The Local View ? Neighbourhood Cinemas and Alternative Film Projects

Many small neighbourhood cinemas invested in the future. The digital options for showing films are opening up new vistas for alternative projects. Not all of them are legal.... more more

GoetheInstitute

25/09/2009

From the Feuilletons

From the Feuilletons is a weekly overview of what's been happening in the German-language cultural pages and appears every Friday at 3 pm. CET.. Here a key to the German newspapers.

Die Welt 19.09.2009

Henryk M. Broder fears that Leon de Winter's latest book "The Right of Return", which is a best-seller in the Netherlands and has just been published in Germany, will be dismissed as a morbid vision of Israel's future. "Since years now, debate has shifted from whether Israel should withdraw to the 1967 borders, to whether it was a mistake to settle Israel in Palestine at all, and whether this mistake can be reversed. Parallel to this debate is a creeping public delegitimisation of Israel that is growing in intensity - not through Hamas, Hezbollah or the Iranian president, but through clever, sensitive and critical European intellectuals, whose comments can be read as seismographic signals of public opinion. Only recently, the Swedish writer Henning Mankell denied Israel's right to exist."

Frankfurter Rundschau 22.09.2009

Director Laurent Chetouane complains to Tobi Müller that the theatre has turned its back on politics. "Politicians never stop talking. Like so many dramaturges who are only political in the programme blurb, where you can be sure that, all along, they were on the right side of history. But in the canteen the only questions people ask are, 'where will I do my next production, or who will I be working with?' The theatre is all about admin, just like government. It's balance sheets, not politics."


Berliner Zeitung 23.09.2009

Bernhard Bartsch conducts an instructive interview with the Chinese author Yan Lianke who, despite being a prospective Nobel Prize laureate, is not being allowed to travel to the Frankfurt Book Fair. He explains how censorship works in China. "With my book 'Serve the People!' the publishers said, for example, that the contents would be alright but not the title. And the next lot said that the title would be alright, but not the contents. In the end, nothing was possible: the propaganda office and the press and publication authorities sent out a directive saying that my book maligned the highest aims of Communist Party and that it should not be printed, publicized or discussed in any way. So the book became a taboo."


Spiegel Online 23.09.2009

Germany's election campaign is ruled by fear, writes Elke Schmitter. Fear of instilling fear in the citizenry and transforming unease into political engagement. "The unease is fed by a fear which is all the more threatening - and destructive - for not allowing it expression: the fear that non-stop repair work, a stubborn carry-on regardless attitude is not the answer to our problems. If Opel is saved, or not, it's not just about Opel, but about all the countless medium-sized businesses who provide brakes, cables and hubcaps, yes that's true. But the unsettling question remains: are cars the future? When, if not now, should we have a proper discussion that turns diffuse fears into political questions - about growth and ecology, about the definition of labour, about participation in society?"

Die Tageszeitung 25.09.2009

The writer and musician Liao Yiwu whose public recital of his poem "Massacre" in 1989 earned him a four year prison sentence, is also being prevented from travelling to Frankfurt for the Book Fair. In an interview he explains that all his book are banned in China - including "The Corpse Walker", which was published in English last year and has just been translated into German. "That was in 2001. The Southern Weekend newspaper had just published an interview with me about my work, as 'A Dialogue about Interviews with Chinese from the Underclass.' It attracted public attention and the newspaper got into a lot of trouble. The editor-in-chief was fired and the heads of department were exchanged. Since then it's impossible to even mention my name in the media. But this has not stopped me from interviewing Chinese people from the poorest classes. By now I have talked to 300 people and written down their stories. Some of them have been published in the USA, and more interviews have been published in the German edition 'Fräulein Hallo und der Bauernkaiser'."


Neue Zürcher Zeitung 25.09.2009

The literary scene in Egypt is blossoming, as Susanne Schanda discovered while talking to a number of writers there. Bloggers are at least partly to thank, for their speedy dissemination of book tips. "But the new reading boom is attributable solely to the active blogger scene in the Arab world. [The author und publisher Mekkawi] Said points to the influence of Saudi Arabia and the Gulf states in recent years. 'On the one hand Egyptian workers returning from the Gulf have brought the conservative wahhabiist interpretation of Islam with them, which does not suit our tolerant society. On the other hand the economic boom in the Gulf states has provided the children and teenagers with a good education that they are putting to use by reading books here,' says the 54-year old, adding that better access to information and learning has made the younger generation more open than his own, which suffered under Nasser's left-wing ideology and narrow-mindedness."

Süddeutsche Zeitung 25.09.2009

The writer Yang Lian, who is living in exile in London, is less concerned with the "absolute power" that the Chinese propaganda ministry and the secret police have over writers, than that the writers themselves are so unpolitical. "Ninety-nine percent of the so-called intellectuals have stopped talking about real problems. Their material situation is hugely different from that of professors and intellectuals in 1989. Back then the intellectuals were the dregs of society. During the Cultural Revolution they were called 'the stinking nine'. Things are very different today. The intellectuals now wield power themselves. A university professor today can get lots of money for his projects. If a student in Bejing expresses a critical opinion you can be sure that his teachers will defend the government. There are very few liberals in the western sense and their voices are weak." Yang Lian does, however, mention Liu Xiaobo, the president of China's PEN club who was imprisoned in December for launching the Charter 08.

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

 
More articles

From the Feuilletons

Saturday 11 - 17 December, 2010

A clutch of German newspapers launch an appeal against the criminalisation of Wikileaks. Vera Lengsfeld remembers GDR dissident Jürgen Fuchs and how he met death in his cell. All the papers were bowled over Xavier Beauvois' film "Of Gods and Men." The FR enjoys a joke but not a picnic at a staging of Stravinsky's "Rake's Progress" in Berlin. Gustav Seibt provides a lurid description of Napoleonic soap in the SZ. German-Turkish Dogan Akhanli author explains what it feels like to be Josef K.
read more

From the Feuilletons

Saturday 4 - Friday 10 December

Colombian writer Hector Abad defends Nobel Prize laureate Mario Vargas Llosa against European Latin-America romantics. Wikileaks dissident Daniel Domscheit-Berg criticises the new publication policy of his former employer. The Sprengel Museum has put on a show of child nudes by die Brücke artists. The SZ takes a walk through the Internet woods with FAZ prophet of doom Frank Schirrmacher. The FAZ is troubled by Christian Thielemann's unstable tempo in the Beethoven cycle. And the FR meets China Free Press publisher, Bao Pu.
read more

From the feuilletons

Saturday 27 November - Friday 3 December

Danish author Frederik Stjernfelt explains how the Left got its culturist ideas. Slavenka Draculic writes about censoring Angelina Jolie who wanted to make a film in Bosnia. Daniel Cohn-Bendit talks   about his friendship, falling out and reconciliation with Jean-Luc Godard. Wikileaks has caused an embarrassed silence in the Arab world, where not even al-Jazeera reported on the what the sheiks really think. Alan Posener calls for the Hannah Arendt Institute in Dresden to be shut down.
read more

From the Feuilletons

Saturday 20 - Friday 26 November, 2010

The theatre event of the week came in a twin pack: Roland Schimmelpfennig's new play, a post-colonial "Who's Afraid of Virginia Woolf" opened at the Deutsches Theater in Berlin and the Thalia in Hamburg. The anarchist pamphlet "The Coming Insurrection" has at last been translated into German and has ignited the revolutionary sympathies of at least two leading German broadsheets, the FAZ and the SZ. But the taz, Germany's left-wing daily, says the pamphlet is strongly right-wing. What's left and right anyway? came the reply.
read more

From the Feuilletons

Saturday 13 - Friday 19 November, 2010

Dieter Schlesak levels grave accusations against his former friend and colleague, Oskar Pastior, who spied on him for the Securitate. Banat-Swabian author and vice chairman of the Oskar Pastior Foundation, Ernest Wichner, turns on Schlesak for spreading malicious rumours. Die Zeit portrays the Berlin rapper Harris, and the moment he knew he was German. Dutch author Cees Nooteboom meditates on the near lust for physical torture in the paintings of Francisco de Zurburan. An exhibition in Mannheim displays the dream house photography of Julius Schulman.
read more

From the Feuilletons

Saturday 6 - Friday 12 November, 2010

The NZZ asks why banks invest in art. The FAZ gawps at the unnatural stack of stomach muscles in Michelangelo's drawings. The taz witnesses a giant step for the "Yugo palaver". Bernard-Henri Levy describes Sakineh Ashtiani's impending execution as a test for Iran and the west. Journalist Michael Anti talks about the healthy relationship between the net and the Chinese media. Literary academic Helmut Lethen describes how Ernst Jünger stripped the worker of all organic substances.
read more

From the Feuilletons

Saturday 30 October - Friday 5 November, 2010

Now that German TV has just beatified Pope Pius XII, Rolf Hochmuth tells die Welt where he got the idea for his play "The Deputy". The FR celebrates Elfriede Jelinek's "brilliantly malicious" farce about the collapse of the Cologne City Archive. "Carlos" director Olivier Assayas makes it clear that the revolutionary subject is a figment of the imagination. The SZ returns from the Shanghai Expo with a cloying after-taste of sweet 'n' sour. And historian Wang Hui tells the NZZ that China's intellectuals have plenty of freedom to pose critical questions.
read more

From the Feuilletons

Saturday 23 - Friday 29 October, 2010

Author Doron Rabinovici protests against the concessions of moderate Austrian politicians to the FPÖ: recently in Vienna, children were sent back to Kosovo at gunpoint. Ian McEwan wonders why major German novelists didn't mention the Wall. The NZZ looks through the Priz Goncourt shortlist and finds plenty of writers with more bite than Houellebecq. The FAZ outs two of Germany's leading journalists who fiercely guarded the German Foreign Ministry's Nazi past. Jens-Martin Eriksen and Frederik Stjernfelt analyse the symptoms of culturalism, left and right. Hans Ulrich Gumbrecht demonstratively yawns at German debate.
read more

From the Feuilletons

Saturday 16 - Friday 22 October, 2010

A new book chronicles the revolt of revolting "third persons" at Suhrkamp publishers in the wild days of 1968. Necla Kelek is appalled by the speech of the very Christian Christian Wulff, the German president, in Turkey. The taz met a new faction of hardcore Palestinians who are fighting for separate sex hairdressing in Gaza. Sinologist Andreas Schlieker reports on the new Chinese willingness to restructure the heart. And the Cologne band Erdmöbel celebrate the famous halo around the frying pan.
read more

From the Feuilletons

Saturday 9 - Friday 15 October, 2010

The FR laps up the muscular male bodies and bellies at the Michelangelo exhibition in the Viennese Albertina. The same paper is outraged by the cowardice of the Berlin exhibition "Hitler and the Germans". Mario Vargas-Llosa remembers a bad line from Sweden. Theologist Friedrich Wilhelm Graf makes it very clear that Western values are not Judaeo-Christian values. The Achse des Guten is annoyed by the attempts of the mainstream media to dismiss Mario Vargas-Llosa. The NZZ celebrates the tireless self-demolition of Polish writer and satirist Slawomir Mrozek.
read more

From the feuilletons

Saturday 2 - Friday 8 October, 2010

Nigerian writer Niyi Osundare explains why his country has become uninhabitable. German Book Prize winner Melinda Nadj Abonji says Switzerland only pretends to be liberal. German author Monika Maron is not sure that Islam really does belong to Germany. Russian writer Oleg Yuriev explains the disastrous effects of postmodernism on the Petersburg Hermitage. Argentinian author Martin Caparros describes how the Kirchners have co-opted the country's revolutionary history. And publisher Damian Tabarovsky explains why 2001 was such an explosively creative year for Argentina.
read more

From the Feuilletons

Saturday 25 September - Friday 1 October

Three East German theatre directors talk about the trauma of reunification. In the FAZ, Thilo Sarrazin denies accusations that his book propagates eugenics: "I am interested in the interplay of nature and nurture." Polemics are being drowned out by blaring lullabies, author Thea Dorn despairs. Author Iris Radisch is dismayed by the state of the German novel - too much idle chatter, not enough literary clout. Der Spiegel posts its interview with the German WikiLeaks spokesman, Daniel Schmitt. And Vaclav Havel's appeal to award the Nobel prize to Liu Xiabobo has the Chinese authorities pulling out their hair.
read more

From the Feuilletons

Saturday 18 - Friday 24 September, 2010

Herta Müller's response to the news that poet Oskar Pastior was a Securitate informant was one of overwhelming grief: "When he returned home from the gulag he was everybody's game." Theatre director Luk Perceval talks about the veiled depression in his theatre. Cartoonist Molly Norris has disappeared after receiving death threats for her "Everybody Draw Mohammed" campaign. The Berliner Zeitung approves of the mellowing in Pierre Boulez' music. And Chinese writer Liao Yiwu, allowed to leave China for the first time, explains why schnapps is his most important writing tool.
read more

From the Feuilletons

Saturday 10 - Friday 17 September, 2010

The poet Oskar Pastior was a Securitate informant, the historian Stefan Sienerth has discovered. Biologist Veronika Lipphardt dismisses Thilo Sarrazin's incendiary intelligence theories as a load of codswallop. A number of prominent Muslim intellectuals in Germany have written an open letter to President Christian Wulff, calling for him to "make a stand for a democratic culture based on mutual respect." And a Shell study has revealed that Germany's youth aspire to be just like their parents.
read more

From the Feuilletons

Saturday 4 - Friday 10 September, 2010

Thilo Sarrazin has buckled under the stress of the past two weeks and resigned from the board of the Central Bank. His book, "Germany is abolishing itself", however, continues to keep Germany locked in a debate about education and immigration and intelligence. Also this week, Mohammed cartoonist Kurt Westergaard has been awarded the M100 prize for defending freedom of opinion. Chancellor Angela Merkel gave a speech at the award ceremony: "The secret of freedom is courage". The FAZ interviewed Westergaard, who expressed his disappointment that the only people who had shown him no support were those of his own class.
read more