbury Park Mosque, which has harboured Richard Reid, "the man in whose honour we now all have to take off our shoes at the airport, and Zacarias Moussaoui, the missing team member of September 11, 2001." Absolute Londonistan: "Prince Charles himself, the heir to the throne and thus the heir to the headship of the Church of England, has announced his sympathy for Islam and his wish to be the head of all faiths and not just one. This may sound good, if absurd (a chinless prince who becomes head of a church because his mother dies?), but only if you forget that it was Prince Charles who encouraged the late King Fahd, of Saudi Arabia, to contribute more than a million pounds to build … the Finsbury Park Mosque! If you want my opinion, our old district was a lot better off when the crowned heads of the world were busy neglecting it."


Nepszabadsag 15.05.2007 (Hungary)

In the wake of the presidential elections in France and recent parliamentary elections in Hungary, Peter Farkas, a political scientist at the University of Nice, compares political culture in the two countries. French politicians treat their voters as equal partners, they admit to sharing certain basic values with their opponents, and technical arguments play a larger role than feelings, he observes. Unfortunately, however, this kind of political pluralism is still unheard-of in politically divided Hungary: "How curious the French are! They don't want to believe their politicians who say the world is black and white and so the only choice is between two leaders. Many of them voted for a candidate that had no chance of winning, but who stood for what they believe.... The French love their democracy in which several parties play important roles. Here in Hungary, on the contrary, the two party system is firmly entrenched. From a Hungarian perspective, it's just plain odd that French presidential candidates discuss technical points of policy and don't question shared values, or that the smaller parties are not completely ignored by the media."


The New Republic 18.05.2007 (USA)

Dismayed at the idea that the "vulgar Australian" Rupert Murdoch could acquire the Wall Street Journal, a "crown jewel of U.S. journalism," the magazine calls on the left in an editorial to discard its reservations concerning the mainstream media. Because "the crisis in newspapers relates more to perceptions than the actual bottom line": "Sadly, these great feats haven't won the newspaper business liberal love. There are many, especially in the blogosphere, who can't wait to dance on the graves of the crusty old MSM 'gatekeepers.' They champion the rise of 'citizen journalism,' as techno-enthusiasts like to describe the bloggers and their Wikipedia model of media: Unlike the MSM brontosaurs, bloggers will actually report the truth without fear of losing access to Washington cocktail parties or pressure from corporate bosses. And the champions of the blogosphere have a point... The MSM makes an earnest (albeit occasionally flawed) effort to achieve a neutral understanding of events, and that's the source of an authority and prestige that even its harshest critics in the political and corporate elite still must respect."

The New York Times 21.05.2007 (USA)

In the New York Times Magazine, Nicolai Ourousoff sings the praise of German an Dutch "Green architecture": "After more than a decade of tightening guidelines, Europe has made green architecture an everyday reality. In Germany and the Netherlands especially, a new generation of architects has expanded the definition of sustainable design beyond solar panels and sod roofs. As Matthias Sauerbruch put it to me: 'The eco-friendly projects you saw in the 1970s, with solar panels and recycled materials: they were so self-conscious. We call this Birkenstock architecture. Now we don’t need to do this anymore. The basic technology is all pretty accepted.'"

Get the signandsight newsletter for regular updates on feature articles.
signandsight.com - let's talk european.

 
More articles

Magazine Roundup

Tuesday 27 March, 2012

The Republicans are waging a war against women, the New York Magazine declares. Perhaps it's because women are so unabashed about reading porn in public - that's according to publisher Beatriz de Moura in El Pais Semanal, at least. Polityka remembers Operation Reinhard. Tensions are growing between Poland and Hungary as Victor Orban spreads his influence, prompting ruminations on East European absurdity from both Elet es Irodalom and salon.eu.sk. Wired is keeping its eyes peeled on the only unassuming sounding Utah Data Center.
read more

Magazine Roundup

Tuesday 20 March, 2012

In Telerama, Benjamin Stora grabs hold of the Algerian boomerang. In Eurozine, Slavenka Drakulic tells the Venetians that they should be very scared of Chinese money. Bela Tarr tells the Frankfurter Rundschau and the Berliner Zeitung that his "Turin Horse", which ends in total darkness was not intended to depress. In die Welt, historian Dan Diner cannot agree with Timothy Snyder's "Bloodlands": National Socialism was not like Communism - because of Auschwitz.
read more

Magazine Roundup

Tuesday 13 March, 2012

In Perfil author Martin Kohn explains why Argentina would be less Argentinian if it won back the Falklands. In Il sole 24 ore, Armando Massarenti describes the Italians as a pack of illiterates sitting atop a treasure trove. Polityka introduces the Polish bestseller of the season: Danuta Walesa's autobiography. L'Express looks into the state of Japanese literature one year after Fukushima.
read more

Magazine Roundup

Tuesday 6 March, 2012

In Merkur, Stephan Wackwitz muses on poetry and absurdity in Tiflis. Outlook India happens on the 1980s Indian answer to "The Artist". Bloomberg Businessweek climbs into the cuckoo's nest with the German Samwar brothers. Salon.eu.sk learns how to line the pockets of a Slovenian politician. In the Süddeutsche Zeitung, Navid Kermani reports back impressed from the Karachi Literature Festival.
read more

Magazine Roundup

Tuesday 28 February, 2012

In La Vie des idees, historian Anastassios Anastassiadis explains why we should go easy on Greece. Author Aleksandar Hemon describes in Guernica how ethnic identity is indoctrinated in the classroom in Bosnia and Herzogovina. In Eurozine, Klaus-Michael Bogdal examines how Europe invented the Gypsies. Elet es Irodalon praises the hygiene obsession of German journalists. And Polityka pinpoints Polish schizophrenia.

read more

Magazine Roundup

Tuesday 21 February, 2012

The New Republic sees a war being waged in the USA against women's rights. For Rue89, people who put naked women on the front page of a newspaper should not be surprised if they go to jail. In Elet es Irodalom, historian Mirta Nunez Daaz-Balart explains why the wounds of the Franco regime never healed. In Eurozine, Stephen Holmes and Ivan Krastev see little in common between the protests in Russia and those in the Arab world.
read more

Magazine Roundup

Tuesday 14 February, 2012

In Letras Libras Enrique Krauze and Javier Sicilia fight over anarchy levels. In Elet es Irodalom Balint Kadar wants Budapest to jump on the Berlin bandwagon. In Le Monde Imre Kertesz has given up practically all hope for a democratic Hungary. Polityka ponders poetic inspiration and Wislawa Szymborska's "I don't know". In Espressso, Umberto Eco gets eschatological.
read more

Magazine Roundup

Tuesday 7 February, 2012

Poland's youth have taken to the streets to protest against Acta and Donald Tusk has listened, Polityka explains. Himal and the Economist report on the repression of homosexuality in the Muslim world. Outlook India doesn't understand why there will be no "Dragon Tattoo" film in India. And in Eurozine, Slavenka Drakulic looks at how close the Serbs are to eating grass.
read more

Magazine Roundup

Tuesday 31 January, 2012

In the French Huffington Post, philosopher Catherine Clement explains why the griot Youssou N'Dour had next to no chance of becoming Senegal's president. Peter Sloterdijk (in Le Monde) and Umberto Eco (in Espresso) share their thoughts about forgetting. Al Ahram examines the post-electoral depression of Egypt's young revolutionaries. And in Eurozine, Kenan Malik defends freedom of opinion against those who want the world to go to sleep.
read more

Magazine Roundup

Tuesday 24 January, 2012

TeaserPicIl Sole Ore weeps at the death of a laughing Vincenzo Consolo. In Babelia, Javier Goma Lanzon cries: Praise me, please! Osteuropa asks: Hungaria, quo vadis? The newborn French Huffington Post heralds the birth of the individual in the wake of the Arab Spring. Outlook India is infuriated by the cowardliness of Indian politicians in the face of religious fanatics.
read more

Magazine Roundup

Tuesday 17 January, 2012

TeaserPicIn Nepszabadsag the dramatist György Spiro recognises 19th century France in Hungary today. Peter Nadas, though, in Lettre International and salon.eu.sk, is holding out hope for his country's modernisation. In Open Democracy, Boris Akunin and Alexei Navalny wish Russia was as influential as America - or China. And in Lettras Libras, Peter Hamill compares Mexico with a mafia film by the Maquis de Sade.
read more

Magazine Roundup

Tuesday 10 January, 2012

Are books about to become a sort of author-translator wiki, asks Il Sole 24 Ore. Rue 89 reports on the "Tango Wars" in downtown Buenos Aires. Elet es Irodalom posits a future for political poetry. In Merkur, Mikhail Shishkin encounters Russian pain in Switzerland. Die Welt discovers the terror of the new inside the collapse of the old in Andrea Breth's staging of Isaak Babel's "Maria". And Poetry Foundation waits for refugees in Lampedusa.
read more

Magazine Roundup

Wednesday 4 January, 2012

TeaserPicTechnology Review sees Apple as the next Big Brother. In Eurozine, Per Wirten still fears the demons of the European project. Al Ahram Weekly features Youssef Rakha's sarcastic "The honourable citizen manifesto". Revista Piaui profiles Iraqi-Norwegian geologist Farouk Al-Kasim. Slate.fr comments on the free e-book versions of Celine's work. And Die Welt celebrates the return of Palais Schaumburg.
read more

Magazine Roundup

Tuesday 13 December, 2011

TeaserPicAndre Glucksman in Tagesspiegel looks at the impact of the Putinist plague on Russia and Europe. In Letras Libras Martin Caparros celebrates the Kindle as book. György Dalos has little hope that Hungary's intellectuals can help get their country out of the doldrums. Le Monde finds Cioran with his head up the skirt of a young German woman. The NYT celebrates the spread of N'Ko, the West African text messaging alphabet.
read more

Magazine Roundup

Tuesday 6 December, 2011

TeaserPicMicroMega cheers recent landmark Mafia convictions in Milan. Volltext champions Hermann Broch. Elet es Irodalom calls the Orban government’s attack on cultural heritage "Talibanisation". Magyar Narancs is ambiguous about new negotiations with the IMF. Telerama recommends the icon of anti-colonialism Frantz Fanon. Salon.eu.sk quips about the dubious election results in Russia, and voices in the German press mark the passing of Christa Wolf. And in the Anglophone press Wired profiles Jeff Bezos, while the Columbia Journalism Review polemicises the future of internet journalism.
read more