06/03/2012

Magazine Roundup

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

Outlook India 12.03.2012 (India)

The overwhelming Oscar successes of "The Artist" prompted Naman Ramachandran to rootle through some Indian film history for some silent gems. He stumbled upon the '80s film "Pushpak", which despite having no aspirations towards classical silent film aesthetics, is entirely wordless. And it still holds up very well to today's standards, Ramachandran writes: "Yes, the message that money is the root of much evil and honesty is the best policy is laid on with a trowel but that's a minor complaint given how wonderful it is on repeat viewing. The collaboration between director Singeetham Srinivasa Rao and actor Kamalahaasan that sparked to life with 'Raaja Paarvai', and would result in many memorable films later, really flowered with 'Pushpak'."

Thanks to Youtube you may judge for yourself:



La regle du jeu  04.03.2012 (France)

In the question of whether genocide denial should be a punishable offence, Bernard-Henri Levy's blog La regle du jeu and historian Pierre Nora part ways dramatically. Ara Toranian takes Nora sharply to task in La regle du jeu: "In advocating the need for a historical commission, the group surrounding Pierre Nora is itself adopting the Turkish state's own rhetoric of denial. Like Ahmadinejad who has called for a commission to decide on the Shoah. This demand is the most dangerous strategy in Ankara's propagandist arsenal when it comes to the events of 1915. It is out to sow doubt by making believe that not all the facts are known about this act of annihilation. What's more, it is trampling on the work of hundreds of historians who have been writing about the subject for dozens of years."


Merkur 05.03.2012 (Germany)

Strolling through an amusement park in Tiflis, where he has been staying as a Goethe Institute guest since the autumn, author Stephan Wackwitz muses on the mix of poetry and absurdity that defines the Georgian capital: "The absurd, in amicable and productive coexistence with the poetic, is the form of thought and the central metaphor of Frederico Fellini's films from the early sixties - at a time when Italy was trapped somewhere between modernity and the Middle Ages, as Georgia is today. The sun, the cypresses, the vulgar and madonna-like women of Fellini's '8 1/2',  I am seeing them all again in Tbilissi, the nights, the neon signs, the nightly steps, the terraces and fountains of 'La Dolce Vita'. Cult of beauty and herds of sheep."


Süddeutsche Zeitung 02.03.2012 (Germany)

Author Navid Kermani was deeply impressed by the intensity of the Karachi Literature Festival and the urgent nature of the discussions there: "There are moments when you get the impression that the important thing is not which book, which author is being talked about, but simply the fact that in a public space people are discussing literature at all, and by inference also their own society. For the past decades everything that has ever constituted civic cultural life in Karachi and elsewhere has been destroyed, neglected or driven into the ground."


Le Monde 06.03.2012 (France)

The ritual slaughter of animals according to Islamic (or indeed Jewish) religious rites has become one of the more unsettling elections issues in France, ever since Martine Le Pen tried to co-opt the issue for her own ends. Le Monde has been doing its own research - and encountered some grey areas, one being that there is no clear definition of what actually constitutes halal slaughter. Also, according to Stephanie Le Bars, today "a number of abattoirs no longer have double slaughter chains and therefore release more ritually slaughtered meat onto the market than is needed (14 percent of French meat has been slaughtered ritually although only 10 percent of the population is Jewish or Muslim). The Ministry for Agriculture estimates that 50 percent of lamb's meat and 12 percent of beef is a product of ritual slaughter."


Salon.eu.sk (Slovakia)

Slovakian politics are corrupt to the core, writes Martin Simecka (here in English), with reference to the "Gorilla Files" that have just been opened to the public by Peter Holubek, a former employer of the Slovakian secret service, and Canadian journalist Tom Nicholson. Between November 2005 and August 2006 Holubke was wiretapping an apartment where government members would meet representatives of the Penta investment group. He transcribed the material and sent it to Nicholson, who spent years trying to interest the Slovakian media in it. To no avail! Now it has been published online, and a huge scandal has erupted: "The file reveals that one of the people who regularly met with the representative of the powerful Penta Group Jaroslav Hascak was the then newly-appointed Minister of Economy Jirko Malcharek. In their conversations Hascak plays the role of the teacher initiating the novice into the mysterious ways of the system… For example, Hascak informs the minister of the amount he is paying the latter's advisers, who also sit on committees deciding on the privatisation of energy companies: 'Three million [Slovak crowns, about 100,000 euros] to Sevcik, two million to Vlasaty, the rest later, once the deal has been closed,' we can read in the file.  Of course, Malcharek stands to gain much more, millions of euros altogether."


More stories from the Anglophone press:

Bloomberg Businessweek traces the "dot-clone" killing that is being made by the German Samwer Brothers. Wired engages in a wonderful if melancholy interview with historian and philosopher of science George Dyson about Alan Turing, proto-hacking and the birth of the computer. New York Magazine portrays legendary film director and producer Mike Nichols, who is now staging "Death of a Salesman" on Broadway. Prospect takes the mickey out of Mr. Putin.

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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 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

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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