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GoetheInstitute

20/03/2007

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.

Süddeutsche Zeitung 20.03.2007

In a new book of poems "Dummer August" (everybody's fool) due for publication soon, Günter Grass mounts a stinging attack against his critics and against that paper "where – in Frankfurt am Main / baseness as might pushes profits high / and old shit is stirred." Thomas Steinfeld would prefer to see poetry and revenge kept apart. "By - seemingly - looking inside himself and exposing his innermost feelings to the world, by presenting himself as nothing but a lyrical sensibility against which all objections, all criticism, all arguments will be dashed to smithereens, he is trying to set himself above the rest. In the cloak of his poetry art shall triumph, shall have the last word against the newspapers. The far more appropriate response, in the form of quiet, reflected prose, is cast aside by Günter Grass, or not at his disposal."


Berliner Zeitung
20.03.2007

In an interview with Natascha Freundel, writer Maxim Biller talks about the L word and his newest book "Liebe heute" (love today): "What I do know is that it's incredibly exciting to spend your time waiting for the love of your life, and that most often it all goes terribly wrong when you think you've finally found it. Because of course you haven't found it, or at least not the way you'd imagined it. And even if you have found it, the relationship's not going to work anyway.... I know people who've set themselves up in a little love nest, and who live much more sordid lives than people who spend their whole time trying to find love and always fail. But when you finally get used to the idea that there's no such thing as true love, it's not funny at all, like being buried alive. If people didn't make children when they made love, I'd say they should do nothing other than hysterically pursue true love, until they either find it or die trying."


Neue Zürcher Zeitung 20.03.2007

Samuel Herzog has leafed through the first issue of Documenta 12 Magazine, which is to prepare the public for the Documenta contemporary art exhibition that opens June 16 in Kassel. This issue asks the question "Modernity?" and is filled with copious amounts of grey discourse, Herzog writes. But there are also some surprises. "Gao Minglu, for example, gives a clever analysis of the particularities of the Chinese avant-garde in the 1980s, comparing it to the Western phenomenon of the 1970s. Ruben Gallo tells the bizarre story of El Buen Tono, Mexico's biggest tobacco company, which created its own radio station in 1923. And Helena Mattsson and Sven-Olov Wallenstein analyse the special nature of Swedish modernity."


Frankfurter Rundschau
20.03.2007

Nikolaus Merck was at the world premiere of Tine Rahel Völcker's play "Die Höhle vor der Stadt in einem Land mit Nazis und Bäumen" (the cave before the city in a land with trees and Nazis) on Friday in the Nationaltheater in Weimar. "The young actors Paul Enke, Ina Piontek, Thomas Braungardt, Jonathan Loosli and Antje Trautmann make the basic problem very clear: how does an 'I', an 'identity', grow when it's torn between social pressure and its own beliefs? When the actors all start marching around their bookshelf shouting louder and louder 'I'll be dead soon, and I haven't achieved a thing,' you can't help hearing Schiller's Tarzan cry that pervades all German identity drama, that is Don Carlos' words: '23 years old and still done nothing for immortality.'"


Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung 20.03.2007

Polish historian Bogdan Musial has discovered a dark stain on the Zygmunt Bauman's jacket – and uncovers the Stalinist past of the world famous sociologist. "The fact is that Bauman was deeply involved with the violent communist regime in Poland for more than 20 years, fighting real and supposed enemies of Stalinism with a weapon in his hand, shooting them in the back. His activities can hardly be passed off as the youthful transgressions of an intellectual seduced and led astray by communist ideology. And it is astonishing that Bauman, who so loves to point the finger, does not reflect on his own deeds."

Catrin Lorch entered a "blind spot in our minds," Gregor Schneider's clinical reconstruction of the high security cells in Guantanamo, on show at the Dusseldorf K21. Schneider, a German sculptor who has constructed dead rooms since his early youth, "has deliberately made this structure feel like a piece of scenery. The doors are light, the walls thin. The details are not so much pieces of evidence of reality in Guantanamo as cues for our thinking: an open pipe above a metal grated hole, a darkened mirror, a mint-green security grating with openings at hand and foot height and an arrow painted on the floor pointing towards Mecca. Small recessed handles fitted on the inside of the sliding doors and bright green emergency exit lights that point the way out of the installation are indicators of the restraint Schneider has exercised here: this sculpture is not fate, but voluntary experience."

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