?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

14/09/2010

Magazine Roundup

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

The New York Review of Books | Outlook India | Al Ahram Weekly | Rue89 | Babelia | Le Monde | New Humanist | L'Espresso | Elet es Irodalom | The Independent


The New York Review of Books 30.09.2010 (USA)

In the US debate about Islam and the mosque near Ground Zero, Scott Appleby and John T. McGreevy derive hope from remembering the centuries of rigid Catholic refusal to assimilate into US society (not speaking English, not going to public school): "The genius of the American experiment in religious liberty is precisely this long-term confidence that equal rights for all religious groups build the loyalty every democratic society needs. Certainly American Catholics learned that lesson long ago."

Further articles: Charles Baxter writes with enormous sympathy for Jonathan Franzen's novel "Freedom", but ultimately he is disappointed by the novel's structural errors and its final retreat into quietism. "This quietism is the book's answer to its own angers, but it seems willed into being under tremendous pressure, as if all the major battles have been lost and the only consolations are to be found in winning the minor ones. Freedom attempts to come to terms with the Bush years and is finally defeated by them."

Paul Krugman and Robin Wells review a series of new books on the fiancial crisis. David Simon's hotly awaited HBO series "Treme", about pre-Catrina New Orleans, gets full points for authenticity from Nicholas Lemann.


Outlook India 20.09.2010 (India)

In a damning indictment of epic length, Arundhati Roy makes one thing very clear: India is anything but a pristine democracy. The government inflicts violence on its own people in the interests of business. Roy condemns the murders of the Maoists but makes no secret about whose side she's on: the side of revolution, in whatever form it takes. "Their decisions of what strategies to employ take into account a whole host of considerations: the history of the struggle, the nature of the repression, the urgency of the situation and the landscape in which their struggle is taking place. The decision of whether to be a Gandhian or a Maoist, militant or peaceful, or a bit of both (like in Nandigram), is not always a moral or ideological one. Quite often, it's a tactical one. Gandhian satyagraha, for example, is a kind of political theatre. In order for it to be effective, it needs a sympathetic audience which villagers deep in the forest do not have. When a posse of 800 policemen lay a cordon around a forest village at night and begin to burn houses and shoot people, will a hunger strike help? (Can starving people go on a hunger strike? And do hunger strikes work when they are not on TV?)"

Further articles: In an article entitled "Brahms in Bengaloruu", Sugata Srinivasaraju portrays Indian virtuosos of classical western music. Salman Khan, the Bollywood bad boy is back. Namrata Joshi describes the humongous hype surrounding his latest film "Dabangg".


Al Ahram Weekly 13.09.2010

Due to a ban on secular live drama during Ramadam, theatres in Egypt shut for a ten day period of observation and then stage religious and folklorist productions and musicals for the rest of the month. Nehad Selaiha applauds the daring of the El-Sawi cultural centre (El-Saqia) which this year broke with tradition and launched a deliberately secular Ramadan theatre festival for independent troupes from 19 to 25 August. "Nowhere was this enlightened policy more apparent than in allowing director Mohamed Abdel-Maqsood and his Funoon (Arts) troupe to stage Jean Genet's disturbingly violent drama of prison life, 'Haute Surveillance' ('Deathwatch' in English), with its inverted morality, apotheosis of criminality, celebration of the underworld where Genet began and spent much of his life, and pronounced element of homoeroticism. Staging such a play outside Ramadan would normally raise many eyebrows; performing it in Ramadan was, before this festival, simply unthinkable."


Rue89 12.09.2010 (France)

Under the heading "Chomsky dares to re-enter the cesspit of Holocaust denial", the online magazine reports on a open letter by the American linguist, philosopher and activist Noam Chomsky, in support of a petition to release the French engineer Vincent Reynouard who is currently in prison for denying the existence of Nazi gas chambers. In 1979 Chomsky defended the French literary academic Robert Faurrison against the same charges, using the same argument: Holocaust deniers also have the right to freedom of opinion. Whereas the U.S. has no law against Holocaust denial, the French 'loi Gayssot', which has been in place since 1990, punishes not only genocide denial but also racist, anti-Semitic and xenophobic talk. Chomsky writes: "I have been informed that Vincent Reynouard has been charged and imprisoned for violation of the loi Gayssot and that a petition for his release is in circulation. I know nothing about Monsieur Reynouard but I regard this law as an absolutely illegitimate infringment of the principle of a free society, as it is been understood since the Enlightenment. As a consequence of this law the state has been granted the right to determine historical truth and to punish anyone who opposes its edicts. This is a principle that smacks of the sinister days of Stalinism and Nazism."


Babelia 11.09.2010 (Spain)

The Mexican publicist Fabrizio Mejia Madrid looks into the demise of the word "Hispanic": "When entering the USA, Mexicans, Colombians or Cubans now become 'Latino'. The immigration authorities used to describe us as 'Hispanics', a term rooted in language and not skin colour. It was Richard Nixon who first used it in a speech and Jimmy Carter who officially introduced it in the 1980 census. A year beforehand, Carter, as he himself reported, was attacked by a killer rabbit while out fishing. The beast attempted to board Carter's fishing boat, forcing the president to defend himself by lashing out with an oar. The incident spawned a thousand jokes but no one at the time thought to point out that the etymological meaning of 'Hispania' is land of rabbits – otherwise we might never have made the switch to 'Latins', whose number increased by almost 60 percent between 1990 and 2000. Since Bill Clinton, however, we are no longer dealing with a group of US citizens whose speak Spanish, but with the 'Latins', an ethnic group, in other words, with darker skin, fuller lips, incredible backsides, dancing talent, and close family ties – and the assumption that Jennifer Lopez, Shakira, Salma Hayek and Penelope Cruz all come from the same place."


Le Monde 12.09.2010 (France)

France is also chewing on a multicultural debate. The French fast-food chain Quick is introducing Halal meat into ever more of its outlets. Jean Birnbaum warns in Le Monde against underestimating the implications of such a decision: "Eating Halal is not a dietary or ecologically-driven choice. Whether as an act of faith or in the construction of an identity – an individual who makes this decision is subscribing to a system of dogmas and pledging obedience. This system demands, for example, that an animal be killed in a particular way, with its head facing Mecca, and that it is sacrificed with the words: "In the name of Allah, Allah is great". It involves the practice of a specific notion of good and evil, worldliness and holiness... To be indifferent about whether this decision affects only a few or is imposed onto society as a whole, is to misunderstand the nature of religious belief, its autonomy and its very specific consequences."


New Humanist 05.09.2010 (UK)

Should Britain - like France - ban the burqa? Yes, says the journalist Yasmin Alibhai-Brown: "The burqa is not a battle between anti-racists and racists, or liberty and oppression. It is between open and egalitarian Islam and obscurantism; human rights values and inhumane exceptionalism; integration and apartheid. Wahabis are spreading a singular, joyless version of Islam, wiping out diversity and our various histories. They use choice and freedom as weapons to destroy both. Muslim defenders of the burqa never support a woman's right not to cover up. Instead women like me are branded 'Western whores' who will burn in hell."

The author Kenan Malik disagrees: In countries like Saudi Arabia or Jemen the women have no choice other than to wear the burqa. In Europe, he claims, most of them wear it voluntarily. And he says, the burqa ban is "self-defeating and illiberal": "It has become a symbol of the crisis of identity that besets many Western nations. Unable to define clearly what it means to be British or French, politicians have often taken the easy step of railing against symbols of 'alienness'. The burqa bans are an attempt to define 'Western values' by showing what such values or traditions are not, at a time when politicians find it difficult to express what they are."

British intellectuals line up to welcome the Pope: Richard Dawkins snarls: "Go home to your tinpot Mussolini-concocted principality, and don't come back." Francis Wheen and Johann Hari want to see him locked up. Comedian Nick Doody at least pauses to play out a little scenario in his mind: "Anyway, you're probably wondering what this is. It's a condom - don't panic, my intentions are honourable. Now, just relax as I roll it over your head..."


Elet es Irodalom 10.09.2010 (Hungary)

In the debate about the death of constitutional democracy in Hungary, the journalist Janos Avar is pinning his hopes on pressure from the international community. After all this did do some good with Meciar, Kaczynski, Tudjman and Haider: "Of course the principles of democracy may get a bashing every one in a while, but they can never be wiped out within the EU. The French daily Le Monde made a point of 'reminding' Orban that Hungary belongs to a club, in which a very specific set of rules apply. [...] I imagine that there are people in Moscow who might be toying with the idea of undoing all the changes that have happened since 1990. This this would mean supporting a little Danube Putinism, which would undoubtedly blow all the fuses in Washington and Brussels. Then the Hungarian democracy supporters would certainly get some help."

Victor Orban's planned media law will be even more illiberal that its Russian counterpart. But if they want it blocked, journalists will have to take action themselves, writes sociologist Miklos Haraszti, the former OSCE media freedom representative and visiting professor at New York's Columbia University: "It doesn't seem like a good omen for Hungarian journalists – as in Kazakhstan – to be pinning their hopes on foreign quality controllers, seeing them as a sort of manna which will fall from the OSCE, the Council of Europe, the EU or even the UN. They are forgetting that international norms can only come into effect if journalists make a stand for them first, as happened in Slovakia under the Fico government or recently in Italy, when the journalists protested with their empty front pages in a show of mutual solidarity. Until it senses resistance on the domestic front, the govern will simply ignore warnings from abroad."


The Independent 10.09.2010 (UK)

In the name of honour, women are being burned, beheaded, stoned and stabbed, electrocuted, strangled and buried alive. According to UN estimates 5,000 women are murdered in this way every year. Women's organisations in the affected countries put the numbers at four times this amount. In a series of remarkable articles Robert Fisk examines here, here, here and here the crimes against women in Egypt, Jordan, Pakistan, and the Palestinian territories. Frazana Bari, a lecturer at the Qaid al-Azzam University in Islamabad explained the problem to him in the final article: "'Honour' for men is connected with women's behaviour because they are seen as the property of the family – and of the community,' she says. 'They have no independent identities, they are not independent human beings. Men also think of women as an extension of themselves. When women violate these standards, this is a direct blow to the man's sense of identity. So of course, women must inculcate these values to their children. You fail as a mother and a wife if your children don't meet these standards."

Get the signandsight newsletter for regular updates on feature articles.
signandsight.com - let's talk european.

 
More articles

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 salon.eu.sk. Wired is keeping its eyes peeled on the only unassuming sounding Utah Data Center.
read more

Magazine Roundup

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.
read more

Magazine Roundup

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.
read more

Magazine Roundup

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. Salon.eu.sk learns how to line the pockets of a Slovenian politician. In the Süddeutsche Zeitung, Navid Kermani reports back impressed from the Karachi Literature Festival.
read more

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.

read more

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.
read more

Magazine Roundup

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.
read more

Magazine Roundup

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.
read more

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.
read more

Magazine Roundup

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.
read more

Magazine Roundup

Tuesday 17 January, 2012

TeaserPicIn Nepszabadsag the dramatist György Spiro recognises 19th century France in Hungary today. Peter Nadas, though, in Lettre International and salon.eu.sk, 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.
read more

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.
read more

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. Slate.fr comments on the free e-book versions of Celine's work. And Die Welt celebrates the return of Palais Schaumburg.
read more

Magazine Roundup

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.
read more

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. Salon.eu.sk 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.
read more