09/11/2011

Magazine Roundup

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

Eurozine 02.11.2011 (Austria)

Belgium has been without a government since June 13, 2010. The Flemish and the Walloons are not able to come to an agreement, so how can a government be formed? A group of Belgian activists has come up with an idea: 1,000 randomly selected Belgians have been chosen to confer about the future of their country on November 11. This worked well in Iceland. "In Iceland even the formulation of a new constitutional legal code was entrusted to 25 citizens. People who are given the chance to speak with one another are capable of coming to rational compromises as long as they are given time and information. This even worked in deeply divided Northern Ireland. Catholics and Protestants, who generally do not speak with each other much, were ultimately able to find solutions for delicate issues such as classroom lesson plans." 


Magyar Narancs  27.10.2011 (Hungary)

On October 23, the anniversary of the 1956 revolution, tens of thousands of people demonstrated against the government under the motto "Nem tetszik a rendszer!" ("We don't like the system!"). The organisations behind the demonstration included the "alternative youth movement" 4K!, founded in 2006, "Szolidaritas", and the Facebook group "Milla" ("One million [people] for the freedom of the press"). Tibor Kovacsy was among them and had a positive feeling: "The unpolished, determined words of the speakers sounded good and while we repeated the refrain of the demonstration hymn, it felt that the shiver running through us was not for nothing, as we took a stand for our values in a large mass. When Peter Juhasz [the spokesman of the demonstration] announced that, 'Milla' would initiate the election of a new president, a real charge ran through the crowd."


HVG 29.10.2011 (Hungary)

Journalist Laszlo Seres has another view and sees the demonstrators as lacking in ideas for long overdue structural reforms: "For a movement that is essentially anti-political and apolitical - although echoing leftist slogans - it is not particularly difficult to get the real or supposed economic victims of the Fidesz era out onto the street. To put it bluntly, these classes of people are interested only in the inner life of their wallets, not democracy...How can it be that last year only a few hundred demonstrated against the nationalisation of private pension funds and against the blackmailing of the insured? Reuters news service is wrong in saying that the people of Hungary showed their support for a "free-market democracy". That's not what happened. What has happened instead is that the not very capitalism-friendly government has gained a not very capitalism-friendly opposition."


Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung 05.11.2011 (Germany)

Papandreou wanted to let the Greeks vote on whether they are prepared to pay their debts or not. Frank Schirrmacher cannot understand the indignation about the referendum, which he saw as a victory for democracy over the market. Jürgen Habermas agrees: "Today the political elites are facing a crucial test. Two things are drifting apart - the imperative of the system of unbridled capitalism, which the politicians themselves set loose from the restraints of the real economy, and the laments about the unredeemed promise of social justice, which bombard them from the collapsing livelihoods of their democratic constituents."


Le Monde (France), 04.11.2011

Guy Sorman believes that there are very different reasons behind Papandreou’s actions than generally assumed: "Greece faces an ongoing threat of extremist violence, coming from right-wing nationalist extremists and left-wing Marxist extremists. The civil war from 1947 to 1949, which was quelled by Anglo-American intervention, is a ghost that still haunts Greek society, and the same goes for the military dictatorship of 1967 to 1974. The debt cuts and the referendum are merely attempts to hold off the temptation of a Marxist revolution or an authoritarian takeover."


Telerama (France), 03.11.2011

In Telerama , Xavier de Jarcy takes a cue from Michel Houellebecq’s novel "The Map and the Territory" looks more closely (illustrated with a number of nice photos) at the grandfather of British design, William Morris. Morris was an adherent of Marxist ideas and designed fabrics and wallpaper patterns in the utopian spirit of socialism, which today however have become bourgeois and expensive. The company he founded together with other designers, Morris & Co., still exists. Jarcy describes Morris' idea as follows: He "wishes to reawaken the spirit of the Middle Ages, in which the greatest artist was actually a craftsman and the most humble craftsman was always an artist, as Morris wrote. The decorative arts were to be elevated to the level of the so-called fine arts, that is painting and sculpture. As artisans, workers would then be freed from the enslavement of the machines and be able to once again find pleasure in their work by contributing to the beautification of the world."


Der Tagesspiegel
05.11.2011 (Germany)

Berlin has a new star, writes Martin Böttcher. Her name is Aerea Negrot and "she seems to be a distillation of many of the strange and singular voices of the last 50 years, Nina Hagen and Klaus Nomi, Hildegard Knef and Yma Sumac, Laurie Anderson and Karen Mantler."




Highlights from the Anglophone press


Guernica interviews Amir Hassan Cheheltan on how to be a modern Iranian author without being western, and the questionable art of silence. The Montreal Gazette half-heartedly throws some questions at Anne Enright, but  the author nevertheless manages to give a good picture of how parents can change, even if they are Irish Catholic. The New York Review of Books reveals the previously unthinkable participation of Israeli Arabs in the social protests in Israel this past summer, and reviews Joan Didion's overwhelmingly despondent book "Blue Nights". Bloomberg Businessweek asks why TechCrunch founder Michael Arrington has joined the venture capitalists, and reports from Prato, Italy, a town of 190,000 inhabitants where 40,000 Chinese work in illegal sweatshops. In an extensive article Wired sheds light on how Facebook has suddenly become a key player in the music business, largely due to Spotify; argues for the recognition of Wikipedia as world cultural heritage by UNESCO; and profiles the Russian Yuri Milner, a businessman turned social media investor who meanwhile lives in the most expensive house in America.

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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.
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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.
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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.
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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.
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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.

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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.
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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.
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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.
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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.
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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.
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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.
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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.
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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.
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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.
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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.
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