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

Farewell to spice and curry

Wednesday 3 January, 2006

Once relegated to the minor leagues of the "developing world", India is now rising to the status of a leading power - and not only technologically and economically. Its ongoing social revolution is reflected in the literary realm as well. Claudia Kramatschek introduces a new generation of writers, a far cry from the country's senior cultural ambassadors of yesteryear.
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Thomas Bernhard for life

Monday 11 December, 2006

TeaserPicIn a major interview given a few years before his death, the irascible Austrian author Thomas Bernhard talks about the musicality of language, the eroticism of old men, the corruption of German writers, the twistedness of mankind, the similarities between Christianity and Nazism, the incurability of stupidity and what it means to be branded "Thomas Bernhard" for life. By Werner Wögerbauer (Photo © Andrej Reiser / Suhrkamp Verlag)
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Destination paradise

Thursday 23 November, 2006

Islamicist movements are becoming increasingly influential in the Arab world. Yet with few exceptions, phenomena like fundamentalism and religiously motivated terror have hardly been dealt with in Arabic literature. By Mona Naggar
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The banalisation of evil

Thursday 28 September, 2006

American first-time novelist Jonathan Littell has created the sensation of the French literary season with "Les Bienviellantes." Michael Mönninger describes the memoirs of a fictional SS officer as scandalous kitch, an epic panorama and eminently worth reading.
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The freedom of Bedlam

Tuesday 22 August, 2006

In an interview with Eszter Radai, the Hungarian author Imre Kertesz talks about his new novel "Dossier K.", the breed of Euro-anti-Semitism after Auschwitz and how to survive a dictatorship.
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This endless moral flutter

Thursday, 17 August, 2006

The Grass confession has spawned no end of consternation, reprobation and contemplation among Germany's intellectual elders. The writers Eva Menasse (born 1970) and Michael Kumpfmüller (born 1961) wonder when their generation will have a chance to set the tone of German debate - on issues that really matter, and without the deadening bass tone of German history in the background.
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The staged confession

Tuesday, 15 August, 2006

Having claimed for sixty years that he was no more than a conscripted flak helper in World War Two, Günter Grass now admits that he actually served with the Waffen SS. He also explains that his first exposure to "real racism" came after the war, in an American prisoner of war camp, where the black soldiers were treated as second class citizens. Roman Bucheli finds the Nobel Prize laureate's recent revelations a little hard to swallow.
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Günter Grass was in the Waffen SS

Wednesday, August 14, 2006

Reactions by authors and critics to Nobel Prize winning author Günter Grass' confession that at 17 he served in the Waffen SS, the most brutal Nazi combat unit. An international press review. Updated Thursday September 14, 2006
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Poeta ludens

Thursday 29 June, 2006

A game is a game is a game: Ludwig Harig is one of the greatest child-brains of German literature and a master of the football sonnet to boot. "Oh trickled ball! Oh toe-flicked leather!" A visit to juggler of words in Saarland's Sulzbach. By Oliver Ruf
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"I need the Klagenfurt money"

Monday 26 June, 2006

The Ingeborg Bachmann Competition has just ended in Klagenfurt. One of the participants was writer Clemens Meyer, whose debut novel "Als wir träumten" was highly acclaimed at the Leipzig Book Fair in March. He spoke with Gerrit Bartels just before the competition about Klagenfurt, his writing and tattoos.
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The Peter Handke affair

Thursday 15 June, 2006

At the end of May, Austrian author Peter Handke was informed he had been selected as winner of this year's Heinrich Heine Prize awarded by the city of Dusseldorf. A controversy then flared up over Handke's support for Slobodan Milosevic, whereupon the prize was revoked. We've compiled the major voices from the ensuing debate in the German-language press.
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Heinrich Heine's holy hits

Thursday 1 June, 2006

2006 is the 150th anniversary of the death of German poet Heinrich Heine and the debate surrounding this year's literary Heinrich-Heine Prize is currently filling out the feuilletons. Here we publish writer Georg Klein's compilation of his top ten favourite Heine quotes on that most controversial of subjects: religion.
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The spell of a tender eel

Wednesday 31 May, 2006

Update: Romanian-German poet Oskar Pastior was imprisoned in a Soviet Gulag from 1945 to 1949. The new novel of this year's Nobel laureate Herta Müller is based on interviews with Pastior and other Gulag survivors.
The prestigious Georg Büchner Prize for literature is to be awarded to poet Oskar Pastior. Martin Lüdke welcomes the long overdue decision to honour the work of a mild mannered word wizard.
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Europe - my neurosis

Tuesday 21 March, 2006

Ukranian author Yuri Andrukhovych was recipient of this year's Leipzig Book Prize for European Understanding. Andrukhovych's acceptance speech, in which he expresses deep gratitude for the distinction and deeper sorrow that European understanding remains an unattained goal, caused a minor furore.
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Moscow revisited

Thursday 23 February, 2006

Russian poet Olga Martynova returns to Moscow after 15 years away and discovers that the city has lost its grey communist pallor. In fact, it's a pleasant, busy, contented metropolis, whose buildings and memorials, while kitschy at times, actually have a certain charm.
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