Physical Dramaturgy: Ein (neuer) Trend?

Dramaturgie im zeitgenössischen Tanz ist ? positiv gemeint ? ein heißes Eisen. Idealerweise sind Dramaturginnen und Dramaturgen während der Erarbeitung eines Stücks die besten Freunde der Choreografen. more more



Magazine Roundup

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

Das Magazin | The Spectator | Sinn und Form | New Humanist | ResetDoc | Eurozine | openDemocracy | Tygodnik Powszechny | The Nation | London Review of Books | Nepszabadsag | The Guardian | Al Ahram Weekly | The New York Review of Books

Das Magazin 24.01.2010 (Switzerland)

In Switzerland the number of pupils who threatened to gun down their fellow pupils doubled from 2008 to 2009, reports Rico Czerwinski. Interestingly many of these threats come from pupils who see themselves as victims rather than perpetrators. And their parents often back them up. When [the Swiss threat psychologist Hermann] Blöchlinger met the mother of Michael, a 14-year old who threatened to shoot a fellow pupil in an online chat, she blamed him, Hermann Blöchlinger, for threatening the future of her son. Frau H. was completely blind to any guilt or misdemeanour on her son's part. The others were solely to blame. Yes, there had been strife, of course Michi had to defend himself, the others were constantly haranguing and bullying him, and he had even been expelled from school. Of course his threats were not mean seriously. 'The mother failed to understand that such threats would have consequences. She seemed oblivious to the effect that such threats would have on others. I noticed that these threats were linked to certain character traits that were often shared by the parents,' says Hermann Blöchlinger."

And Georg Diez profiles the 17-year-old Helene Hegemenn, author of the heavily-hyped novel "Axolotl Roadkill", which describes how difficult it is for teenagers to rebel if their parents are rebels.

The Spectator 22.01.2010 (UK)

Gordon Brown's plan to introduce bonus supertax has got half of the City of London packing its bags for Geneva and Zurich, as Martin Vander Weyer reports. "If you're already at the point of trying to decide which of the two Swiss financial centres is the one for you, here’s a quick seminar from me. Both are stultifyingly small compared to London, and critically short of office space. The private banker Hans J. Baer's memoir 'It's Not All About Money' is a useful guide to the xenophobic dullness of gnome-town Zurich. Geneva is more cosmopolitan, and you can have a fine entrecote frites at the Cafe de Paris in the rue du Mont Blanc — but there's also the risk of being shot dead by your dominatrix while wearing a latex catsuit, as happened to the financier Edouard Stern in his apartment in the rue de Villereuse in 2005. On balance, I'd recommend staying in Mayfair." (With a mouth full of orange perhaps?).

Sinn und Form 25.01.2010 (Germany)

Literature professor Marc Fumaroli writes an essay on Italian literary critic Mario Praz, author of the famous book on "Romantic Agony" (more here). Praz died in 1982, but plenty of his colleagues still cross themselves today if they hear his name mentioned. An excerpt is available online and it begins thus: "Mario Praz. Until recently (although he died in 1982) the mere mention of his name was enough to make the Italian opposite me cover my mouth with one hand and cross himself with the other. Innominabile! Whereupon this foreigner, who was clueless and careless enough to mention the occult, was showered with stories of varying levels of tragedy illustrating the cataclysmic powers of the 'unnameable', whose name still inspired fear. Nomen, numen. These ranged from an all-out power cut at a party which the professor had just left, to an accident that befell some poor unfortunate who had crossed the path of the ghastly jettatore."

There is also an excerpt from an essay by Stefan George biographer Thomas Karlauf, examining the link between George, Stauffenberg and Hitler. And a further excerpt from the memoirs of Rudolf Wagner-Regeny at the end of WWII.

New Humanist 01.01.2010 (UK)

It is not only Islam that deserves criticism, but religion itself, as the Irish sex abuse scandal of young children by priests and nuns shows only too clearly. Laurie Taylor reads the recently published Report of the Catholic Archdiocese of Dublin and remembers his own school days at a Catholic boarding school in Northern Ireland, where sexual molestation by the priests was commonplace. He had a friend who, being prettier, suffered much more: "We talked to each other about what was going on. We knew that it was not right but both of us were caught in the trap that has been described so well by other victims of the Catholic priesthood. Our deeply ingrained religious beliefs made it almost impossible to believe that priests could be anything other than holy men. Somehow we must be the sinners."

And philosopher AC Grayling talks to his colleague Tzvetan Todorov who, despite having written a book "In Defence of the Enlightenment", still has reservations about human rights. "I observe and I think that's why I have this sceptical view, that human rights nowadays are used as a kind of instrument for justifying our Western superiority. And as soon as we observe that somewhere rights are not exactly accepted in the same way, we consider these countries definitely inferior and maybe even deserving punishment." For John Gray, who reviewed the book, Todorov is still a fundamentalist of the Enlightenment though.

ResetDoc 15.01.2010 (Italy)

Resetdoc prints an open letter (in English) to the General Director of Unesco, Irina Bokova, demanding that she withdraw her decision to hold the World Philosophy Day in Iran: "We believe that Iran's candidature for the coming edition should not be considered as a normal rotation of location, since we are sadly aware, due to a very close experience, how one can be imprisoned and risk one's life in Iran because of one's ideas. The young woman who last June became a symbol of protest after the elections, Neda Agha Soltan, held degrees in theological studies and in secular philosophy."

Here a list of the signatories.

Eurozine 21.01.2010 (Austria)

James Hawes sings (here in English) a melancholy love song to Prague, one of Europe's most beautiful historic cities which also happens to be most like Las Vegas. And it has a history so complex that repression is essential for survival. "Of all the symbols of this repressed Czech-German-Jewish history, the most memorable is the asylum for mentally-damaged war-wounded, founded largely by Kafka himself in 1916-17 and still extant more or less as he left it, in a place which was, in Kafka's day, rather wonderfully called Frankenstein. Now, you would imagine, would you not, that Dr Kafka's Asylum for Mentally-Damaged Soldiers in Frankenstein would be an irresistible magnet for young film-makers? In fact, it is entirely unknown to the tourist trade and scarcely more known to scholars, despite its being the one actual relic of Kafka's life that would truly support his quasi-saintly image. (...) Why is the place so ignored? I think the answer is simple: because this was a German-speaking area until 1945, and Kafka's mental hospital was (by his own express avowal) founded exclusively for German-speaking soldiers. The good soldier Schweyk, however shell-shocked, would simply not have made Kafka's linguistic cut."

OpenDemocracy 21.01.2010 (UK)

For Johnny Ryan and Stefan Halper, the Google vs China conflict is a secular conflict between nerd capitalism, with its ideals of freedom, and an authoritarian state capitalism a la chinoise. And it is hardly as if Google is just letting go of a market where it had failed, the authors write: "If Google ceases to operate in China then Baidu will almost certainly profit, and could pose a strategic threat to Google's business beyond China in coming decades. The boosting of Baidu's share-price by almost 14 percent on 13 January 2010, the day after Google revealed its new approach, may be an early indication of future trends."

The magazine also features a pleasantly optimistic conversation about Russia's chances of democratisation. Participating are Boris Dolgin from magazine and the foreign policy expert Dmitry Trenin, who is keen for Russia to form a close relationship with the EU: "In my view, Russia is not going to be able to modernise unless it develops a very close relationship with the European Union. In economic, social, humanitarian and other aspects. It's also going to have to cooperate with the United States when it comes to security matters, it'll have to develop a real partnership, I mean, one worthy of the name. This doesn't mean that we shouldn't work with China, Japan, Korea etc. But cooperation with Europe will be the engine of that process, from a humanitarian, economic and social point of view."

Tygodnik Powszechny 24.01.2010 (Poland)

What have writers gained from freedom? Nothing but a loss of standing and commercialisation, as the old grievance goes? Since 1989 literature has profited from terrific new forms of expression, argues the author and literary critic Inga Iwasiow. "I cannot list all the swings, themes, aesthetics and rituals of the past twenty years. It is as difficult to catalogue these developments, as it is impossible to claim that we are all struggling with the primacy of the media and that writers have lost their role as experts on values, politics and the human psyche. It's just that so much more is going on; achievements and losses go hand in hand. So much more is going than what we want to see when we talk about our loss of standing and our marginalisation in commercialised world of the entertainment industry and the media." Instead of complaining about loss of status, Iwasiow recommends that writers go to the provinces where they will actually be able to meet interested readers instead of trying to curry favour with TV audiences.

The Nation 21.01. 2010 (USA)

Columnist and poet Katha Pollitt draws attention to the plight of 24-year-old IT specialist Nazia Quazi, a Canadian-Indian citizen who has been unable to leave Saudi Arabia since going there with her parents two years ago. According to Saudi Arabian law, she needs the permission of her father to leave, but he won't comply. But Pollitt is most outraged by the Canadian authorities who have turned a blind eye. "More than one person I've talked with has suggested that the fact that the Quazis are Muslim is relevant: the [Canadian] embassy in Riyadh doesn't want to get involved in what it apparently views as a Muslim family dispute. At one level, it is that. Nazia's father won't take my calls, but I've spoken with her older brother, ... and with her employer, a friend of her father's who claims he is trying to broker a solution. To them the fact that Nazia is a 24-year-old college graduate is irrelevant, as are her feelings, her fears, her wishes and her rights. What matters is her father's disapproval of her boyfriend. But that's a problem for the Quazis. It's not a reason for Canada to allow Nazia to be deprived of her rights. How far have women come if a democratic, secular country like Canada permits a father to imprison his adult daughter in the cage of Saudi laws?" Here Nazia tells her story in her own words.

London Review of Books 28.01.2010 (UK)

In a profile of psychiatric patient Iris Robinson, the politician who first rocked Northern Ireland (and probably also her husband) with her pronouncement on homosexuality ("an abomination") and then with her affair with a 19-year-old and the money she soliticed on his behalf, author Anne Enright asks: "How far up is a woman allowed to go? Is it mad for a woman from a council estate to adorn her new villa with hand-painted murals, to decorate each room according to a different theme (Oriental, Scottish, Italian). Is it a bit manic to have, in your study, a hand-carved, ten-foot-high, three-ton stone fireplace which you have had specially designed and installed? Is it unhinged to order wallpaper hand-printed with the quotation 'Non magni pendis quia contigit' ('one does not value things easily obtained') – or is it only counter-productive, because it shows so clearly that you left school at 16?"

Further articles: Daniel Soar wonders about the failure of the secret services database which enabled underpants bomber Umar Farouk Abdul Mutallab to board a plane to Detroit. After reading Stefan Zweig's "The World of Yesterday", Michael Hofmann writes a portrait of the author. Perry Anderson reads a new book on the China's rise to global power. Jeremy Harding reviews two new books about the 1910 flood in Paris. And Michael Wood was moderately impressed by James Cameron's fantasy extravaganza "Avatar".

Nepszabadsag 23.01.2010 (Hungary)

Hungarians are disappointed by democracy because they have failed to understand what it means, according to behavioural researcher Vilmos Csanyi, and suggests they make a renewed effort to get their heads around the idea before the elections in April. "Most people think democracy is an institutionalised do-gooder, which hands out rights, supports the needy and shows people the way to the generally accepted good. [...] But democracy is nothing more than a sophisticated cultural institution for the regulation of biological aggression and as such, perhaps the most important invention in human culture."

The Guardian 23.01. 2010 (UK)

To coincide with a forthcoming exhibition in London's Tate Modern, Simon Mawer looks at why an artist as influential and brilliant as Theo van Doesburg became nothing but a footnote in the history of the avant garde. A close friend of Mondrian's, they produced almost identical paintings for a while, until van Doesburg dared to introduce diagonals and caused a rift between them. "Both artists evolved out of the Dutch figurative tradition into complete abstraction at exactly the same time, but while Mondrian remained with his bleak, geometric painting throughout his life, Van Doesburg had other ideas, dozens of them. You reach out to grab Mondrian and what have you got? An abstract painter, rather solitary, rather austere. You try the same thing with Van Doesburg and he's as slippery as an eel. Painter, poet, art critic, designer, typographer, architect, performance artist – he was all those things and more. Proteus himself. A fox to Mondrian's hedgehog."

Chinua Achebe
looks back on his troubled relationship with his country. "Being a Nigerian is abysmally frustrating and unbelievably exciting. I have said somewhere that in my next reincarnation I want to be a Nigerian again; but I have also, in a rather angry book called 'The Trouble with Nigeria', dismissed Nigerian travel advertisements with the suggestion that only a tourist with a kinky addiction to self-flagellation would pick Nigeria for a holiday. And I mean both."

Further articles: Sarah Crown talks to El Doctorow about his latest book "Homer and Langley". Martin Amis writes about writing "Time's Arrow". Nick Fraser pronounces Chris Morris' jihadist satire "Four Lions", ,which has just premiered at Sundance, "a half-success". And there is short story by Julian Barnes: "Sleeping with John Updike".

Al Ahram Weekly 21.01.2010 (Egypt)

Aijaz Zaka Syed of the Khaleej Times calls for an end to "the madness" of suicide bombing and reports that in Mecca, the Grand Mufti Sheikh Abdel-Aziz Al-Sheikh recently used "unusually strong language" to condemn it himself. "Warning Muslims around the world against the extremists, the grand mufti termed the spectre of terror and suicide attacks as 'the curse of Muslim lands'. He singled out the extremism and the death cult of suicide attacks as the 'most serious problem' facing the Muslim community today."

After six Copts were shot in Nagaa Hamadi over Christmas (more here) Muqtedar Khan remembers that in 628 AD, the Prophet Mohammed granted a charter of rights to a delegation from St. Catherine's monastery to protect Christians until the end of the world.

The New York Review of Books 11.02.2010 (USA)

Chess champion Garry Kasparov readily admits that he was devastated after losing to Deep Blue in 1997. But what did IBM gain from the victory? What did the programmers do with it? "The dreams of creating an artificial intelligence that would engage in an ancient game symbolic of human thought have been abandoned. Instead, every year we have new chess programs, and new versions of old ones, that are all based on the same basic programming concepts for picking a move by searching through millions of possibilities that were developed in the 1960s and 1970s. Like so much else in our technology-rich and innovation-poor modern world, chess computing has fallen prey to incrementalism and the demands of the market. Brute-force programs play the best chess, so why bother with anything else? Why waste time and money experimenting with new and innovative ideas when we already know what works? Such thinking should horrify anyone worthy of the name of scientist, but it seems, tragically, to be the norm. Our best minds have gone into financial engineering instead of real engineering, with catastrophic results for both sectors."

Anne Applebaum praises Michael Scammell's much reviewed biography of Arthur Koestler and expresses her gratitude to Scammell for mentioning Koestler's virtually unknown reportage, "Scum of the Earth", on the fate of refugees in France: "It was a revelation: astonishingly fresh, clear, and relevant, not only explaining the rapid collapse of France in 1940, but also illuminating some of the difficulties that France and other European countries still have in absorbing 'foreigners' even today."

Further articles: Ahmed Rashid asks when the USA and their allies will be ready to strike a deal with the Taliban "because there is no military victory in sight and no other way to end a war that has been going on for thirty years." Jerome Groopman wonders whether the now trendy behavioural economics can help the health system.

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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 Wired is keeping its eyes peeled on the only unassuming sounding Utah Data Center.
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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.
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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.
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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. learns how to line the pockets of a Slovenian politician. In the Süddeutsche Zeitung, Navid Kermani reports back impressed from the Karachi Literature Festival.
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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.

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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.
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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.
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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.
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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.
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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.
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Tuesday 17 January, 2012

TeaserPicIn Nepszabadsag the dramatist György Spiro recognises 19th century France in Hungary today. Peter Nadas, though, in Lettre International and, 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.
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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.
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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. comments on the free e-book versions of Celine's work. And Die Welt celebrates the return of Palais Schaumburg.
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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.
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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. 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.
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