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GoetheInstitute

09/03/2007

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.

Die Welt 09.03.2007

A Greek-Turkish video war on YouTube has attracted the attention of Boris Kalnoky. After a Greek user posted a clip in which he described the great Atatürk as "the father of the gay Turks", a court in Istanbul blocked YouTube access. This did not prevent 129 anti-Greek videos being posted (here the results for an Atatürk gay search). "Now the Turkish blogosphere is furiously debating whether it was right to block YouTube. On one side are the back-patters: 'Thanks to all of you who taught YouTube a lesson," writes Lalpay in a reader comment on the Internet station KanalTürk. On the other are numerous voices who don't want to live without YouTube. A group of students wrote to the court requesting that the decision be reversed, arguing it was not the maker of the video who was being punished, but the citizens of Turkey who wanted to use YouTube.... Then there are some outsiders from the grin-and-bear-it school: 'What a beautiful fatherland. The world is insulting us but are we solving the problem just by not watching it? We are a joke,' writes Bulba."


Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung
09.03.2007

Jürg Altwegg reports from France on the sympathies of former leftist intellectuals for right-wing presidential candidate Nicolas Sarkozy, recommending people shouldn't let outsider Francois Bayrou out of their sights: "Around 20 percent of voters now openly support Bayrou in the polls. And he only stands to gain from attacks levelled at him by the increasingly nervous favourites. It could well be, for example, that Alain Finkielkraut, angered by rumours that he was siding with Sarkozy, will come out in favour of Bayrou. His biggest hurdle remains the first ballot. In a run-off second ballot, all the polls are giving Bayrou the lead over both Royal and Sarkozy."

Martin Wittmann writes that the dachshund, long Germany's most beloved dog (photos here), is now threatened with extinction: "With its sausage body and crooked legs, the dachshund is basically a very silly-looking pet, whether long, short or wire-haired... And now the romance is over. In the hard-nosed global competition, our long-standing but unattractive companion has no chance against the gorgeous golden retriever. Owners bronze themselves in the tanning salons, while in the dog parlours hair is being bleached. People are getting darker, their dogs are getting lighter. Germans always walked behind their dachshunds, and now they're letting them be the first reach the happy hunting ground in the sky."


Die Welt 09.03.2007

Peter Zander speaks with director Volker Schlöndorff, whose Solidarnosc film "Strajk" has just come out in Germany. Asked whether Polish dissatisfaction with his telling of the story led to problems during shooting, Schlöndorff replies: "On the contrary, the film was incredibly easy to shoot, with Katharina Thalbach in the lead role and the shipyard as our only set. Every morning we walked by the clocking-in machine, the dockyard was like a huge studio for us. Of course the workers were delighted someone was telling their story once again. And for me it's also important that people come away thinking, aha! so that's how you build a ship! (...) The Polish actors were fantastic, and incredibly eager to help Kati when she spoke German, and when they spoke Polish. And now the paradox is that there are two original versions. From an artistic point of view the German version is simply better, because Kati is just stunningly good, and her voice is like a dream. But the Polish version is more authentic, that adds a lot of colour."


Neue Zürcher Zeitung 09.03.2007

In the series "Yesterday's future" author Georg Klein remembers John Wyndham's novel "The Day of the Triffids" from 1951. "People knew that the plants could spread their roots and lurch forwards on their three stalk stumps. But suddenly they were beginning to understand the extent of their perception and communication abilities, not to mention their collective intelligence. It is as if the strange green stuff had just been waiting for the opportunity to strike out. The blind and the seeing, the whole human race and its proud culture was on the verge of succumbing to the will to kill of a man-sized plant, which when preparing for attack, drums its stem with three short shoots. (...) In a plant's even green, in the serial variety of its shoots and leaves shines the radical brutality of the very principle of 'life' itself. 'It', or life, desires nothing more than just to go on."

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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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Saturday 23 - Friday 29 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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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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