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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Translating the hate preacher

Monday 1 October, 2007

Director Romuald Karmakar has made a film which reveals the Islamist mindset. Based on the lessons delivered by Imam Mohammed Fazazi, whose mosque in Hamburg was visited by the 9/11 pilots, it stretches for over two hours and provides almost nothing for the eye. Precisely this, says Eckhard Fuhr, makes it so effective.
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In the cradle of the Phaedra myth

Thursday 27 September, 2007

Hans Werner Henze's fourteenth opera "Phaedra" almost cost him his life. Now the premiere has taken place in Berlin. Volker Hagedorn visited the eighty-one-year-old composer at his home above the Tiber valley, where he has lived and worked since 1953.
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Nonchalance out of the depths

Wednesday 26 September, 2007

Benjamin Biolay is France's new Serge Gainsbourg. He is pioneer of the "Nouvelle Chanson," even if he rejects the term. And basically he sings about one thing: love, nothing but love. By Elke Buhr (Photo © Bruce Weber, courtesy Virgin Records France / EMI)
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Magazine Roundup

Tuesday 25 September, 2007

Andrzej Wajda's film about Katyn is not particularly original but it is useful, writes Przekroj. L'Espresso reports on an unknown document by Primo Levi. In Harvard Magazine, Stephen Greenblatt advises academics to take risks a third of the time. The Guardian celebrates Georg Baselitz. In ADN cultura, writer Martin Caparros gives his definition of reportage. Gazeta Wyborcza enjoys the Czech warmth in Polish cinema. In the Nouvel Obs, Hans Magnus Enzensberger describes himself as a participatory observer of 68. In Die Weltwoche, Björn Lomborg says the future is brighter for butterflies than for bears. And The New York Times portrays Michael Haneke as the Minister of Fear.
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Building on the past

Monday 24 September, 2007

Swiss architect Peter Zumthor's new Kolumba art museum for the Archbishopric of Cologne is magnificently successful, in terms of both material presence and dignified handling of the past. Sitting astride a Gothic church, an archeological site and a 1950s chapel, it builds on a history stretching back thousands of years. By Jörg Biesler

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The satire after the tragedy

Thursday 20 September, 2007

No sooner were the fires put out than was the government reelected that bore the than Greek votersbrunt of responsibility for the tragedy. Did those who suffered so much learn no lesson from their distress? Crime writer Petros Markaris looks at why the Greeks have failed to find their way out of the political crisis rocking their country.
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German Book Prize 2007 - the shortlist

Wednesday 19 September, 2007

The German Book Prize 2007, an annual award for the best German language novel, has been awarded to Julia Franck. Read an English excerpt of her book, "Lady Midday", and of the other five on the shortlist.
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Coincidence and illumination

Wednesday 19 September, 2007

Cologne Cathedral looks back at a long and eventful history. The inauguration of Gerhard Richter's stained glass window for the South Transept adds a new chapter, bright with 72-colour, frame-breaking abstraction. By Petra Kipphoff
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Magazine Roundup

Tuesday 18 September, 2007

In Le Point anthropologist Malek Chebel chips away at the taboo on slavery in Islam. The Economist counts Web 2.0 copycats in China. In L'Espresso, writer Suketu Mehta sees power in India shifting in the direction of the Dalits. In The New York Review of Books legal philosopher Richard Dworkin observes the Jacobin revolution in the US Supreme Court. In the London Review of Books historian Perrry Anderson attacks European narcissism. Hanna Schygulla in Die Weltwoche tells art where to go. And In Le Monde diplomatique, sinologist Wolfgang Kubin has trouble remounting his steed after a double liang.
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The endless in and out

Monday 17 September, 2007

The third anti-porn campaign of the women's feminist magazine Emma is absolutely necessary and, at the same time, hopelessly old-fashioned. You can't use the tools of the 70s to fight the pornographication of today's market - at least not if you want to win. By Iris Radisch
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"We have stars but no sky"

Thursday 13 September, 2007

"Yella", the new film by director Christian Petzold, hits the screens in Germany today. He talks to Christiane Peitz about working with actress Nina Hoss, abandoning Hitchcock, and his personal bugbear, the amphibian film.
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Children of the sun

Wednesday 12 September, 2007

All light-generating substances, as well as the oxygen they consume, stem ultimately from trapped solar energy. The pulsing points of light in the depths of our oceans are distant offspring of the sunlight. Biochemist Gottfried Schatz follows light across time and space, from the Big Bang to the ocean floor.

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Magazine Roundup

Tuesday 11 September, 2007

The New Yorker gets its teeth into planning the US defeat in Iraq. Le Monde discusses rights for robots. Al Hayat lashes out at authoritarianism and lack of transparency in Arabia. In Literaturen Andrzej Stasiuk is in the audience at the drama of Polishness. Figyelö condemns Hungary's unpalatable middle class. The Spectator travels to the wastelands of Rajasthan, so favourable for producing billionaires. Die Weltwoche looks for proof of the Collatz Conjecture. Trouw puzzles over Taliban Fritz and Guerillera Tanja. Il Foglio savours tripe soup in Istanbul. And the TLS wonders whether charisma and sprezzatura are thrust upon one.
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Under the sign of half truth

Monday 10 September, 2007

The dawn of a new era in Central Eastern Europe means confronting the legacy of communism and fascism. While there is no lack of advice and admonition from Western Europe, or coarse dressing-downs from Moscow, these nations must be given the time they need to unravel their complicated history. Romanian-German writer Richard Wagner guides us through some of the thorniest issues. (Photo © Lothar Deus)

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"Being high, being free, terrorism's gotta be"

Thursday 6 September, 2007

Thirty years ago, the kidnapping of German industrialist Hanns Martin Schleyer by the Red Army Faction signalled the beginning of the Deutscher Herbst, the highpoint of German terrorism. Arno Widmann looks back on the culture of violence in the 1970s.
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The impertinent muse

Wednesday 5 September, 2007

Ann Cotten is the poster girl for Germany's poetry jet set. She publishes manifestos at 6 in the morning, pours through dictionaries of foreign words and takes very fruitful lunch breaks. By Ina Hartwig
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Magazine Roundup

Tuesday 4 September, 2007

In Internationale Politik, Syrian philosopher Sadiq al-Asm describes Salman Rushdie as the new Galileo. Al Ahram is shocked to report that masturbation has replaced sex in Egypt. The Economist explains why the USA is so relaxed about mosque building. L'Espressso sets out on the trail of the Godfather of San Luca. In Gazeta Wyborcza, Adam Krzeminski and Heinrich August Winkler discuss the tangled web of German-Polish relations. Prospect bemoans the political apathy of the Indian middle classes. Outlook India is nonplussed by the world record holder in speed ketchup-drinking. In Nepszabadsag, Noam Chomsky claims that the USA was more socialist than Eastern Europe. And The New York Times enters the world of Rick Rubin.
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Arrests after the second act

Monday 3 September, 2007

Although Belarus "Free Theatre" stages its critical plays in discreet locations - cafes, apartments and even the woods - they have not escaped the attentions of the state authorities. Ingo Petz on a theatre group that's immune to intimidation.
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