On the Death of Siegfried Lenz ? ?You have to justify your life?

Siegfried Lenz, one of the great writers of German post-war literature is dead. He died on 7 October 2014, surrounded by his family. He was 88 years old.... more more

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Poeta ludens

Thursday 29 June, 2006

A game is a game is a game: Ludwig Harig is one of the greatest child-brains of German literature and a master of the football sonnet to boot. "Oh trickled ball! Oh toe-flicked leather!" A visit to juggler of words in Saarland's Sulzbach. By Oliver Ruf
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Patriots of a new stripe

Wednesday 28 June, 2006

Infected with World Cup fever, Germans seem to be swelling with a strange new feeling: patriotism. Writer Thomas Brussig admits that he too has been painting his face red, black and gold and reassures his compatriots that being proud to be German is healthy, good and by no means mandatory.
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Magazine Roundup

Tuesday 27 June, 2006

Mike Davis tells the history of the car bomb in Lettre International. Literaturen asks where is the USA headed while Magyar Hirlap asks the same of Europe. Al Ahram protests the prohibition of Dan Brown's "Da Vinci Code." Tygodnik Powszechny asks what is going on with Oriana Fallaci? Umberto Eco explores the possibility that the world is a hollow cave in L'Espresso. And Le Point is talking about a new Dreyfus affair.
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"I need the Klagenfurt money"

Monday 26 June, 2006

The Ingeborg Bachmann Competition has just ended in Klagenfurt. One of the participants was writer Clemens Meyer, whose debut novel "Als wir träumten" was highly acclaimed at the Leipzig Book Fair in March. He spoke with Gerrit Bartels just before the competition about Klagenfurt, his writing and tattoos.
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A long farewell to Yugoslavia

Thursday 22 June, 2006

Austrian author and playwright Peter Handke's political stance on Serbia has not been easy for Western intellectuals to swallow. With the recent scandal of the Heinrich Heine Prize - which was awarded to Handke and then retracted - the writer's views are back in the spotlight. In an in-depth interview with Martin Meyer and Andreas Breitenstein, Handke tries to clarify his understanding of what happened in the break-up of the former Yugoslavia.
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Vietnamisation or Somaliasation?

Wednesday 21 June, 2006

Zarqawi was no Ho Chi Minh, and Iraq is no Vietnam. Across the world today, populations are being taken hostage by lawless usurpers. Somalia is an in vivo laboratory for the abomination of abominations: war against civilians. Either we accept a general Somaliasation and take refuge in an illusionary Eurasian fortress, or we revive a democratic, military and critical European-Atlantic alliance. By Andre Glucksmann.
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Magazine Roundup

Tuesday 20 June, 2006

The New Republic observes a meeting of stalking bloggers, journalists and politicians in Las Vegas. Outlook India explains the sexual metaphor behind a Bollywood duet with a tulip backdrop. In Le Point, Bernard-Henri Levy demands the immediate closure of Guantanamo. Günter Grass and Mathias Döpfner, head of the Springer media empire, agree to disagree in Der Spiegel. The Spectator calls for more support for Georgia. In Reportajes, Mario Vargas Llosa calls on Peru's new president to modernise the country. Die Weltwoche visits Martin Suter on Ibiza. Nepszabadsag wishes Hungarians would listen to more György Ligeti. And The New Yorker admires the first European representatives of Cool.
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No feel for the ball

Monday 19 June, 2006

Robots have been playing football in Bremen at RoboCup, the robot football world championships, with 440 teams from 36 countries battling it out on 52 fields. The competition, taking place in Germany for the first time, is meant to spur robotics on to much needed bigger and better things. By Manfred Weise
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Shadows of the East

Thursday 15 June, 2006

"Humanism in China" is a reproduction of an exhibition of over 600 photographs that toured the People's Republic and has now opened in Frankfurt's Museum of Modern Art. No other contemporary exhibition has managed to get this close to the ordinary life of the nation that makes up a quarter of the world's population. By Tilman Spengler
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The Peter Handke affair

Thursday 15 June, 2006

At the end of May, Austrian author Peter Handke was informed he had been selected as winner of this year's Heinrich Heine Prize awarded by the city of Dusseldorf. A controversy then flared up over Handke's support for Slobodan Milosevic, whereupon the prize was revoked. We've compiled the major voices from the ensuing debate in the German-language press.
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Art with free beer and sausages

Wednesday 14 June, 2006

The Grässlin family is opening an art space in Sankt Georgen, a tiny town high up in the Black Forest. Their collection of sculptures and installations is scattered throughout the locale, to the amazement of the international public and the locals alike. By Ulrich Stock
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Who will win the World Cup?

Wednesday14 June, 2006

Brazil is the obvious favourite. But what about the others? England has Wayne Rooney. Argentina is on a high wire between agony and ecstasy. The Netherlands will have to turn into a team of murderous sadists if they are to win. And Switzerland's card is the "principe melange". Eight writers rate their country's chances of victory.
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Magazine Roundup

Tuesday 13 June, 2006

The Wikipedia principle is digital Maoism, writes Jaron Lanier in Edge. In L'Express, Eric Hobsbawm and Jacques Attali celebrate Karl Marx as a thinker of globalisation. Segolene Royal is shaking up the French Left, writes Die Weltwoche. The Economist doesn't trust robots. The New York Review of Books tells of Afghanistan's booming opium industry. The Spectator reports from Darfur. DU is dedicated to the hosts of the World Cup. In Le Point, Bernard-Henri Levy points to Angela Merkel as living proof of the topicality of Simone de Beauvoir.
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The logic of horror

Monday 12 June, 2006

20 years after the "Historikerstreit" there is a new lesson to learn in contemporary history: the repugnant aspects of the twentieth century can not be reduced to the major totalitarian dictatorships and they can not be cleanly distinguished from all that we now view as progress and success. By Götz Aly
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The return of the "principe melange"

Thursday 8 June, 2006

The FIFA World Cup kicks off tomorrow in Germany. In the last of our series by authors explaining why their country will win, Benno Maggi also tells exactly how Switzerland will become world champion.
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And then it went boom

Thursday 8 June, 2006

The neo-Expressionist painters known as the "Neuen Wilden" were once what the artists of the Leipzig School are today: international stars, celebrated by the press, courted by collectors. Twenty-five years after the pinnacle of their success, they are now fighting for a place in art history. Cornelius Tittel paid them a visit. (Image: Rainer Fetting, "Self Portrait", 1999)
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The Spanish Apocalypse

Wednesday 7 June, 2006

It will be an apocalyptic day when Spain wins the World Cup, says writer Guillem Martinez. But it might as well fall this year as any.
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Blood on the goal posts

Tuesday 6 June, 2005

If the Netherlands team can be turned into a murderous commando of raging sadists, they might just win the World Cup, says Leon de Winter.
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Magazine Roundup

Tuesday 6 June, 2006

Edward Said is turning in his grave, and the world of letters is turning with him. The London Review of Books finds Robert Irwin's critique of Said interesting, but somewhat beside the point. Al Ahram saves Said from the attacks of pro-Western Muslim exiles. In Il Foglio, Pierre Nora proclaims the superiority of the culture of remembrance over modernism. In Le Figaro, Maurice Druon recalls the universal mission of the French language. Elet es Irodalom explains the legal perfidies of Bosnia-Herzegovina's suit against Serbia at the International Court of Justice. In The Guardian, Orhan Pamuk defends a persecuted Turkish journalist who champions conscientious objection as a human right.
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An acrostic for Deutschland

Friday 2 June, 2006

The glories of the German football team bring out the poet in Robert Gernhardt. The only thing higher than his lofty lyricising are the chances of his team winning the World Cup.
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Heinrich Heine's holy hits

Thursday 1 June, 2006

2006 is the 150th anniversary of the death of German poet Heinrich Heine and the debate surrounding this year's literary Heinrich-Heine Prize is currently filling out the feuilletons. Here we publish writer Georg Klein's compilation of his top ten favourite Heine quotes on that most controversial of subjects: religion.
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France's secret spherical weapon

Thursday, 1 June 2006

The facts are glaring us in the face, explains Herve Le Tellier, in the fourth part of our series in which writers outline their team's chances of World Cup victory. France cannot but win, even with Zidane on board.
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