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

23/02/2007

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.

Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung 23.02.2007

Sandra Kegel is a bit shocked by the bishop of Augsburg's attack on Family Minister Ursula von der Leyen's politics (more here). According to Bishop Mixa, von der Leyen's proposal to increase the number of nurseries in Germany and to extend income splitting rights to non-married couples is "destructive to children and families," reduces women to "work force reservists" and "breeding machines" by encouraging mothers to give up their children to the state so early on. Kegel, on the other hand, is glad that the Family Minister is taking account of current realities. "A third of all children are born out of wedlock, a third of all children have foreign parents, every fifth child lives with a single parent. In many school classes, children that live with their biological parents are in a minority. For those reasons alone, Ursula von der Leyen is right when she proposes family splitting for all forms of families, whether they are married or just patchwork, because family is where the children are."


Neue Zürcher Zeitung 23.02.2007

Yemenites need lots of water, especially when they chew Qat - and that's one thirsty plant. Hilmar Poganatz writes a very interesting reportage from Sanaa and portrays the water shortage threatening the city. "Ground water, not oil, is the most valued resource in Yemen today. When the government doubled the price of gas overnight last year, there were gun volleys between the gas tanks and gas trucks; dozens of Yemenites were shot. But the issue was more water than gas: in order to obtain the elixir of life, you have to pump day and night and these tanks are diesel-fuelled."


Die Welt 23.02.2007

In an interview, director Florian Henckel von Donnersmarck, whose film "The Lives of Others" has been nominated for the Oscar for best foreign film, identifies himself as a perfectionist. Die Welt does some calculating – given the film took him five years to shoot, he's now 33 years old, can we expect ten more films from him? Von Donnersmark: "That's probably about right. Look at my book shelf. Here's the first edition of the collected works of Rainer Maria Rilke, six thin volumes. He paid attention to everything: the right glue, the right print from the right typographer. A Stanley Kubrick says a lot more to me than a Michael Winterbottom. Those are the two extremes of the spectrum."


Süddeutsche Zeitung 23.02.2007

South Korean writer Kim Young-ha, who lost all memory of his childhood when he was ten, writes about the megacity Seoul, which works continuously at obliterating its architectonic memory: "This city, which is populated by ten million memory-less people, invests mammoth sums each year in beautifying itself, but the void inside grows and grows. One day someone from deep inside the city will ask: 'Seoul, where do you come from? And who are you, who lives in this memory-less artificial paradise?' Sometimes I'm afraid of this Seoul, in which everything seems to disappear without a trace."

We learn from Sonja Zekri that for the first time in Egypt, a blogger has been sentenced to a jail sentence. In his blog, Abdel Karim Nabil called Hosni Mubarak a "symbol of dictatorship," and Al-Azhar University a "university of terror." Now he's been handed down a four-year sentence: three years for defaming Islam, and one for insulting the Egyptian president. "'If we let people like him off without punishment, a wildfire will blaze up that consumes everything in its path,' prosecutor Mohammed Dawud warned. Exactly that is what civil rights activists dream of, many of whom pin their hopes on a grass-roots digital democratisation initiated by the country's bloggers."


Ijoma Mangold is delighted with author Ingo Schulze's newest book, a group of 13 short stories called "Handy. Dreizehn Geschichten in alter Manier" (mobile phone: thirteen stories in the old manner). "Ingo Schulze has brought a book to completion that seduces the reader by appearing as nothing other than life itself. The author possesses the high art of having everything artificial about his narration disappear entirely. Here, form is one with content, and functions like a sort of fairy-tale garment which is so perfectly tailored that it can no longer be told apart from the body it envelops." Mangold gives an example: "Franziska, who has just learned to speak, discovers an orange peel in the grass and asks 'wahs?', or what is it. Her father answers patiently as ever: 'An orange peel.' But the story takes a leap: 'We both looked at the orange peel and with it, the wonder that there were orange peels and us and everyone and everything, the whole wonder, nothing more and nothing less. There's nothing more to say, don't ask for elucidation. We comprehended the wonder that we existed. Period.'"

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