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

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Pascal Bruckner and the reality disconnect

Friday 14 January, 2011

The French writer Pascal Bruckner wants to forbid a word. Which sounds more like a typically German obsession. But for Bruckner, "Islamophobia" is one of "those expressions which we dearly need to banish from our vocabulary". One asks oneself with some trepidation which other words we "dearly need" to get rid of: Right-wing populism? Racism? Relativism? By Alan Posener
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Hitler's diplomats debunked

Wednesday 10 November, 2010

TeaserPicIn September Thilo Sarrazin's bestseller "Germany is Abolishing Itself" blamed the decline of the Federal Republic on immigrants and the "underclass". Now, as Alan Posener points out, the first shots have been fired in the counter-offensive: "The Ministry and the Past" exposes the active role played by the Foreign Ministry in the Holocaust and shows that the last place Germany should seek salvation is in its elites.
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Sceptically, lyrically, buoyantly now

Monday 25 October, 2010

TeaserPicGerman contemporary literature has emerged from the post-ideological vacuum to deliver punch-packing and exacting miniatures that go straight to the heart of the unknown society in which we live. Ina Hartwig highlights a group of writers who all have their fingers firmly on the pulse.
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Save Benjamin from his fans!

Monday 11 October, 2010

TeaserPicWalter Benjamin took his life seventy years ago. Today the cult of Benjamin has turned him into kitsch and his almost entirely false theories into intellectual blancmange. Author Stephan Wackwitz picks apart the legend of a saint whose work should be read as Romantic literature.

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German Book Prize 2010 - the shortlist

Wednesday 22 September, 2010

TeaserPicUPDATE:Melinda Nadj Abonji has won the German Book Prize for her novel "Tauben Fliegen auf" (Falcons without Falconers). The award ceremony will take place during the Frankfurt Book Fair which opens today. Find out more about the six shortlisted titles and read English excepts from each.
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Finance senator to fire starter

Thursday 9 September, 2010

TeaserPicReviled as a racist by some, celebrated as a defender of the west by others, Thilo Sarrazin has written a book on the slow death by immigration of the German republic. He must be thrilled that "Germany is doing away with itself" is flying off the shelves; less so that it has been almost uniformly slated by press and politicians alike. For this though, the former SPD finance senator and Bundesbank board member only has himself to blame. By Joachim Güntner
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The nanosecond of happiness

Friday 30 July 2010

TeaserPicUpdate: The German pavilion at this year's Venice Biennale is dedicated to Christoph Schlingensief who died in August last year, aged just 49. Regarded by many as a genius, for others he was a provocateur or merely a con artist. While still undergoing chemotherapy he travelled to Burkino Faso to oversee work on the opera village which is being built there on his instigation. His memoirs are due to be published in September. He talked to Thomas David about his obsession with Africa, the importance of disturbing the peace and why he didn't become the man he wanted to be.
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Blindly working through the past

Monday 12 July, 2010

TeaserPicFormer East-German novelist Christa Wolf has spent a lifetime writing against forgetting and the repression of guilt. But the will to remember, it seems, has not been enough to prevent her from doing exactly that. Her biographer Jörg Magenau reviews her new autobiographical novel "Stadt der Engel", which ends in Death Valley. Perhaps 'dead end' would have been more to the point. Photo:┬ęSusanne Schleyer
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Composed in delirious time

Tuesday 22 June, 2010

TeaserPicRobert Schumann was born 200 years ago on June 8. The conductor and composer Heinz Holliger, who has devoted his life to the study of Romantic master, talks to Claus Spahn about the his labyrinthine imagination, erudition and incredible modernity. He also dispels a string of clichees that have consigned so much of the Schumann's work to musical oblivion.
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Right life in the wrong life

Monday 7 June, 2010

TeaserPic Update: after the resignation of Christian Wulff, meet Germany's new president. Joachim Gauck was a leading oppositional figure in the GDR. After the fall of the Wall he became the first Federal Commissioner for the Stasi Files. He talks to Joachim Günther about Ossis and Wessis, opposition, conformism, and the long-term psychological effects of a dictatorial regime.
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Chalk and the abyss

Wednesday May 19, 2010

As rector of the Albert Ludwig University in the winter of 1933/34, Martin Heidegger gave a seminar which was said to contain decisive evidence of the total identification of his teachings with the principles of Hitlerism. Now, thanks to his son Hermann Heidegger, the secret transcripts of this seminar "On the Essence and Concepts of Nature, History and the State" have been published for the first time. By Alexander Kissler
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Call the spade a spade

Friday 5 March, 2010

TeaserPicSince its publication in January, Helene Hegemann's novel "Axolotl Roadkill" has been at the centre of a debate whose vagaries of terminology have allowed the seriousness of the case to be downplayed. Philipp Theisohn wishes the literary establishment would drop all its talk of intertextuality in favour of a more democratic category: plagiarism.
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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.
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The attack of the 13th fairy

Wednesday 9 February, 2010

Filmmaker and writer Alexander Kluge is no optimist, but he knows ways out of the present. Freitag magazine engages him in a conversation about the World Wide Web, dragonflies, the belief in better human beings and why he likes "gardener" as a job description.
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Musicology and mass execution

Wednesday 6 January, 2010

Hans Heinrich Eggebrecht was one of Germany's most influential musicologists. His magnum opus "Music in the Occident" sits on the shelves of many a music lover. Ten years after his death, historian Boris von Haken has now revealed that Eggebrecht was involved in mass shootings of Jews during the Second World War.
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