Writing against disappearance ? Sa?a Stani?i?

Sa?a Stani?i?, who grew up in Bosnia-Herzegovina and Germany, writes regional novels of an unusual kind. His novel ?Vor dem Fest? was awarded the Prize of the Leipzig Book Fair. ... more more

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Magazine Roundup

Tuesday 31 July, 2007

The New York Times meets a friendly young humanoid named Merz. Tygodnik Powszechny mourns the loss of Warsaw's most international location, the Jarmark Europa. The Gazeta Wyborcza celebrates the imperfect white knights of Europe. Nepszabadsag examines a disembowelled Eastern Europe. Elet es Irodalom looks at a post-colonial Eastern Europe. In the Nouvel Obs, Marshall Sahlins describes the war in Iraq as the most irrational idiocy since the Athenian invasion of Sicily. And the Weltwoche features a lengthy interview with people collector, Walter Kempowski.


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Tradition, revolution and reaction in Bayreuth

Monday 30 July, 2007

Probably never before has there been so much hype around a premiere at the Bayreuth Festival. Because the director of this "Mastersingers of Nuremberg" is Katharina Wagner, great granddaughter of Richard Wagner, who could one day take over as festival director. By Marianne Zelger-Vogt (Image: Katharina Wagner. © Enrico Nawrath, courtesy Bayreuther Festspiele)
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Relentless in acting and anger

Friday 27 July, 2007

Fighting the system of informers in the GDR was his life's task. It made him ill - and famous. On the death of Ulrich Mühe. By Matthias Heine
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The ideal Yugoslavian

Thursday 26 July, 2007

Anyone who counts Danube Swabians, Slovenians and Italians among his forefathers and lives as a Bosnian Croat first in Sarajevo and then in Zagreb, is entitled to call his birth a political project. Miljenko Jergovic tells the story of his family, of people whose identities have more to do with what they are not, than what they are.
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Turkey's corset of modernisation

Wednesday 25 July, 2007

The resounding electoral victory of the Islamic Justice and Development Party bodes a conservative turn with Muslim undertones in Turkey. Since Atatürk's reforms in the 1920s, Turkey has been held by a corset of modernisation along Western lines. Long-established elites have fostered nepotism and a general dumbing down. Yet this corset has also had a healing effect, failing which the AKP's victory would look very different indeed. By Zafer Senocak
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Magazine Roundup

Tuesday 24 July, 2007

In the New York Times, Bernhard-Henri Levy portrays Nicolas Sarkozy as a plunderer of national identities. Magyar Hirlap understands the Kaczynskis' fury over Europe. In Der Spiegel, Alexander Solzhenitsyn defends Vladimir Putin. Nepszabadsag detects fermenting at the roots in Hungary. The New Yorker portrays Abraham Burg, the herald of Zionism and its end. And Timothy Garton Ash gives Günter Grass half a point in the New York Review of Books.
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Fools' gold and carbon credits

Monday 23 July, 2007

To round off the NZZ series of writers on climate change, Zakes Mda of South Africa takes on the trade in carbon credits. Instead of providing an incentive to control pollution, it gives the world's wealthy classes carte blanche to pollute with clear consciences.
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Poison in the air

Thursday 19 July, 2007

Now, as the last eye witnesses are dying out, totalitarianism is tempting a new generation to warm their hands in its fire. From Bernd Eichinger, Jonathan Meese and now Tom Cruise, is there no letting go of the Führer? By Georg Diez
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Mann and his musical demons

Wednesday 18 July, 2007

Thomas Mann was enchanted by German classical music but was also wary of its seductive powers. In his novels, he anticipates its instrumentalisation by the Nazis, who used it as the gateway to bourgeois German hearts and minds. By Wolfgang Schneider
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Magazine Roundup

Tuesday 17 July, 2007

The Economist checks out the digital conversion of cinemas. Islamists are influencing children in Turkish classrooms, reports Die Weltwoche. Nepszabadsag reports that the Hungarian left has simply disappeared. In the New Yorker, William Dalrymple describes the dilemma of popular opposition in Pakistan. Reset.doc explains the struggle between the old and new elites in Turkey. Hungarian democracy is in serious danger, warns writer Peter Nadas in Elet es Irodalom.
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Dumber in English

Thursday July 12, 2007

Is German academic language dying in the face of the dominant Anglo-Saxon? Well, revive it! Biophysicist and author Stefan Klein doesn't think German scholars should try to impress the world with mediocre English. He makes a case for the mother tongue, proposing incentives such as prizes for the best scientific texts. After all, everyone craves rewards.

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Magazine Roundup

Tuesday 10 July, 2007

Osteuropa devoted an entire issue to Varlam Shalamov and his tales from the Gulag. Michail Ryklin describes the long-standing connection between Russian politics and professional crime. Outlook India watches the changing images of South Indians. Nepszabadsag is delighted by the sexual excess with which the EU is advertising Europe. And in Revista de Libros, Alberto Fuguet conjures up the perfect critic.


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The Sheikha's Book Club

Monday 9 July, 2007

A land of hidden longings: Ulla Lenze is the first German writer to be invited into the inner sanctum of Sheikha Shamma's literary salon, in the United Arab Emirates' desert palace of Al Ain. Lenze takes us along for the ride.
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Grapes from Greenland

Wednesday 4 July, 2007

Continuing the NZZ's series of first-hand accounts of climate change by international writers, Danish author Jorn Riel tells of his psychedelic visions for the future of the Arctic.
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Magazine Roundup

Tuesday 3 July, 2007

Il Foglio gets a strong whiff of priest. Merkur analyses China's nationalism of victimhood. The London Review of Books remembers the event in China whose name is forbidden to mention. The New Yorker writes about the question that Jean Sibelius asked himself once too often. Outlook India criticises Salman Rushdie for his exaggerated interest in kissing. Gazeta Wyborcza tries to fathom the limits of anti-German phobia. The New York Review of Books describes Putin's weapons of choice for the press. Nepszabadsag worries about the ageing of Eastern Europe. Al Ahram despairs at the Arab world. And Die Weltwoche credits Hillary Clinton with the emotionality of a parking meter.
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Slovenian saga of beauty and cruelty

Monday 2 July, 2007

Truly a novel of the century. With his "Die Zugereisten" (the newcomers), an autobiographical trilogy of reminiscence, Lojze Kovacic bequeathed a masterpiece to the Slovenians, as brilliant as it is bulky. By Wolfgang Schneider
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