?From the great beyond into the present? ? an interview with Jo Lendle

Hanser publisher Jo Lendle talks about gentle adjustments of languages and marketing strategies.... more more

GoetheInstitute

30/07/2010

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 27.07.2010

Manuel Brug was delighted by Hans Neuenfels' production of "Lohengrin" in Bayreuth, despite some "oddly uptight" singing by the leading couple, Jonas Kaufmann and Annette Dasch. The opera is staged as a science experiment on laboratory rats, and the costumes, designed by Reinhard von der Thannen, are "elegant, comical and enigmatic": "These numbered rats de luxe have shuddering contoured neoprene bodies, in black for the males, white for the females and pink for the small clusters of young. They can sing hymns of jubilation and war slogans, they can dance in formation and march in cages. They murder with swords and have needles filled with unknown substances injected into them by security personel."


Frankfurter Rundschau 27.07.2010

For Daniel Kothenschulte, the tragedy at the Love Parade in Duisburg puts an end to the Ruhr cultural capital business, which is pursuing nothing but mainstream and the masses. "Of course there is a fatal difference between luring two million picnicers to eat their hearts out on a 60 km stretch of the autobahn, and luring half a million revellers into a tunnel leading into a pen. But the cultural understanding behind it is identical: a fatuous politician's idea about how to amuse the masses."

In the Neue Zürcher Zeitung on the 29th, Joachim Güntner writes an obituary to the Love Parade: "We should remember that the Love Parade did not die of alcohol or designer drugs or loud music, it died because of a plan to turn a moving into a stationary mass, packed into a fenced-off arena."


Die Welt 28.07.2010

Ulrich Weinzierl was blown away by Peter Stein's production of "Oedipus in Colonos" in Salzburg. It is the "most beautiful impertinence that German theatre currently has to offer". Klaus Maria Brandauer as Oedipus: "a great, a wonderful actor, one of our best." Jürgen Holtz as Kreon "a bastard of substance... And not enough praise can go to the choir for its exchange of unison passages and soloist sprinklings. Stein transforms a dozen limping old men into a group portrait of individualists, oscillating between wisdom and garrulousness, courage and pusillanimity. Why does the Thebans' opportunism feel so familiar? Just look in the mirror."


Berliner Zeitung 29.07.2010

In an interview with Jan Brachmann, Liv Ullman recounts how she organised a meeting between Woody Allen and Ingmar Bergman while she was in New York playing Nora and Bergman was also in town. "Woody Allen is completely different in real life. He turned up in a limousine driven by a white-gloved chauffeur. He entered Ingmar's room, where I introduced them, and said nothing! Two geniuses who could do nothing but stare at one another in silent amazement. They sat down to eat, Ingmar ordered meatballs, Woody Allen ordered meatballs. He copied everything Ingmar did. Neither of them said a word. On the way home in his limousine, Woody Allen suddenly grabbed my arm and sighed: 'Thank you, Liv!' As soon as I got home I call a call from Ingmar: 'Thank you, Liv!'"


Die Tageszeitung
29.07.2010

She never faced that much discrimination in Germany, writes Cigdem Akyol, the daughter of a gastarbeiter in the Ruhr area - except from fellow journalists, that is. "I studied international law not immigrant life... At my first job interview, when I explained that I would prefer not to write about immigration issues, my editor was sympathetic. But since it was Ramadam, couldn't I perhaps interview a Turkish butcher?"


Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung 29.07.2010

Yet another stage wonder this week: Eleonore Büning was bowled over by Wolfgang Rihm's Nietzsch-inspired opera "Dionysos" which premiered in Salzburg: "His music is libidinous, airy, full of sweetness and constructive irony. It is impossible to do justice to all the wonders that flow out of this horn of plenty: the miracles of instrumentation, the fineness of the voice control coupled with a fluid opulence reminiscent of late Richard Strauss brilliance. But above all, the work is filled with its composer." In a nutshell: "This is what an opera should be: a hint of what was intended with the utopia of the Gesamtkunstwerk."


Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung 30.07.2010

The Iranian writer Amir Cheheltan describes the crisis of the established media in Iran, the rise of the Internet and the general turmoil in the land: "These days it only takes one phone call to shut down a newspaper: no bill of indictment, no court case, no defence lawyer, no trial by jury. Ninety journalists were imprisoned in Iran in 2009, and according to a recent statement by the committee for the defence of journalists, one third of the world's imprisoned journalists are in Iranian jails."


From the blogs
26.07.2010

In her blog love German books translator Katy Derbyshire sends an enthusiastic report from German-language independent book fair in the Literary Colloquium Berlin. "German-language indie publishing is not the same as in the UK or the States. One reason is that major publishers are still willing to take the odd risk, so experimental writing is broadly spread across the publishing spectrum. So some of the 'young independents' have less of a niche catalogue than you might expect - Matthes & Seitz, for example, have a diverse catalogue of fiction and non-fiction with a lot of translations. But others take the opposite approach and go for maximum scurrility, like the Poetenladen with almost all poetry and a litmag. Or the lovely Mairisch Verlag who do young literature and audio plays. And are putting out a record - yes, on vinyl, fellow crackle-loving retro-auditors - because they like song lyrics so much. Or edition sutstein, who do limited-edition stuff you're only allowed to look at with gloves on."


nachtkritik 30.07.2010

The frivolous celebration of Max Reinhardt at the Salzburg festival reminds Thomas Rothschild of Karl Kraus' "Reklamefahrten zur Hölle" (tourist trips to hell). And his fury doesn't stop there. "The children have settled comfortably into the flats and workplaces which were once Aryanizsed by their parents and grandparents, by sending the Jewish competition into exile and death. The sons and daughters, granddaughters and grandsons now organise conferences on the erased Jewish culture, hold talks about the persecuted Jews - who have never once been invited to return - and happily receive payment in their bank accounts."

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