?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

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13/12/2011

Magazine Roundup

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

Der Tagesspiegel 10.12.2011 (Germany)

Andre Glucksmann writes about Vladimir Putin's embarrassing election defeat and the impact of unbridled Russian corruption on both Russia and Europe. "The mountain of manna from gas and oil revenues has not led to Russia's re-industrialisation... The vast fortunes are invested elsewhere. As if 50 percent of the Russian population were superfluous, designated for a life of misery, condemned to alcoholism, prostitution, tuberculosis and AIDS with no prospect of treatment. And where does the legendary treasure that is not invested in Russia go? To us. In the hands of despots and oligarchs, in other words, lies an incredible power to do damage. Corruption is an infectious disease, Putinism a plague without limits. We have to look the Russian evil in the face, our future is at stake."


Il Sole 24 Ore 11.12.2011 (Italy)

The mammoth encyclopaedia Classici Ricciardi attempts to list all the books written by Italians on Italians over the past 150 years. Carlo Ossola uses his review to ponder the justification for the written word in the multimedia age. "Books have survived precisely because of their written core. A large percentage of our collective identity today is influenced by arts and media other than the written word: cinema, TV, the internet, video communication via mobile phone. It would be ahistorical to ignore these processes but also lazy thinking to see this as the only source of our identity: La Costituzione, Se questo e un uomo, Le citta invisibili, none of these have been adapted for TV, film or comics; their vital power lies in the word, in their inscribed permanence and in the non-representational, the proximity and the infinity for one and all: not offering action but an appeal to the conscience. Quite simply, as Luigi Pintor would say, for the past and for the future: Servabo."


Letras Libres 11.12.2011 (Spain/Mexico)

The Argentinian writer Martin Caprarros is over the moon about his Kindle, "the Robin Hood of books". Some objects are so complete that we can't imagine anyone actually inventing them. For thousands of years, steps were the best way of getting from one level to the next. The book is the step of texts: for years it has been the perfect form for storing and spreading the word. But today we have lifts - someone who wants to get to the 38th floor is unlikely to think of taking the stairs first. Yet the Kindle has nothing futuristic about it: it is the radical present of the book and that means something. Whereas today a fridge is designed to double up as a TV, a telephone as a camera and a laptop as an ersatz world, the Kindle stubbornly insists on being about reading and nothing else. Any remaining doubts I might have had were recently driven out on a train by a young man serving snacks: with his grubby face, gappy teeth and tousled hair, the boy looked admiringly at my Kindle: "Wow, man, a computer. - No, it's a book. - Oh right (deeply disappointed), a book.'"


HVG 30.11.2011 (Hungary)

The journalist Laszlo Seres talked with the Berlin-based Hungarian writer György Dalos about the situation in Hungary and asked him whether the country's intellectuals could help solve the problems. Today, Dalos says, "the intellectuals play a minor role. On one hand the end of Communism brought with it the end of a state-guaranteed culture and they became tradesmen. On the other hand their intellectual distinction was also terminated, which is why, if they do express their opinion on politics, they no longer do so from the elevated position of earlier times, but just as private individuals. The days when a writer would say something and the government would gather the next day to discuss it are over. We live at a time where grave financial decisions are being made without seeking advice from experts. Why, then, would they think to ask the opinion of a poet?"


Polityka 09.12.2011 (Poland)

Adam Krzeminski can't face having to see another caricature of Angela Merkel in a spiked helmet. Like Poland's Foreign Minister Radoslaw Sikorski in his historical speech in Berlin (here in English), Krzeminski wishes that Germany would take on more responsibility for the republic of Europe. "Anyone who fears that an EU federation will be 'German' should not only look at the positive trade balance between Poland and Germany and our recent - EU-backed i.e essentially backed by German money - civilisational boom, and they should also pay close attention to German debates on the future of Europe... Europe will not become German, not even if it adopts 'German budgetary discipline'. The consolidation of the EU does not mean the diminution of the sovereignty of Poland, France or Italy to the benefit of Germany, but to the benefit of all nations, inclusively - and perhaps first and foremost - it means the diminution of Germany to the benefit of the EU, the executive in Brussels and a democratic European parliament."


Le Monde
11.12.2011 (France)

Late in his life Cioran fell hopelessly in love with a young German woman named Friedgard Thomas. The book of their correspondence was published in Germany in 2001 and subsequently banned because permission to publish was withheld, reports Pierre Assouline in his blog, and nor does this correspondence feature in the new Pleiade Edition. Assouline cites instead from the diary of Cioran's friend Gabriel Liiceanu, which has just been published in Bucharest in French. "I was immediately astounded by Cioran's amour fou. Primarily because it was happening to a professional skeptic who believed himself to be free of all illusions.' The lengthy excerpts from Liiceanu's diary leave no doubts as to Cioran's torments (these can be paraphrased only as direct quotation is prohibited): Cioran wanted to put his head under her skirt forever.... The letters are of such pitiful tenderness, the fragility of their author so apparent: 'Cioran could only be the victim and tragic hero of this story which was spun from the start by the young German woman', according to Gabriel Liiceanu, who saw the whole thing as one big misunderstanding: he was looking for total unification with his beloved, she was after a few aphorisms from the master."


Highlights from the Anglophone weeklies:

Everything has changed in the past 30 years, except fashion, art and music, according to author Kurt Andersen in Vanity Fair. Sometimes things change underground, according to a fascinating article in NYT Sunday Magazine on N'Ko, the new West African text message alphabet. In the LRB Jenny Turner sings a lengthy dirge for feminism. Guernica introduces the LagosPhoto festival. In The Nation the Mexican author Jorge Volpi analyses the liberalism of Enrique Krauze's new book "Redeemers. Ideas and Power in Latin America".

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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 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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