On the Death of Siegfried Lenz ? ?You have to justify your life?

Siegfried Lenz, one of the great writers of German post-war literature is dead. He died on 7 October 2014, surrounded by his family. He was 88 years old.... more more

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10/01/2012

Magazine Roundup

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

Il Sole 24 Ore  08.01.2012 (Italy)

The Italian publishers Bompiani have announced the launch of a 2.0 version of "The Name of the Rose" for the end of January. Mario Andreose explains the importance ascribed by Umberto Eco to the translation and the translator, and imagines the book of the future as a sort of author-translator wiki. "It was Eco who began giving his translators a dossier of instructions, suggesting other literature for the historical, cultural and linguistic background, providing biographical information, quotes and phrasing suggestions, possible variations, alternative terms, naturally always taking into consideration the fact that every literary tradition has its own very particular solutions. This led to a conversation that continued right up to publication in which the translators would offer their criticism of the text to Eco after first discussing it among themselves. Since the first publication of the 'Rose' its translators have formed a community, meeting regularly in person. I can easily imagine that the thoughts of the translators will one day become a new layer to the book. And I can imagine this not only happening with 'Name of the Rose'."


Rue89  08.01.2012 (France)

Claude Mary writes a fascinating and comprehensive background article about the "Tango Wars" in Buenos Aires. The city now has a thriving alternative tango movement which brings tango into the bars and onto the streets, but which is being curtailed wherever possible in order to maintain an official image of tango and channel tourists into artificial and overpriced tango palaces. A similar thing is happening with the city's huge tango festival. "During his opening speech for the festival in August 2010 the mayor of Buenos Aires actually described tango as "our urban soya", in other words, a random and highly profitable product. The official festival attracts 400,000 visitors, many of them from abroad, and profits run into the millions of pesos. The city describes tango as the "key strategic cultural axis". But over the years the festival has been increasingly centralised in faceless exhibition centres, whereas the city itself has countless ballrooms which are much more accessible for visitors and locals."
 

Elet es Irodalom  06.01.2012 (Hungary)

In recent months Hungary's literary magazines have been debating the past, present and possible future of political poetry. Most Hungarian authors have moved away from political themes in recent decades but the critic Sandor Bazsanyi sees a relevance yet for the political poem: "In my opinion, the political poem should address the "here and now" of any particular situation to the immediate community, and this means it should use the most direct means, in other words calling a spade a spade with as much precision as possible, passionately even. [...] Hungarian political poetry today should be packed with imagery, but not cosmological, direct but not propagandist, substantial but not ideological, and above all, passionate but not blinkered."


Merkur  05.01.2012 (Germany)

The celebrated Russian author Mikhail Shishkin, who now lives in Switzerland, writes about the joyous and distressing experience of border crossing. He, for example, has always found himself getting closer to Russia the further he leaves it behind. "I work as an interpreter for refugees from countries of the former Soviet Union when they are questioned by the immigration authorities. None of them had stories which were not awful in some way. I had left my country for Switzerland and found myself in the epicentre of Russian pain." (Read our feature "Head versus Hand" - an interview with Mikhail Shishkin about his novel "Venushaar", which starts as a dialogue between an asylum seeker and in immigration officer.

The only way to stop Europe falling apart is for Germany to assume hegemony, according to the jurist Christoph Schönberger, but this time, with a little more prudence please: "Hegemony in the EU is essentially demanding of both German elite and German public something that Germany's central position in Europe has always demanded of them: that they forgo national introversion; that they closely know, observe and influence their European neighbours; that they define their own interests by including the interests of their partners; that they think ahead for Europe and with Europe as a whole in mind."


Die Welt 09.01.2012 (Germany)

Sensing revolution in the air, director Andrea Breth has staged Isaak Babel's revolutionary "Maria" in Dusseldorf, to much critical acclaim. For Ulrich Weinzierl: "The noteworthy and fascinating thing about Babel's revolutionary drama 'Marija', that he published in 1935, and which the Stalinist authorities immediately banned from the stage, is that this filmic stream of pictures from 1920s Petrograd already contains it all: inside the collapse of the old – according to the Russian nesting doll principle – is the terror of the new in all its endless variations. Showing this compellingly with the minimum of means is not the least of Andrea Breth's achievements at the Schauspielhaus Dusseldorf. She has added nothing and left the story absolutely in its original context."


Poetry Foundation  10.01.2012 (USA)

"We are all waiting for refugees", writes Eliza Griswold (website) from Lampedusa in a piece of reportage that shies away from neither from poetry nor facts. "The Africans arriving from Libya aren't Libyans. They're citizens of Chad, Sudan, Somalia, Guinea, Ivory Coast, Nigeria, among other nations. Many are refugees who fled to Libya from their home countries. For years they've been trying to outrun Muammar el-Qaddafi, who, in turn, has been blocking their passage to Europe. Along with Libyan oil, Qaddafi's horrific immigration prisons guaranteed him friends in Europe."


News from the Anglophone press:

According to the Economist, Luther's popularity had not only pamphleting to thank, but also 16th century social networks and songs. South Korean poet Kim Hyseoon talks to Guernica about feminism, the grotesque and the voice of the outsider. Boston Review interviews Michael Nielsen, author of "Reinventing Discovery" (excerpt) about scientific discovery in the networked era. Christopher Hitchens' last article in Vanity Fair was an homage to Dickens which drops a Dostoyevsky or two. The New Yorker describes Youtube's ascent into TV business.

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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

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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