18/10/2011

Magazine Roundup

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

Neue Zürcher Zeitung 15.10.2011 (Switzerland)

Iraqi writer Najem Wali pens an article of support for Algerian writer Boualem Sansal, who has just been awarded the Peace Prize of the German Booktrade. In the Arab world, Wali explains, no one talks about Sansal because he has broken the "most sacrosanct taboo", by criticising the "glory of the Independence Movement: The connections between the Algerian revolutionaries and the German National Socialists remains taboo. Anyone who dares raise the issue must either be a Jewish sympathiser or be bending over backwards to win the Nobel Prize for literature - because according to the view upheld by Arab intellectuals, the Jews are pulling the strings of this institution. None of this is new, but it is new that an Arab author has immunised himself against this officious patriotic hypocrisy and dared to breach a subject no one dares to discuss." Read our feature "Cry for Life" on Algeria's youth by Boualem Sansal here.

Sansal's German translator Regina Keil-Sagawe also writes about the awarding of the prize to Sansal.


Elet es Irodalom 14.10.2011 (Hungary)

György Dörner, an actor known for his close ties to the far right Jobbik Party has been appointed by the mayor of Budapest, Istvan Tarlos, to be the head of the Uj Szinhaz theatre - although his concept for a nationalist Hatorszag-Szinhaz (Hinterland theatre) is dubious to say the least. The writer Peter Esterhazy is incensed: " I actually have nothing against my fellow citizens being nazis or neo-nazis, after all there is no country in Europe that doesn't have its share of such people, and we are part of Europe. And if they so wish (and if there is a demand for it) then they should work in the theatre. But the people who made this decision owe us an explanation as to why the state should endorse such a thing. If the radicals get into parliament, they should get everything that is legally their due: money, official cars, a party headquarters, whatever - but this does not mean we should welcome them with open arms. On the contrary: aversion is the least one could expect, it is a basic patriotic duty."


Magyar Narancs 06.10.2011 (Hungary)

In September, the Hungarian writer and Holocaust survivor Akos Kertesz wrote a desperate open letter (published in the left-leaning daily Amerikai Nepszava) about the state of his country in which he reviled the Hungarian people as "genetically inferior" (more here). A storm of outrage followed and the heated debate ended with the writer having his honorary citizenship to Budapest revoked. For the commentator György Vari this represents another squandered opportunity, because the words of Akos Kertesz, however unjust, testify above all to his bitter experience of not being accepted as a Jew by the Hungarian people. And all that is needed to put an end to this suffering Vari adds, is solidarity and empathy: "We Hungarians, Jewish and non-Jewish alike, whose Hungarian identity was taken for granted by virtue of having being born at a later date, are happier and stronger than Akos Kertesz (and indeed than the elderly, as well as the fearful and demoralised survivors who still live among us). It is up to us, therefore, to show how wrong he was, when he spoke about us [...] Of course we can also feel sorry for ourselves for weeks on end about the unfortunate choice of words by a bitter old man and after revoking his honorary citizenship, try to think up more stupid punishments for him. Or we can keep dragging out the case for years to come, to keep our frustrations in peak condition. It is possible to live in this sort of country, too."


La regle du jeu 14.10.2011 (France)

The five-week-long ode to meat continues in Bernard-Henri Levy's web magazine. This week's contributions include writer and critic Marc Lambron's homage to tartar, which waxes lyrical and strong: "Tartar is to meat what hard rock is to music. A raw force, stimulating, bordering on wild - and yet controlled. I would not say that that every time I plunge my fork into tartar that I'm listening to Led Zeppelin or AC/DC in my head, but this meat does have a musical colouration much like the riffs of Jimmy Page." The butcher Claude Bocquet also pens a declaration of love for his profession and filmmaker Gilles Hertzog adds a "Requiem for a Steak."

Further articles: The Moroccan-born psychologist Fouzia Liget explains, in the context of the efforts to free Rafah, the first psychoanalyst to practise in Syria, why psychoanalysis and Islam are in no way incompatible.


Le Monde 15.10.2011 (France)

Should colonialism be integrated into history or should history be rewritten completely in the "dark light" of colonialism - with France and the western nations shown as conquering nations which carried out crimes against humanity in the rest of the world?, asks the doyen of French historians, Pierra Nora. The second alternative is the one propounded by the anti-globalization camp on the left - and by historians keen to break with Eurocentrism. Nora reminds them that colonialism, particularly in France, was a discourse that came from the "left": "The left's retrospective identification with anti-colonialism is a fabricated cliche. To the contrary, the parties on the left were extremely late in converting to anti-colonialims, and this was because colonialisation was pushed forward in the name of revolutionary and Jacobin ideals."


Eurozine 07.10.2011 (Austria)

Ola Larsmo responds in Eurozine to Kenan Malik's article that draws parallels between the Norwegian mass murderer Anders Behring Breivik and the young Swede Taimour Abdulwahab, who blew himself up in the centre of Stockholm. But he thinks Malik overlooked one similarity: "The obvious link between the two is their hatred of modernity. They both express that their attacks against society aim to bring society back to an earlier undemocratic era. This is their goal. This is the same fear of modernity that we recognize from the Swedish nationalists who warned against democracy during the 1910s, '20s and '30s: democracy is a divisive force, it dissolves barriers and it brings the "wrong" kind of people into power. It allows the Other to enter the stage. Democracy is messy. It mixes things that should not be mixed. The opposite of democracy is purity."


Literaturen 17.10.2011 (Germany)

In the old days, when the poor still had dignity, there were also writers who would write about them, notes novelist Sibylle Lewitscharoff. Today only TV is interested in them. "To illuminate the hardships of the poor, which are entirely different of course in today's rich society than 19th century poverty, that would be an honourable task for literature. But what kind of literature could that be? The hard cement of realism, however, should not be indulged, with all its misanthropic hard and fast ideas. No, it would be much better if it allowed itself to be spurred on by bursts of energy, getting caught on a sense of possibility, so that the reader always has a strong sense of another life behind this one that is submerged and miserable."

There are also reviews of Lewitscharoff's novel "Blumenberg" (read English excerpt) and Eugen Ruge's novel "In Times of Fading Light" (English excerpt).


Highlights from the Anglophone press:

Toronto is going to the dogs because its people are so tight-fisted, The Walrus laments. The LRB profiles Putin's chief ideologue and grey cardinal, Vladislav Surkov, the 'Kremlin demiurge'. The Smithsonian delivers a reportage on the Egyptian Copts. Outlook India asks whether the superhuman can resuscitate the superstar Shahrukh Khan.The NYT portrays the Medicis of the Chicago Tribune. The Economist examines what the Arab spring means for the women in Egypt, Tunisia and Iraq.

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