?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

15/11/2011

Magazine Roundup

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

Telerama 14.11.2011 (France)

Rue89 (here), Slate.fr (here), Owni (here), Mediapart (here) – and many more. Unlike in Germany where nothing of any import can grow in the shadow of the public service broadcasters, the French internet is overflowing with lively new journalistic startups. In Telerama, Emmanuelle Anizon and Olivier Tesquet provide a valuable overview. However, in France there is one unresolved problem, the precariousness of the online information economy: "In order to participate in the adventures of the 'pure player', you have to leave the crisis-ridden but still comfortable 20th century print press, in order to take the plunge into the thoroughly insecure journalism of the 21st century. You become a pioneer in a volatile economy, work according to uncertain business models whose earning power is purely hypothetical for the time being. You work more and earn less. But you vibrate. In the miniscule Owni offices the journalists meet for a drink every Friday, to drink a toast of lukewarm beer to the survival of a small flying saucer (OVNI is French for UFO)."


Elet es Irodalom
11.11.2011 (Hungary)

Hungarian TV and radio reporting on the mass demonstrations on 23 October (more here) has been scanty and one-sided. Sociologist Maria Vasarhelyi calls to mind French filmmaker Jean-Luc Godard's comment that "tracking shots are a question of morality." This comments applies not only to filmmaking but also to the visual politics of mass media reporting. "Where and how a cameraman puts his camera and what he tells his audience about an event with his images is absolutely a question of morality. The overwhelming majority of Hungarian mass media has broken with this the most important moral imperative of their profession, by keeping quiet about, belittling or consciously distorting everything that happened at the demonstration. These media channels which deliver the news to 90 percent of the population and which stand directly or indirectly under the influence of political power, manipulated the images to prevent their audiences from gaining a proper sense of what sort of people and how many of them had come out to protest against a system they dislike."


El Espectador 13.11.2011 (Colombia)

Hector Abad has read Steven Pinker's new book on the decline of human violence and is happy to acknowledge the presence of better angels in our nature: "The terrible world in which we live – with the massacres of Abu Ghraib and Mapiripan, the Twin Towers and the wars in Iraq, Afghanistan, and Libya – is much more peaceful and safe than the world during Napoleon's time, say, or the American war of independence, or the Colombian wars of independence. As unbelievable as it may seem, you are less likely to be murdered in Columbia today than in the Spain of the so-called Siglo de Oro. In Columbia, the land of violence and violence researchers par excellence, Steven Pinker's book should become obligatory reading for all humanities students – a scientific treatise against lazy thinking and ideological prejudices, which shows how much good there is in all human beings and in our culture at large."


Eurozine
10.11.2011 (Austria in English)

Charles Taylor comes over as a wise old owl in conversation with capitalism critic and Catholic firebrand Slawomir Sierakowski of the Krytyka Polityczna. No, Taylor says, liberal democracy is not dead; it's just that active participation in the US and many Western European countries has declined, for good reason: "These countries had higher participation during periods when a sort of class war was being fought: Labour and Conservatives in Britain; Socialists and Gaullists in France, Social Democrats and Christian Democrats in Germany, and so on. So there was a struggle of a people, a demos: peasants and workers against the others, and these others mobilized themselves too. This led to the posing of clear alternatives, a high level of participation. The same thing is happening in India today. Among the Dalits – the lowest strata of the Indian caste system – there's this tremendous sense that democracy is a chance for them to make this very inegalitarian society less so. In the West, the more rich and educated you are, the more you vote; in India, the less you have, the less educated you are, the more you vote."


Der Tagesspiegel 12.11.2011 (Germany)

How can it be, Frank Jansen asks, that the Federal Republic has been plagued for 13 years by the crimes of a brutal right-wing terrorist group from Thuringia in East Germany – without even realising it? "Were the security services, the politicians and society as a whole all blind in the right eye? Nine murders of small business owners with immigration backgrounds, the murder of a female police officer in Heilbronn, at least 14 bank robberies, and by all accounts a string of further crimes probably involving dynamite, were not enough to raise the suspicions of the long-serving right-wing extremism experts about the existence of a Brown Army Faction. So now Germany is experiencing a shock like the one Norway experienced in the summer, when the extremist Anders Breivik staged an equally unimaginable orgy of violence. Both countries now have to admit that it is time to think the unthinkable, that right-wing extremism is not as limited as we thought. Neo-nazis can also turn themselves into professional terrorists." Watch excerts from a video by the terrorist group claiming responsibility for their actions.

Europe needs two things, according to Tomasz Kurianowicz in a short essay on the current crisis, the end of capitalism and literature. "How we became what we are: what is needed is more reflection on Europe's history. Literature is a vast vessel of memory which can protect us from idiotic mistakes. Robert Musil's essay "Helpless Europe. A Digressive Journey" from 1922 is full of historical parallels. Musil calls Europe a 'Babylonian madhouse'; his analyses are equally relevant to the current state of the continent.


Die Zeit 10.11.2011 (Germany)

Where were the intellectuals when Europe withered? Thomas Assheurer directs a host of questions at the critical thinkers who were unable to depart from their national circles to consider a European public sphere. But perhaps it is not too late: "It would be a mistake if the intellectuals let this crisis slip by unused. Although they have no more knowledge than anyone else, they are still free to contribute to this complicated project with simple suggestions. What should a federal Europe look like? ... What relationship should national democracies have to the EU constitution? In a word: what form should political sovereignty take?"


News from the Anglophone press
:

Independent bookshops are thriving, according to Bloomsberg Businessweek, on the bones of the superstores. Jane Kramer forages for food in the New Yorker. John Gray tears apart Francis Fukuyama's optimism in the New Republic. Lawrence Lessig, in the Boston Review, wants amateurs in power. And in Walrus Magazine, Toni Jokinen sweeps the stage of a Richard Strauss opera in search of his quarter Italian.

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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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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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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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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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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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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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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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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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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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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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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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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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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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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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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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