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

GoetheInstitute

28/02/2012

Magazine Roundup

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

La vie des idees  23.02.2012 (France)

In a long and fascinating conversation (part 1 and part 2) with Nicolas Delalande, Montreal-based historian Anastassios Anastassiadis makes the case for giving Greece some slack in its current predicament. After all, Greece was traumatised throughout the 20th century more than most other European countries by war and civil war, for which Germany was famously not entirely blameless: "The occupation era was appalling, Greek resistance was very strong. It dragged out into a bloody civil war, the first real Cold War conflict. While after 1946 the rest of Europe (in the West at least) was busy with reconstruction, aided by the Marshall Plan, the same plan in Greece helped only to finance the civil war which raged until 1949. Reconstruction did not get underway until 1950 but by 1967 the country was staggering into a military dictatorship."


Guernica
31.01.2012 (USA)

Bosnian-American writer Aleksandar Hemon gives a vivid description of the crazy situation in Bosnia and Herzogovina, where ethnic differences are indoctrinated and bureaucratised, through the example of children's education in Sarajevo. "Religious instruction is one of the so-called 'national group of subjects,' a peculiarity of Bosnian elementary and highschool education that also includes 'mother tongue,' literature, geography, history, and nature and society. The curricula for these subjects differ with the pupils' ethnic identity; subjects like math, physics and PE are presumably transethnic. While religious instruction might start very early, the other 'national' subjects are not taught before the fifth grade, at which point a hypothetical, integrated class consisting of Bosniak (Bosnians of Muslim background), Croat and Serb kids would break apart each time a history class, say, is scheduled - the three ethnically identified classes of ten-year-olds would be taught three different, quite possibly mutually exclusive, histories of their pitiable homeland. To understand the nonsensical situation in which children are trained in ethnic identity through the national subjects, one has to dive into the deep shit pit of war, peace and politics in Bosnia and Herzegovina. Pinch your nose and off we go."


Rue89
26.02.2012 (France)

Thierry Brésillon's laudable blog Tunisie libre in Rue89 continues to accompany Tunisia on the way to democratisation. He reports here on the pressure exerted by radical Islamists on the moderate Islamist ruling party Ennahdha. Following a triumphant tour of Tunisia by the radical Egyptian preacher Wajdi Ghonim, Brésillon writes: "Ennahdha is coming under considerable pressure from the party youth for being 'left-wing and secular'. Pressure was stepped up after a 17 February demonstration of Ghonim's followers in front of the central mosque in Tunis was quashed with tear gas."


Elet es Irodalom  24.02.2012 (Hungary)

Germany came up with a nice, democratic solution to the recent scandal involving its Federal president, even if it all paled into insignificance against the impending collapse of the house of Europe, notes author Attila Sausic. "The office of president is a high but not weighty one. [...] But it does belong to the democratic order and is taken with due seriousness. It is precisely this sort of much ridiculed and often genuinely absurd fixation with order and the hygiene obsession which also creeps into the political realm, that differentiate the Germans from nations more wont to turn a blind eye. Which is why Europe reaches into places where lawns are still mowed, where houses are painted and roads marked, where everything has a visible border, clear contours and a distinct form. This endless fiddling with the order of life, the regulation of every trifle is certainly dull in one respect, but it is also extremely useful and ultimately results in the sort of predictability that allows a modern state and modern democracy to function properly and means people can live there without discomfort."


Polityka 24.02.2012 (Poland)

In interview with Joanna Ciesla, social psychologist Michal Bilewicz talks (here in German) about patriotism, football fans and the mixed emotions Poles have about their own nation: "In general any criticism of the nation makes the people feel threatened; they try to hush it up or condemn people outright for voicing prejudiced views. The Poles themselves suffer from a form of schizophrenia. We are willing to die for our nation but if someone asks us to describe what Polish people are like, we reply: thieves, slackers. At the same time we identify ourselves with Polishness through and through. We feel more like Poles than, say, Europeans or Varsovians, and more like Poles that just people."


Eurozine  24.02.2012 (Austria in English)

Klaus-Michael Bogdal, author of a history of the Roma, explains how difficult it is to write the history of a people which has no written culture and left almost no historical accounts of themselves. Their history consists almost exclusively of depictions from outsiders. "They belonged to those who were not there from the beginning, who were not expected and who therefore had to disappear again. They were seen as sinister because they 'lurked everywhere' and 'came and went' according to inscrutable rules. This gave rise to a uniform moment of perception and encounter: the ambivalence of contempt and fascination. A repository of stereotypes, images, motifs, behavioural patterns and legends developed early on, at the transition from the Middle Ages to the modern period."


More stories from the Anglophone press:


The Economist explains why we're better not bombing Iran. After the death of Marie Colvin last week, Vanity Fair portrays "The Girls at the Front" - great women war reporters: Christiane Amanpour, Maggie O'Kane, Jacky Rowland and Janine di Giovanni as well as Marie Colvin. The New York Times profiles the Nigerian Carl Laemmle.

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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 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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