Melancholy is mandatory

Thursday 26 January, 2006

Poet Helga M. Novak talks to Uta Beiküfner about the fascination of socialism, travelling to where the action is and the unexpected blessings of the madhouse. (Photo © Renate von Mangoldt)
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A hard-nosed Utopian

Wednesday 25 January, 2006

Making audiences happy makes other people suspicious. Max Reinhardt not only staged theatre in Berlin, he also built and ran several of them very successfully. He democratised the closed world of theatre, but he has never been able to shake the accusation of being apolitical. By Esther Slevogt
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Poetry of the body

Friday 20 January, 2006

From Wuppertal into the world: At 33, choreographer Marco Goecke is a force to be reckoned with on the international dance scene. By Jochen Schmidt
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Confessions of a leftist bookseller

Monday 9 January, 2006

Bookseller and editor Bettina Wassmann has been at the heart of the German book trade for almost forty-five years. She talks with Gabriele Goettle about her apprenticeship in Berlin and the heyday of the political bookstore, her philosopher husband Alfred Sohn-Rethel and making literary history.
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The many names of loneliness

Thursday 5 January, 2006

Andreas Dresen's "Summer in Berlin" hits the screens in Germany today. The sunny milieu film tells of cool nights, hard liquor and love in the time of Hartz IV. By Christoph Dieckmann
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Der fünfte Beatle

Monday 2 January, 2006

For over twenty years, Klaus Beyer has dedicated himself to converting the Beatles into German. He has just released his eighth album, "Helft!", a brilliantly squeaky psychedelic version of "Help!", and a DVD of his home-made videos. By Detlef Kuhlbrodt
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The last lamp

Friday 23 December, 2005

On Christmas Eve, the most exciting exhibition Berlin has seen in years will open to the public in the Palast der Republik, the former East German people's palace. This ad-hoc show will last exactly nine days and then the building will be torn down. But the Palast is just the art museum the city needs, says Christina Tilmann.
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Not heaven, but not hell either

Thursday 22 December, 2005

Berlin's KaDeWe: The shop was called Kaufhaus des Westens (department store of the West) long before the "west" became an ideological category. It was a civilizational measuring stick. How much spending, how much luxury can a society tolerate? A search for the true German Christmas in Europe's most luxurious department store. By Roger Boyes
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At the final fairy tale

Wednesday 21 December, 2005

On Christmas Eve Joshka, a demolition contractor, takes a stroll round the old theme park in the woods which he has been hired to tear down... A short story by Georg Klein
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The quest for Christa Wolf

Wednesday 21 December, 2005

Christa Wolf died on 1 Dec, aged 82. Fifteen years after reunification, Christa Wolf, a prominent German writer who chose to remain in East Germany and who was later branded a "state poet", talks with Hanns-Bruno Kammertöns and Stephan Lebert about private chats with Honecker, a German society in check mate, the influence of Goethe, the shortcomings of Brecht, and the lasting effects of Utopia.
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From Turkish boy to German writer

Monday 19 December, 2005

Gingerbread hearts, 4711, the lovely Petra and appalling paintings. Author Feridun Zaimoglu describes how growing up on a German diet eventually bore literary fruit.
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The philosophical Madonna

Wednesday 14 December, 2005

On the occasion of the 30th anniversary of Hannah Arendt's death, Daniel Cohn-Bendit recalls his relationship with the great philosopher and reflects on her and on his generation.
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A German farewell

Monday 12 December, 2005

The debate over a memorial for the expelled persons from World War Two continues to rage in Berlin. Meanwhile, an exhibition in Bonn takes a refreshingly balanced look at this difficult chapter in German history. By Jörg Lau
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Bungling the Bacchae

Wednesday 7 December, 2005

Euripides' play "The Bacchae" is making a comeback on stages across Europe. But can we recapture the brutality of the bard of ancient times? In Munich Jossi Wieler tries hard but fails to portray the play's profound weirdness and horror. By Peter Michalzik (Image © Arno Declair)
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The poor want up but the rich don't want down

Monday 5 December, 2005

Germany's new grand coalition government has announced its objectives in the form of a contract: 143 pages of well-intentioned, naval-gazing blindness. The challenge facing Germany, says Arno Widmann, is not the aftermath of reunification, but a united Europe and globalisation.
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