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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Patriots of a new stripe

Wednesday 28 June, 2006

Infected with World Cup fever, Germans seem to be swelling with a strange new feeling: patriotism. Writer Thomas Brussig admits that he too has been painting his face red, black and gold and reassures his compatriots that being proud to be German is healthy, good and by no means mandatory.
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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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No feel for the ball

Monday 19 June, 2006

Robots have been playing football in Bremen at RoboCup, the robot football world championships, with 440 teams from 36 countries battling it out on 52 fields. The competition, taking place in Germany for the first time, is meant to spur robotics on to much needed bigger and better things. By Manfred Weise
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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 A controversy then flared up over Handke's support for Slobodan Milosevic, whereupon the prize was revoked.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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Art with free beer and sausages

Wednesday 14 June, 2006

The Grässlin family is opening an art space in Sankt Georgen, a tiny town high up in the Black Forest. Their collection of sculptures and installations is scattered throughout the locale, to the amazement of the international public and the locals alike. By Ulrich Stock
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The logic of horror

Monday 12 June, 2006

20 years after the "Historikerstreit" there is a new lesson to learn in contemporary history: the repugnant aspects of the twentieth century can not be reduced to the major totalitarian dictatorships and they can not be cleanly distinguished from all that we now view as progress and success. By Götz Aly
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And then it went boom

Thursday 8 June, 2006

The neo-Expressionist painters known as the "Neuen Wilden" were once what the artists of the Leipzig School are today: international stars, celebrated by the press, courted by collectors. Twenty-five years after the pinnacle of their success, they are now fighting for a place in art history. Cornelius Tittel paid them a visit. (Image: Rainer Fetting, "Self Portrait", 1999)
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An acrostic for Deutschland

Friday 2 June, 2006

The glories of the German football team bring out the poet in Robert Gernhardt. The only thing higher than his lofty lyricising are the chances of his team winning the World Cup.
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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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Everyone has his reasons

Monday 29 May, 2006

In his film debut, Benjamin Heisenberg develops a credible drama in which the fear of terrorism is part of a broader sense of social disorientation. "Sleeper" tells a story of personal betrayal in a world that is as rational as it is paranoid. By Sven von Reden
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Rattle's downward roll

Tuesday 23 May, 2006

For a while, Sir Simon Rattle rode a euphoric wave at the Berliner Philharmoniker. Now critic Manuel Brug feels that his novelty is wearing off, fast.

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John Cage's music for a psalm

Monday 22 May, 2006

On May 5, the tone of John Cage's organ composition "As Slow as Possible" changed in the St. Burchardi church in Halberstadt. A major moment in a piece that will last 639 years. By Thomas Gerlach
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The motivation bomb

Thursday 18 May, 2006

At just 21, Turkish-German singer Muhabbet is the new pop icon of Germany's immigrant youth. One hit single has been downloaded over a million times, and now his new album, "R'nBesk" has just come out. With his music he wants to "make things happen in Germany." By Thomas Groß
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