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

22/01/2007

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.

Monday 22 January, 2007

Die Welt 22.01.2007

Hrant Dink, the Turkish-Armenian journalist and publisher of the magazine Agos, was murdered on Friday in Istanbul. The paper prints a previously unpublished interview in which Dink speaks about the many court cases being brought against him: "In European legal culture, the individual is protected from the state. In Turkey it's just the opposite, the laws protect the state from the individual. Of course, that's downright un-European." Dink has the following to say on the genocide of the Armenians. "The Turks are convinced there was no genocide, and they're going to remain convinced of that. Both sides should ask why the other thinks the way it does, and try to develop an understanding for that point of view. The Turks loath genocide, and can't imagine their fathers being capable of doing such a thing. And the Armenians also feel beholden to their fathers. The Turks have to understand that that's an open wound. When both sides realise the other is basically trying to protect their forefathers, we'll have come a step closer to a solution. It doesn't help to dig up mass graves with Turkish victims and then say to the Armenians they should do the same if such graves exist."


Neue Zürcher Zeitung
22.01.2007

Ulrich M. Schmid studies Russia's relationship to Islam from Pushkin to today. After the Russian revolution, romantic veneration was replaced by foreign infiltration and fear of terrorism. "But Russia wouldn't be Russia without the bizarre alliance between nationalism and Islam. Geidar Jemal (born 1947), one of the most prominent leaders of the Russian Muslims, tried repeatedly in the 1990s to forge anti-American coalitions. After the failure of his idea of a reunification of European Muslims in 1992, he recommended in St. Petersburg an alliance between the orthodoxy and Islam in Russia to combat the cultural, economic and military domination of the USA. A juicy detail: Jemal is a friend of the founder of the National Bolschevistic party and scandalous writer Eduard Limonov. In 1996 they joined forces to ensure that Salman Rushdies 'Satanic Verses' did not appear in Russia."

Urs Schoettli is convinced that Japan will continue to play a leading role in the world, despite its ageing population and competition from China and India. "Today, roughly sixty percent of all 30 year old women are unmarried, and forty percent of all 34 year olds have still not found a partner for life. In common parlance, these young women, who often live with their parents, are referred to as 'parasitic bachelorettes.' This terminology – which definitely has an accusatory tone in a country with deep respect for mutual obligations – suggests what the future will look like. The general public which can rely on a social contract with mutual obligations, will take care of the demographic deficiencies." (Do women not belong to the general public?)


Saturday 20 January, 2007

Die Welt
20.01.2007

Tadeusz Borowski's book "Bei uns in Auschwitz" has appeared in German in a new translation. The 28 short stories make Borowski one of the "world's most important authors," writes Arno Lustiger. Himself an Auschwitz survivor, Lustiger found the book agonising in more than one respect. "There are several places in Borowski's stories in which the Jewish inmates are portrayed as pitiless sadists. Borowski does not report these incidents as a first hand eyewitness, but on the basis of hearsay. It's all part of the sensationalist anti-Semitic 'camp talk.' For example there's Pan Tadeusz, a well-provided for and spoiled prisoner-functionary with a long life expectancy. He elevates himself above the defenceless Jews, the morituri of our day, admitting frankly that he never harmed anyone in the camp, but never helped anyone either." And yet for Lustiger these writings are a "milestone in the literature about Auschwitz."


Berliner Zeitung 20.01.2007

Jakob Schlandt speaks with Tim O'Reilly, Internet visionary and inventor of the term "Web 2.0", about the future of the World Wide Web. "We still haven't fully come to terms with the fact that we can simulate almost all of reality in the Internet. The boundary between virtual and real is on its way out. What is designed in the virtual world is produced in the real world. What exists in the real world is reproduced virtually. Just image, three-dimensional printers will soon be run of the mill. Already they can produce simple plastic objects on the basis of a digital model, and product designers make ready use of them. As soon as these printers become available more commonly, not only will information be exchanged online, but also palpable objects. You will go to Napster, but not to download music - rather, to get a new chair."


Neue Zürcher Zeitung 20.01.2007

Andrea Köhler speaks with the historian Fritz Stern about his book "Five Germanys I have known" (excerpt): he discusses Europe, the politics of the Bush government, to which he is deeply averse, and his deep conviction that there is an "Israel lobby." "I am still dreaming of a great European memorial commemorating those who practised active resistance during the Nazi era. Because I believe that one does the next generation a great injustice if one only recalls the crimes and not the people that resisted. That extended from human gestures towards the persecuted to the risking of lives." Stern's book is reviewed by Ute Frevert.

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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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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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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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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

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