They?re Still Painting, and More: The Leipzig Art Scene

First a success, then a bubble: the hype surrounding the ?New Leipzig School? put the city on the map of the art world, but also blinkered its vision.... more more

GoetheInstitute

16/01/2012

Magazine Roundup

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

Letras Libres 14.01.2012 (Spain / Mexico)

Angel Jaramillo talks to legendary New York journalist and author Pete Hamill, who lived in Mexico City for many years: "The cultural effects of tragedy should not be underestimated. Since September 11 the people of New York have become a lot friendlier in my opinion. And violence has dropped considerably. (...) The situation in Mexico, on the other hand, is like a mafia film by the Marquis de Sade. (...) I find it intolerable that so many innocent people have to die on the other side of the border just so Charlie Sheen and Paris Hilton can be kept in cocaine. Anyone here in the US who boasts about how much cocaine they consume should - and I'm only partly joking - be sent to Mexico and charged as an accomplice to murder. And yet it would be completely wrong, by focussing on all the drug war excesses, to overlook the enormous social progress that Mexico is making, and its democracy is getting stronger. Mexico is certainly not there yet, but it's better than ever."


Le Monde
14.01.2012 (France)

Parliament is not a court", explains the lawyer and former Minister for Justice, Robert Badinter, in an article on the planned law to punish denial of the Armenian genocide. He rejects the law as "excessive and unconstitutional". Unlike the Holocaust, the genocide of the Armenians has never been confirmed and tried by an international or national court. "Does French legislature really have the authority, in the absence of judicial process, to proclaim the existence of an Armenian genocide in 1915? Can the French parliament stand up as the court of world history and declare that the authorities of the Ottoman Empire committed the crime of genocide over a century ago, although no French citizens were involved, either as victims or perpetrators. The constitution has never granted parliament the authority to write history. This is a matter for historians and it should be left to them alone."


Nepszabadsag 14.01.2012 (Hungary)

Do Hungarians believe in authority more than other nations, Gabor Miklos asks  Hungarian dramatist György Spiro. No, it's not that simple, comes the response. "In Eastern Europe, to which we belong, adjusting to the various form of authoritarian power has given rise to the same attitudes that could be observed in Western Europe from the beginning of feudalism until the end of the Second World War... Here in Eastern Europe, 19th and 20th century European conditions are still in place. We keep falling backwards. And Western Europe is also  contributing actively to maintaining our backwardness. But we are also to blame for being backward even though it is not in the interest of the Hungarian majority. If we want to know what's in store for us in the coming years, we should study Western European history from the first half of the 19th century. Above all I recommend French history from 1830 to 1870."


Lettre International
01.12.2011 (Germany)

Are Hungarians marching towards a nationalist-authoritarian state, one that is nipping the newly achieved democracy in the bud? Peter Nadas lays out in long, lucid sentences the various layers of Hungarian society which have formed in the course of "150 years of Turkish sultanate, 300 years of Austrian imperial rule, a few hard months of German occupation in combination with the Hungarian Arrow Cross Party and 40 years of Soviet dictatorship", which are making the formation of a democratic spirit so difficult.  And yet he is not pessimistic about the future. "If, looking at the ominous signs, someone were to say that for Hungary now, this is an era of strong, totalitarian, dictatorial, all-powerful state, they would be wrong; that person will have to satisfy themselves with dull, essentially small-holder authoritarian rule. Pay close attention to the hand of the magician or see only darkness. In the traditional logic of Hungarian societal development, modernisation has had priority for more than 200 years and despite the risky politics of the nationalist-conservatives [Viktor Orban and friends] there is still hope that the process of modernisation will be completed successfully. I understand that this is painful for the socialists and liberals, who like to regard modernisation as their territory; for myself, I find the chronic blindness of the socialists and liberals painful." Read a longer excerpt of Nadas' essay in English over at salon.eu.sk


Frankfurter Rundschau / Berliner Zeitung 16.01.2012 (Germany)

On Sunday Emine Sevgi Özdamar was awarded the Alice Salomon prize for poetry. Harald Jähner praises the linguistic talents of an author who only started learning German at the age of 19. "This author show what a boon for literature a language learned late in life can be, a 'language without childhood', without fully automatised reflexes. If you can look as closely and imagine things as she does, then you will never be in the right film. You see foreignness, no matter where and when you achieved citizenship."


From the blogs 10.01.2012 (France)

It's difficult to be lesbian without also being communitarian, secularist, without being linked to far-right tendencies, and to be against Jean-Marie Le Pen and his daughter Marine, without losing sight of Tariq Ramadan, writes Caroline Fourest in a lengthy blog post, that nicely sums up the mood in France. She clings to the following conviction: "I am against the lack of clarity in the term 'Islamophobia' (which equates any criticism of religion or fundamentalism with racism) but I also oppose any sort of racism against Muslims. And I will always oppose those who hijack secularism for racist ends." Fourest's in-depth TV portrait of Marine Le Pen is very worth watching and is available on Youtube.


Highlights from the Anglophone press
In the Guardian Arab authors - Hisham Matar from Libya, Laila Lalami from Morocco, Alaa Abd El Fattah from Egypt, Nouri Gana from Tunesia, Joumana Haddad from Lebanon, Samar Yazbek from Syria, Tamim Al-Barghouti, Mourid Barghouti and Raja Shehadeh from Palestine reflect on the Arab Spring and share their hopes for the future.

Awl was at the 130th conference of American Funeral Directors to look at how the sector is responding to waning religiosity among Americans. Green is the answer: "The newest, greenest thing is called 'alkaline hydrolysis,' a process that uses sodium hydroxide (basically, lye) and extremely hot, highly pressurized water to rapidly speed up the process of natural decomposition. The body is placed in a large tube with a square control base (upon seeing a picture, a friend of mine commented that it looked a lot like a bong, and it kind of does), bathed in chemicals and highly pressurized, and in a few hours all that is left is liquid and ash."

openDemocracy translates into English a 3-part public discussion that took place just before the last Moscow demonstration on December 24 between author Boris Akunin and blogger and anti-corruption campaigner Alexei Navalny. Read part 2 here and part 3 follows soon.

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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 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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