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GoetheInstitute

19/10/2006

From the Feuilletons is a weekly overview of what's been happening in the German-language cultural pages and appears every Friday at 3 pm. CET.. Here a key to the German newspapers.

Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung 19.10.2006

Neil MacGregor, director of the British Museum, writes on the Bode Museum in Berlin, which houses the sculptural treasures of the Prussian Cultural Heritage Foundation. The museum reopens today after five years of renovation and a sleepy existence in communist East Germany. MacGregor has high praise for the new presentation of the sculptures: "The result is... a museum where you can wander through the history of European sculpture – from the fall of Rome and the early years of the Byzantine Empire through to Enlightenment optimism and the Berlin of Frederick the Great. All major European countries are represented. Only the Victoria and Albert Museum in London and the Louvre in Paris attempt something comparable. But they haven't dared to collect such a large number of objects. The V&A has far fewer, and in the Louvre the national schools are so far apart that you get no sense at all for the history that binds the continent together... It's no exaggeration to say that in the new Bode Museum, Europe can behold its aesthetic, religious, intellectual and political history for the first time in three-dimensional form."


Die Welt
19.10.2006

Lars-Broder Keil and Sven Felix Kellerhoff remember Imre Nagy, the symbolic figure of the Hungarian Uprising of 1956, presenting him as a hesitant reformer who rose to the top of the revolt in the turmoil of events: "Starting October 24, Nagy once more took up the office of Prime Minister, however his actions were not very revolutionary. His slowness in forming judgements, which previously had been seen in a positive light, now became an obstacle. He didn't understand what was happening. Instead he tried in vain to appease the demonstrators, the party dogmatists and the nervous leadership in Moscow, and resolve all of their demands. He got bogged down in details, remaining obstinate in face of suggestions. Very quickly word got around that he was merely Moscow's man. But there people had given up hope that Nagy would bring about peace and order. On the contrary, at the end of October Marshal Georgy Zhukov snorted: 'Nagy's playing a double game'."


Die Zeit 19.10.2006

In Sofia, Evelyn Finger visits Swiss director Stefan Kaegis, who is touring Europe in a lorry converted into a travelling auditorium with one side made of glass, using local petrol stations, rubbish dumps, and problem districts as backdrop for his documentary theatre. "It opens up a strangely disconnected world. The fat man, pissing against the fence of the removal company. The half pig being sold over the garden gate in a gypsy ghetto. The young mother, child in arm, crossing the street in worn out men's slip-ons, five sizes too big. Unlike most theatre experiments, the 'Cargo Sofia' project deconstructs the world, not just the theatre."

Katja Nicodemus reports back from the leading Asian film festival in the South Korean city of Pusan. Most attendees are in their early twenties, it's fast, furious and no one's afraid of Kim Jong Il. "Sadly the director Lee Jyong ('Dasepo-Naughty Girl') can spare only twenty-two minutes for an interview because he's 'very busy' like everyone else at this festival. It's perhaps because everything is so hectic that he misunderstands the obligatory question about the effects of the North-Korean nuclear test. He thought I was asking him about the highly-popular power cocktails, the so-called 'bomb drinks'. As he gets up to leave he quickly tells me about his personal recipe: one third Soju schnapps, one third wine, one third beer. 'Down three or four glasses," says Lee Jyong, 'and it'll be a wonderful evening that you'll never remember."


Die Tageszeitung 19.10.2006

"Picaldi-Jeans - fashion for immigrants," writes Johannes Gernert by way of an introduction to the Berlin cheapo fashion label started by Nedim Güner. "Wide at the top, tapering steadily down to the ankles. Sometimes ending up in the socks. 472, the cut is called. Boys' fashion for hoodies, who refer to each other as 'victim' and 'spacko' and hate the sort of straight trousers Güner wears. 'Gay' they call them. They love rappers with lyrics full of fucking: 'Father, mother, pussies, steaks.' Rappers like Bushido and Eko Fresh. Who sports a Picaldi pullover on the cover of his new album 'Hartz IV' (German welfare money). On sale, some Picaldi jeans cost the same as the CD. There has been plenty of advertising, to expand, to exist. One slogan goes: 'Nix Aldi, Picaldi.' This is not just immigrant fashion, it's also Hartz IV fashion."


Süddeutsche Zeitung
19.10.2006

Rainer Gansera applauds young German filmmakers and their new cinema of passion: "Valeska Griesbach's 'Longing' (more here) comes to mind, but above all Stefan Krohmer's 'Summer 04', which was praised at Cannes as the latest example of the 'Nouvelle Vague Allemande.' Krohmer, born in 1971, shoots an airy, flowing, almost blithe set of atmospheric images and fine character sketches, which gradually take on the contours of a tragedy. 'Summer 04' is a chamber piece, a thriller and a generation drama, directed with French elegance and German earnest. It's as if the tragic element comes on tiptoes. Only in retrospect does the monstrosity of the events emerge. A 40-year-old woman sacrifices a girl of 12 on the alter of her egomania, under the guise of care and guidance."

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Saturday 6 - Friday 12 November, 2010

The NZZ asks why banks invest in art. The FAZ gawps at the unnatural stack of stomach muscles in Michelangelo's drawings. The taz witnesses a giant step for the "Yugo palaver". Bernard-Henri Levy describes Sakineh Ashtiani's impending execution as a test for Iran and the west. Journalist Michael Anti talks about the healthy relationship between the net and the Chinese media. Literary academic Helmut Lethen describes how Ernst Jünger stripped the worker of all organic substances.
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Saturday 30 October - Friday 5 November, 2010

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Saturday 23 - Friday 29 October, 2010

Author Doron Rabinovici protests against the concessions of moderate Austrian politicians to the FPÖ: recently in Vienna, children were sent back to Kosovo at gunpoint. Ian McEwan wonders why major German novelists didn't mention the Wall. The NZZ looks through the Priz Goncourt shortlist and finds plenty of writers with more bite than Houellebecq. The FAZ outs two of Germany's leading journalists who fiercely guarded the German Foreign Ministry's Nazi past. Jens-Martin Eriksen and Frederik Stjernfelt analyse the symptoms of culturalism, left and right. Hans Ulrich Gumbrecht demonstratively yawns at German debate.
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Saturday 16 - Friday 22 October, 2010

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The FR laps up the muscular male bodies and bellies at the Michelangelo exhibition in the Viennese Albertina. The same paper is outraged by the cowardice of the Berlin exhibition "Hitler and the Germans". Mario Vargas-Llosa remembers a bad line from Sweden. Theologist Friedrich Wilhelm Graf makes it very clear that Western values are not Judaeo-Christian values. The Achse des Guten is annoyed by the attempts of the mainstream media to dismiss Mario Vargas-Llosa. The NZZ celebrates the tireless self-demolition of Polish writer and satirist Slawomir Mrozek.
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Saturday 2 - Friday 8 October, 2010

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Saturday 25 September - Friday 1 October

Three East German theatre directors talk about the trauma of reunification. In the FAZ, Thilo Sarrazin denies accusations that his book propagates eugenics: "I am interested in the interplay of nature and nurture." Polemics are being drowned out by blaring lullabies, author Thea Dorn despairs. Author Iris Radisch is dismayed by the state of the German novel - too much idle chatter, not enough literary clout. Der Spiegel posts its interview with the German WikiLeaks spokesman, Daniel Schmitt. And Vaclav Havel's appeal to award the Nobel prize to Liu Xiabobo has the Chinese authorities pulling out their hair.
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Saturday 18 - Friday 24 September, 2010

Herta Müller's response to the news that poet Oskar Pastior was a Securitate informant was one of overwhelming grief: "When he returned home from the gulag he was everybody's game." Theatre director Luk Perceval talks about the veiled depression in his theatre. Cartoonist Molly Norris has disappeared after receiving death threats for her "Everybody Draw Mohammed" campaign. The Berliner Zeitung approves of the mellowing in Pierre Boulez' music. And Chinese writer Liao Yiwu, allowed to leave China for the first time, explains why schnapps is his most important writing tool.
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Saturday 10 - Friday 17 September, 2010

The poet Oskar Pastior was a Securitate informant, the historian Stefan Sienerth has discovered. Biologist Veronika Lipphardt dismisses Thilo Sarrazin's incendiary intelligence theories as a load of codswallop. A number of prominent Muslim intellectuals in Germany have written an open letter to President Christian Wulff, calling for him to "make a stand for a democratic culture based on mutual respect." And a Shell study has revealed that Germany's youth aspire to be just like their parents.
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