Writing against disappearance ? Sa?a Stani?i?

Sa?a Stani?i?, who grew up in Bosnia-Herzegovina and Germany, writes regional novels of an unusual kind. His novel ?Vor dem Fest? was awarded the Prize of the Leipzig Book Fair. ... more more

GoetheInstitute

26/01/2007

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.

Neue Zürcher Zeitung 26.01.2007

For Francois Zabbal, chief editor of Qantara magazine, published by the Institut du Monde Arabe in Paris, the development deficit in the Arab World is the result of that world's restricted view of its own culture. Arab culture first broke with the Shiites, then with the Turks after the downfall of the Ottoman Empire, Zabbal writes. "So we see a double breach in the Arab World, with Turkish and Persian culture. And this amounts to an amputation of the Arab memory. The result is a widespread inability to understand and make use of the complexities of the past. In this restricted view, all that counts is the imaginary 'golden age' of the prophet and his first followers. Certainly, Renaissance Europe, on the threshold to the modern era, harked back to the Greek and Roman cultural heritage which had been partly neglected during the Middle Ages. The Arab renaissance at the end of the 19th century hoped to build in a similar way on values that had been forgotten for centuries. But from its very beginning, this movement barred its own further development with its obsessive fixation on the 'authentic' and 'original' elements in religion, language and culture."


Die Tageszeitung 26.01.2007

In conversation with Kirsten Riesselmann, city planner Orhan Esen explains that it was the little people that saved Istanbul from shrinkage fifty years ago and, against all odds, turned it into a booming metropolis. "Gecekondus were always illegal but legitimate. The Gecekondu-people were on state land, which was tolerated in most cases. Politicians recognised intuitively that property was the best means to combat communism. The workers' barracks were never a serious alternative: my house, my vegetable garden, my fruit tree, my goat, my neighbour – that's the structure with which one identifies. Even the unions and the leftist movement could do nothing in the long term on the material basis."

Barbara Oetel reports on the murder of another journalist in Russia. "Last week, the television journalist Constantin Borowko was murdered in Vladivostok. Borowko, who moderated a television show, had driven to Vladivostok to take an exam. The Russian news agency Interfax reported that the 25 year old was attacked and beaten to death while leaving a nightclub at an early hour on Saturday morning." One suspect is in jail.


Süddeutsche Zeitung 26.01.2007

Holger Liebs has visited photographer Andreas Gursky, whose new works will soon be shown in Munich. They will not however be shown in Berlin, due a lack of immense wall space. "When looking at Gursky's photographed landscapes, viewers' eyes often travel far into the distance. People either appear in masses, or they're lost – small black stripes in the grandiose panoramas. For that reason these pictures simply have to be big. Ach, the word 'big' hardly does them justice: of epic proportions. Two metres by three and a half. Formats like the Old Masters used to use. These photos could easily hold their own in the National Gallery or the Alte Pinakothek. Many people are suspicious of Gursky for this very reason, accusing him of monumentalism and gigantomania. The human dimension is lost in his works, they say, calling him a painter with a camera, and a 19th century painter at that. No wonder many are dumbfounded when his photos fetch top prices, like '99 cent only' supermarket, which was recently auctioned for 2.48 million dollars."


Frankfurter Rundschau 26.01.2007

Peter Michalzik was at Wednesday's premiere of "De Frau" at Berlin's Volksbühne theatre, the directing debut of German star artist Jonathan Meese. "For those interested to know at least a little about the plot, 'De Frau' basically deals with an art revolution in the year 2023 called 'art fiction' – a sub-form of science fiction. The point of the revolution is to establish art in an sovereign sphere, by obliterating the artist and making art into absolute, pure being (one wonders why Meese never mentions Heidegger). An artistic revolution like this is of course supposed to have already been achieved to a small extent in today's Volksbühne. And it was last night."


Die Welt
26.01.2007

In his speech for the opening of the Year of Social Sciences, sociologist Wolf Lepenies explains the Chinese love of German poets and thinkers. "The most significant problems that China confronts cannot be overseen. But young Chinese students, with their energy and endless optimism, demonstrate the conviction that they can overcome all difficulties. Their curiosity is enormous, there is nothing they want more than German books. They talk about our classics as though they were famous, honoured contemporaries. We are in China. It's the year of the cock. The cock is a symbol of pride."

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