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

GoetheInstitute

11/12/2006

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.

Monday 11 December, 2006

Neue Zürcher Zeitung 11.12.2006

A year after the cartoon conflict, Aldo Keel analyses the relationship between Muslims and western society in Scandinavia. The clash of cultures it seems is raging on. "In the cities, Muslim enclaves are expanding. In Copenhagen's Nörrebro district, the Jordan-based Hizb-ut-Tahrir organisation founded in 1953 is fighting against democracy and for theocracy. The annual gay parade had to be rerouted and the Copenhagen Imam Ahmed Akkari has announced that he endorses the death penalty for the practice of homosexuality, in line with Sharia. And in Oslo a spate of attacks on homosexuals by Muslim youths has prompted a debate among Muslim intellectuals. The Oslo lawyer Abid Q. Raja made an unequivocal statement in Aftenposten: 'In non-Muslim countries there is no place for violence against homosexuals.' But even Muslims should be allowed to voice their disapproval, Raja said, because after all, the Bishop of Oslo's 'crude homo-rhetoric' did not prevent him from getting where he is today."


Frankfurter Rundschau
11.12.2006

"Much Ado About Nothing" might not be Shakespeare's best work, writes Peter Michalzik, but it has rarely been staged better than under Jan Bosse at the Vienna Burgtheater. "Jan Bosse's production is a fantastic, a triumphant start to the Shakespeare cycle, which the Vienna Burgtheater has undertaken for the last season under director Klaus Bachler. "Bosse is no visionary director, but in recent years, he has emerged from the shadows of a verdict that had him dubbed a goody-goody, as one of the most sensitive theatre ticklers around. In Zürich he staged a wonderful 'Zerbrochene Krug' (by Heinrich von Kleist), his 'Werther' in Berlin is supposed to be breathtaking and his 'Faust' in Hamburg was out of this world."


Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung
11.12.2006

Gerhard Stadelmaier also saw the "Much Ado" premiere on Friday but for him, it was the product of "lazy thinking and lazy feeling". "The actors slip naked into South Pacific straw skirts and straw wigs (cool pre-civilisation!) because they have to make it through a fancy dress ball (stupid civilisation!) There's lots of running about through the audience and you can hear the actors breathing and smell them sweating. The stage hands erect palms, cliffs and bits of meadows, and the technicians project a circular tropical rainbow onto a moon. Beach party in the Burgtheater." Which writes Stadelmaier is "ever so sweet, easy and stupid. But it's not Shakespeare. Because the drama has been eradicated and has not been replaced with comedy."


Die Tageszeitung
11.12.2006

The little private photographs that Annie Leibovitz took of her partner Susan Sontag left a far more enduring impression on Daniel Schreiber, than the photographer's famous glamour shots like the one of a heavily pregnant Demi Moore. "But you have to gulp when you first see the photo which Sontag took of Leibovitz when she was pregant aged 51. She has adopted the same pose, covering her breasts and supporting her stomach, but with none of the actress' body control, without her beautiful thighs or her perfect skin. Liebovitz' insecurity is plain to see, as is her loving and uninhibited relationship with her partner who is holding the camera. It is the pride about her late pregnancy which makes this picture potentially scandalous – that of an ageing, naked, pregnant woman." The Leibovitz photos are currently showing in New York.


Saturday 9 December, 2006

Neue Zürcher Zeitung 09.12.2006

Anne-Marie Vaterlaus sends a wonderful reportage from Les Minguettes in the suburbs of Lyon. "Saturdays there's a huge market with coriander and tomatoes, meat, most of it halal, and fish, religious writings, and overly fashionable boots for thirty euros. People meet each other, know each other, hang around with each other. African beauties with polished finger nails wear skin-tight T-shirts. White housewives bustle about. So there's black and white, and brown too, of course: elderly North African couples, he in a light grey suit, she in a traditional kaftan. Young Muslim women, many wearing headscarves, some with veils. Integrism has increased, markedly so, and especially since 9/11, people say. More and more women cover their entire faces with veils. But you've got to make a differentiation as far as headscarves go. Women wear them for all kinds of reasons. Because they get on the nerves of the fromages blancs, for example."

Nike Wagner interprets Thomas Mann's intense rapport with Richard Wagner's music in Freudian terms: "Wagner could well have effected Thomas Mann like an amplified echo of his own schisms. His conflicting desires could find the symbolic location of relief in the medium of this sexually charged music. Here Mann could thrive on its debauchery but at the same time get the masochistic gratification of being punished for it. Wagner's characters atone, purge and die in the place of the enthralled audience."


Die Welt 09.12.2006

Turkish-born author Zafer Senocak, who has lived in Germany since 1970, compares modern Turkish culture with a prefabricated house set down on rich historical terrain: "It was evidently not possible to find a solution to the problem of mythological sources in Turkish modernity. People have not overcome the feeling of foreignness regarding the roots of Occidental culture. The attempt to introduce Greek and Latin in the schools was quickly dropped. But as Modern Turkey also cut off all connections to the Arab-Islamic world, the result was a modernity with no mythological basis. Certainly, in the early phases of modernity, many authors made an effort to introduce both Ancient Greek and Islamic myths and legends into their works. But with time the 'Oriental' heritage got the upper hand, and references to the Ottoman-Islamic tradition are especially frequent today, for example in the works of Nobel Prize winner Orhan Pamuk."

Get the signandsight newsletter for regular updates on feature articles.
signandsight.com - let's talk european.

 
More articles

From the Feuilletons

Saturday 11 - 17 December, 2010

A clutch of German newspapers launch an appeal against the criminalisation of Wikileaks. Vera Lengsfeld remembers GDR dissident Jürgen Fuchs and how he met death in his cell. All the papers were bowled over Xavier Beauvois' film "Of Gods and Men." The FR enjoys a joke but not a picnic at a staging of Stravinsky's "Rake's Progress" in Berlin. Gustav Seibt provides a lurid description of Napoleonic soap in the SZ. German-Turkish Dogan Akhanli author explains what it feels like to be Josef K.
read more

From the Feuilletons

Saturday 4 - Friday 10 December

Colombian writer Hector Abad defends Nobel Prize laureate Mario Vargas Llosa against European Latin-America romantics. Wikileaks dissident Daniel Domscheit-Berg criticises the new publication policy of his former employer. The Sprengel Museum has put on a show of child nudes by die Brücke artists. The SZ takes a walk through the Internet woods with FAZ prophet of doom Frank Schirrmacher. The FAZ is troubled by Christian Thielemann's unstable tempo in the Beethoven cycle. And the FR meets China Free Press publisher, Bao Pu.
read more

From the feuilletons

Saturday 27 November - Friday 3 December

Danish author Frederik Stjernfelt explains how the Left got its culturist ideas. Slavenka Draculic writes about censoring Angelina Jolie who wanted to make a film in Bosnia. Daniel Cohn-Bendit talks   about his friendship, falling out and reconciliation with Jean-Luc Godard. Wikileaks has caused an embarrassed silence in the Arab world, where not even al-Jazeera reported on the what the sheiks really think. Alan Posener calls for the Hannah Arendt Institute in Dresden to be shut down.
read more

From the Feuilletons

Saturday 20 - Friday 26 November, 2010

The theatre event of the week came in a twin pack: Roland Schimmelpfennig's new play, a post-colonial "Who's Afraid of Virginia Woolf" opened at the Deutsches Theater in Berlin and the Thalia in Hamburg. The anarchist pamphlet "The Coming Insurrection" has at last been translated into German and has ignited the revolutionary sympathies of at least two leading German broadsheets, the FAZ and the SZ. But the taz, Germany's left-wing daily, says the pamphlet is strongly right-wing. What's left and right anyway? came the reply.
read more

From the Feuilletons

Saturday 13 - Friday 19 November, 2010

Dieter Schlesak levels grave accusations against his former friend and colleague, Oskar Pastior, who spied on him for the Securitate. Banat-Swabian author and vice chairman of the Oskar Pastior Foundation, Ernest Wichner, turns on Schlesak for spreading malicious rumours. Die Zeit portrays the Berlin rapper Harris, and the moment he knew he was German. Dutch author Cees Nooteboom meditates on the near lust for physical torture in the paintings of Francisco de Zurburan. An exhibition in Mannheim displays the dream house photography of Julius Schulman.
read more

From the Feuilletons

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.
read more

From the Feuilletons

Saturday 30 October - Friday 5 November, 2010

Now that German TV has just beatified Pope Pius XII, Rolf Hochmuth tells die Welt where he got the idea for his play "The Deputy". The FR celebrates Elfriede Jelinek's "brilliantly malicious" farce about the collapse of the Cologne City Archive. "Carlos" director Olivier Assayas makes it clear that the revolutionary subject is a figment of the imagination. The SZ returns from the Shanghai Expo with a cloying after-taste of sweet 'n' sour. And historian Wang Hui tells the NZZ that China's intellectuals have plenty of freedom to pose critical questions.
read more

From the Feuilletons

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.
read more

From the Feuilletons

Saturday 16 - Friday 22 October, 2010

A new book chronicles the revolt of revolting "third persons" at Suhrkamp publishers in the wild days of 1968. Necla Kelek is appalled by the speech of the very Christian Christian Wulff, the German president, in Turkey. The taz met a new faction of hardcore Palestinians who are fighting for separate sex hairdressing in Gaza. Sinologist Andreas Schlieker reports on the new Chinese willingness to restructure the heart. And the Cologne band Erdmöbel celebrate the famous halo around the frying pan.
read more

From the Feuilletons

Saturday 9 - Friday 15 October, 2010

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.
read more

From the feuilletons

Saturday 2 - Friday 8 October, 2010

Nigerian writer Niyi Osundare explains why his country has become uninhabitable. German Book Prize winner Melinda Nadj Abonji says Switzerland only pretends to be liberal. German author Monika Maron is not sure that Islam really does belong to Germany. Russian writer Oleg Yuriev explains the disastrous effects of postmodernism on the Petersburg Hermitage. Argentinian author Martin Caparros describes how the Kirchners have co-opted the country's revolutionary history. And publisher Damian Tabarovsky explains why 2001 was such an explosively creative year for Argentina.
read more

From the Feuilletons

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.
read more

From the Feuilletons

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.
read more

From the Feuilletons

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.
read more

From the Feuilletons

Saturday 4 - Friday 10 September, 2010

Thilo Sarrazin has buckled under the stress of the past two weeks and resigned from the board of the Central Bank. His book, "Germany is abolishing itself", however, continues to keep Germany locked in a debate about education and immigration and intelligence. Also this week, Mohammed cartoonist Kurt Westergaard has been awarded the M100 prize for defending freedom of opinion. Chancellor Angela Merkel gave a speech at the award ceremony: "The secret of freedom is courage". The FAZ interviewed Westergaard, who expressed his disappointment that the only people who had shown him no support were those of his own class.
read more