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GoetheInstitute

03/04/2007

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 03.04.2007

Artist Ai Weiwei explains to Henrik Bork in an interview why he's bringing 1001 Chinese to the documenta in Kassel for his "Fairytale" project. "What interests me about Kassel is what happens there with an 18 year old girl who comes from the Northwest province of Gansu, where she farms potatoes. Or with a minority woman from the remote province of Guangxi who thus far does not have a name of her own. She had to be given one for her passport. They're now discovering that a name is something more than what your husband needs to call you. This is being recorded by one of the best documentary filmmakers and writers in our country. It's the process that interests me most. At the end, we'll all meet for a big party in Kassel."

Young Israelis are increasingly blaming Poles for the Holocaust, writes Israeli historian Moshe Zimmermann in bewilderment, on the basis of travel accounts he's heard and read. "The most common term for Poland you hear from travellers from the 'Holy Land' is 'accursed, impure land,' because it's 'the biggest Jewish cemetery in the world' and where the concentration camps are located. This relationship to the Polish territory leads to an over-simplified attitude to 'the' Pole, and to a lack of distinction between past and present. Now we hear that the Polish army capitulated without a fight, while the Jews fought back against the Nazis. What else should an Israeli soldier imagine, if there's no mention of the Polish Uprising of autumn 1944 in the short history of Warsaw that's been prepared for his benefit?"


Berliner Zeitung 03.04.2007

Author Hussain Al-Mozany explains what a taboo Mina Ahadi (more) has broken in founding the Central Council of Ex-Muslims (more). One cannot leave Islam. Even Idi Amin is said to have been shocked when he decided to be converted by Muammar al-Gaddafi. ("What kind of a horrible religion is this? When you join it: off with the dick. When you leave it: off with the head!") "In the Islamic clergy there is consensus that the lapsed must be punished with death... Only in comparison to that does the Central Council of ex-Muslims seem to have done well for itself. The committee of the lapsed wants to provoke, but the reaction among Muslims has been moderate so far. But council members have been receiving death threats from the beginning. The official Muslim councils have kept quiet about these; they are taking a passive position, which is just as appalling as the basic position of Islamic institutions on Islamic terrorists. Not one single terrorist was named an infidel, not even Bin Laden or Al-Zawahiri or Al- Sarkawi."


Die Tageszeitung 03.04.2007

Dorothea Marcus has breathed the vibrant atmosphere at the F.I.N.D. festival of young Israeli dramatists in Berlin's Schaubühne theatre (English programme as pdf here). "Germans could get jealous when they hear about the huge importance of contemporary theatre in Israel. Classics are hardly ever staged, 80 percent of plays performed are by contemporary authors. People go to the theatre like crazy, and productions can have up to 500 performances. 'Theatre fulfils the role of the campfire, and gives people an opportunity to work through their problems psychologically,' says director, dramaturge and translator Abihail Milstein in perfect German. And the third generation in Israel? Author Shlomi Moshkovitz sums up the mindset of his age group: 'We're no longer just victims, we're also executioners - we have to define ourselves anew.'"


Neue Zürcher Zeitung 03.04.2007

Kersten Knipp sweetens up the morning with some first class literary gossip. Why did the once close writer friends Gabriel Garcia Marquez and Mario Vargas Llosa become estranged? The story takes place in front of a cinema in Mexico City in 1976, and centres around Vargas Llosa's wife Patricia. Knipp quotes Garcia Marquez' wife Mercedes' version of the tale: "Garcia Marquez went joyously up to his friend, whereupon Vargas Llosa delivered a punch that sent the author of 'One Hundred Years of Solitude' reeling to the ground. 'How dare you come up and hug me after what you did with Patricia in Barcelona,' Vargas Llosa is said to have yelled... Since then, his standard answer when asked about the reason for the wrangle has been: 'Let's leave the matter to the historians'." Here a recently published photo of Garcia Marquez after the punch.

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