Road tripping across the ideological divide

Wednesday 1 February, 2012

TeaserPicThe USA and the USSR should not simply be thought of as arch enemies of the Cold War. Beyond ideology, the two nations were deeply interested in one another. Ilya Ilf and Yevgeny Petrov were thrilled by the American Way of Life in 1935/6, John Steinbeck and Robert Capa praised the sheer vitality of the Russian people in 1947. Historian Karl Schlögel reviews a perfect pair of travel journals. Photo by Ilf and Petrov.
read more

Lubricious puritanism

Tuesday 30 August, 2011

The malice of the American media in the case of Dominique Strauss-Kahn is a symptom of sexual uptightness that borders on the sinister, and the feminists have joined forces with the religious Right to see it through. We can learn much from America, but not when it comes to the art of love. By Pascal Bruckner
read more

Lady G and the dead industrial product

Tuesday 1 June, 2011

TeaserPicDesigned to appeal to everyone over the age of six, Lady Gaga's new album "Born this Way" is basically funfair techno – with a dash of hilarious mock German. Diedrich Diederichsen explains why this is not how good pop music happens.
read more

Me and my Kindle

Monday 6 December, 2010

TeaserPic Ebooks are becoming a serious alternative to their papery predecessors. Does this mean we are on the verge of a fundamental shift in the medium of the book and its contents? Author, retired German Literature professor and enthusiastic ebook convert Ruth Klüger leads the way into the almost weightless future of reading.
read more

Talking to the lord of pain

Tuesday 16 February, 2010

The director Werner Herzog is the president of the jury at this, the 60th Berlinale. Katja Nicodemus met him in Los Angeles to discuss burning Lilliputians, how it feels like to be unsuccessfully shot at, and the life of a lone Bavarian wolf in Hollywood.
read more

American-Venetian burnout

Thursday 23 June, 2009

TeaserPicPeter Sellars' "Othello" which premiered last week at the Viennese Festwochen is a psychological study with political muscle. Shakespeare's Venetians are an occupying US force of Afro-Americans and Latinos. The motor of the tragedy, a flabby white brain played by Philip Seymour Hoffman. Barbara Villiger Heilig was impressed. Photo: Gaius Charles by Armin Bardel
read more

Miracles every day

Friday 10 August, 2007

The very last feature in our NZZ climate change series. Author George Saunders describes the strange state of the climate in post-Gore America.
read more

The distance of victims

Thursday August 9, 2007

Raul Hilberg, the father of Holocaust research, died on August 5th. The sobriety of tone and relentness precision with which he exposed the administrative machine behind what he termed "The Destruction of the European Jews" contributed to the book's failure to receive recognition for decades. His portrayal of facelessness spells out a chilling lesson for the future. By Gustav Seibt
read more

New beauty from the Old World

Thursday 2 August, 2007

No other obituary of Ingmar Bergman or Michelangelo Antonioni makes it as clear how necessary they were - and how bitterly we will miss them - as The New York Times'. By Arno Widmann
read more

Philosopher, poet and friend

Tuesday 12 June, 2007

The American thinker Richard Rorty passed away on Friday at his home in California. German philosopher Jürgen Habermas tells what makes Rorty unique among intellectuals, and what binds Rorty, orchids, and justice on earth.

read more

Arnie of the ivories

Wednesday 2 May, 2007

After brilliant beginnings, bodybuilding pianist Tzimon Barto's career crashed as spectacularly as it started. Now the bizarre mixture of rancher, writer and keyboard collossus is back, with a fabulous new recording of Ravel. By Kai Luehrs-Kaiser
read more

Arrogance, analogy and Iraq

Thursday 1 March, 2007

The Iraq War enjoyed more public support among intellectuals than any other war since 1914. Today it can safely be said to have been a disaster. Gustav Seibt asks why so many thinking people took a such supportive stance and finds the answers in a misplaced attachment to historical analogies.
read more

Roller coaster in the dark

Thursday 25 January, 2007

Thomas Pynchon's latest novel "Against the Day" got panned by critics in the USA. Denis Scheck sees this as evidence of rampant anti-intellectualism. He maintains that the book is a masterpiece: a swan song to anarchism, an incisive look at post 9/11 America, and a hilarious romp through literary genres.
read more

Departed and betrayed

Thursday 11 January, 2007

Martin Scorsese's "The Departed" is the story of two cops as mirror-image doppelgangers. But it is a doppelganger itself, a remake of the Hong Kong film "Infernal Affairs." While the original is a masterwork of playfulness, the remake confounds police genre and psycho junk. By Ekkehard Knörer
read more

Whipping boy Bush

Monday 25 September, 2006

On the fifth anniversary of 9/11, George Bush has become the perfect scapegoat. When attacks and threats increase, he is to blame. But the rise of international terrorism is not Bush's doing. We are not seeing a new Vietnam, but a new Chicago, an ethnic-theological Mafia and gang war. To accept, or not to accept, the law of the human bomb? That is the question facing our fledgling century. By Andre Glucksmann
read more