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GoetheInstitute

13/04/2007

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.

Berliner Zeitung 13.04.2007

Ukrainian author Mykola Riabchuk is against seeing the events in Ukraine as a simple clash between rival rulers Victor Yushchenko and Viktor Yanukovych. "It would also be too simple to view the conflict as a mere rivalry between two oligarchical clans - 'millionaire versus billionaire,' as observers joked during the revolution - or as a regional tension between the 'pro-Russian East' and the 'pro-European West.' Basically, the conflict is the upshot of an 'unfinished revolution,' one that did not thoroughly do away with the Soviet legacy - either in 1991 when Ukraine became independent, or with the 2004 Orange uprising. Nevertheless, the chances for radical change in 1991 were slight: the democratic powers were weak and only got a third of the vote in the parliamentary and presidential elections. But in 2004 thing were different. It was blundering and shabby behaviour and infighting among the Orange leaders that brought about their parliamentary defeat in 2006, and with it Yanukovych's return."


Die Tageszeitung 13.04.2007

In an interview with Stefan Reinecke and Daniel Bax, French philosopher Bernard-Henri Levy takes a romp through the world's problems, touching on his new book "American Vertigo", European Anti-Americanism and totalitarian Islam on the way. He believes it is a grave mistake to think that Islamic terrorist organisations such as Hamas will become less radical when they get into government. "There are also terrorist movements which did not become more moderate once they got into power. The National Socialists in Germany were one such example. In the twenties all number of people believed that they would calm down once in power. And what happened? How can you as a German be so sure that things will work out better with this precedent?"


Der Tagesspiegel 13.04.2007

Gregor Dotzauer works himself into a rage in his review of Andre Glucksmann's autobiography "Une rage d'enfant," (see our feature here), which has just come out in German: "Very often, the mirror of autobiography leads writers to discover a stranger. Glucksmann, however, sees pretty much exactly the independent, anti-ideological spirit he purports always to have been. His political u-turn at the beginning of the 70s? A bagatelle. And his membership in the French Communist Party, before he was expelled in 1957 for protesting against the quashing of the Hungarian Uprising isn't even mentioned. The months spent as an 'anarcho-maoist' after May '68 are only briefly referred to. It seems that nothing is worse for a political renegade like Glucksmann than having to admit to himself that he's just continuing his old mission under a new guise. Gluckmann's thinking and feeling as documented in this book betray a two-fold, internally conflicting continuity. There is the silent and the overt, the first lurks in the shallows of memory and the second is manufactured as literature."


Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung 13.04.2007

The Pope has written a new book "Jesus of Nazareth," signing the foreword with both his private and papal name. Christian Geyer found it an impressive read, and is eager to find out what the response will be from theologians. "It spices up the discussion about the substance of a world religion, and tears this world religion out of its two-dimensional self-perception as a mere humanitarian and ethical project. Metaphysical seriousness has regained a point of reference. This is the achievement of this book which cannot be valued highly enough."


Frankfurter Rundschau 13.04.2007

Martina Meister reports that in the French presidential elections, the intellectuals are less visible and audible than they have been in the past. "Show business VIPs have taken on the old role of the French intellectuals. As if the brief lightening storm had replaced the weight of words once and for all. 'What's become of the intellectuals?" one worried commentator asks in the Catholic daily La Croix, who described their role as election celebrities as having shrunk to that of cheap extras."

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Saturday 23 - Friday 29 October, 2010

Author Doron Rabinovici protests against the concessions of moderate Austrian politicians to the FPÖ: recently in Vienna, children were sent back to Kosovo at gunpoint. Ian McEwan wonders why major German novelists didn't mention the Wall. The NZZ looks through the Priz Goncourt shortlist and finds plenty of writers with more bite than Houellebecq. The FAZ outs two of Germany's leading journalists who fiercely guarded the German Foreign Ministry's Nazi past. Jens-Martin Eriksen and Frederik Stjernfelt analyse the symptoms of culturalism, left and right. Hans Ulrich Gumbrecht demonstratively yawns at German debate.
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Saturday 16 - Friday 22 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

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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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