?From the great beyond into the present? ? an interview with Jo Lendle

Hanser publisher Jo Lendle talks about gentle adjustments of languages and marketing strategies.... more more

GoetheInstitute

02/01/2007

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.
IN

Tuesday 2 Janary, 2007

Die Welt
02.01.2007

Leon de Winter (website) makes no secret of his satisfaction at Saddam's execution. "For this wonderful moment in history we have a hated cowboy called George Bush to thank. We have spineless Europeans politician to thank, such as Joschka Fischer, who essentially strengthened Saddam in his belief that he could continue his tyranny for more decades to come, passing his legacy on to his paranoid sons - because a number of western states, together with Russia and China, would prevent the USA invading Iraq. The current chaos in Iraq is not just the result of the disastrous influence of politics on warfare, but first and foremost, of the international game playing of faint-hearted politicians."


Die Tageszeitung
02.01.2007

What Europe needs, argues Helga Trüpel the Euro MP for the Greens, in the wake of the French and Dutch "no", is to sharpen its focus on culture and promote a European public sphere. "Why are we not giving Erasmus scholarships to all EU students? Why do we not have more resources for city partnerships, where European contacts and European identities can grow from the roots up? Why are we not getting together to show European cultural diversity to the world? The European Union has to finance investments in the future, if they want to lead Europe out of crisis." The politician suggests five key projects that fit the bill, one of them being signandsight.com.

Marius Babias sketches out the complex self-understanding of the new EU member, Romania. "The heavily Byzantine Romania has set aside two identities for itself since 1989, which are contradictory in theory, but in everyday life and politics live comfortably side by side. One is the pre-modern cultural identity of a Christian-Orthodox people, and the other is the post-communist identity of enlightened Europeans. Nationalism and Europeanism are at the core of the Romanian Way of Life: in domestic affairs Romanians are stalwartly anti-European-national-Orthodox, but when the talk turns to EU integration, they suddenly become pro-European-liberal-secular. And of course the communist past is always systematically blended out and self-critical dealing with the past avoided at all costs."


Frankfurter Rundschau 02.01.2007

For Mark Obert the only people justified in watching the video of Saddam Hussein's execution are his victims. "Saddam's execution is tyrannicide in the second degree, and watching it is not an undignified act per se. There are reasons for Saddam's victims to watch it closely. But someone who is not directly involved has no claim to these rights. Their voyeurism serves no other purpose than personal horror."


Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung
02.01.2007

Teheran writer Amir Hassan Cheheltan relates the history of literary censorship in Iran, which appears to have reached its peak: "Independent publishers, with piles of books waiting for permission to be printed, are having to put up with one of the most paralyzing periods in their field. The examination of some works takes months, while it is not out of the question that publication will be denied with a negative decision by the authority in charge. As happened in the past, prose fiction is the most problematic."


Saturday 29 December, 2006


Neue Zürcher Zeitung
30.12.2006

Croatian writer Dubravka Ugresic explains in a semi-fictional story in the literature and art supplement that nowadays she only visits museums virtually. "The Metropolitan and MoMA are my favourite addresses. I wander through the rooms, stand in front of the paintings, make them larger or smaller while listening to music of my choice, and best of all, there is no pushing, no people, no reason to panic. Afterwards I can go to the museum shop and buy a lamp by Isamu Noguchi or a Muji shelf made of recycled paper. And these days in the Vatican Museum, I can look as long as I like at Michelangelo's frescoes on the ceiling of the Sistine Chapel. No dizziness, no pounding heart… After visiting the museum, I treat myself to a cap with the slogan, 'Veni, vidi, vici' (we are in Rome after all?). The Tate, the Pompidou, the Uffizi, the Prado, the Hermitage, the British Museum – they are all right there at my finger tips – they are mine, all mine."


Die Tageszeitung
30.12.2006

Reading "The Century," the latest book by "one of the most important living left-wing philosophers," Alain Badious, Marco Stahlhut is scandalised by his approach to the communist mass-murder regimes of the 20th century: "Badiou describes Stalinism as a 'unique phenomenon' with its own 'greatness, even if this greatness, in its concept of reality, contained enormous violence on its flip side.' Badiou is even less critical of the Chinese Cultural Revolution, which was accompanied by the bizarre growth of the cult of personality surrounding Mao. And where a climate grew in which anyone could be accused of being a counterrevolutionary, and where, for a radicalized youth, lynch justice was the rule of the day. On what does Badiou's indifference to power-hungry dictators feed? The philosopher dismisses the problem with the suggestion that power games are also the provenance of parliamentary politics."

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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.
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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.
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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

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.
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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

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.
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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.
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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.
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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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Saturday 4 - Friday 10 September, 2010

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