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GoetheInstitute

19/04/2007

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.

Der Standard 19 April 2007

In an interview with Eduard Steiner, Gary Kasparov, world chess champion and leader of the Russian opposition comments on the fear inspired by the state in the opposition. He is indignant that European politicians continue to assist Putin’s efforts to discredit democracy. “Berlusconi and Schröder are the ones who are destroying the idea of democracy in the minds of the Russians. They are the purchasable accomplices of Putin’s criminality.” His prognosis for the near future: “I have no doubt that this fall, Russia will experience a severe political crisis and that the split in the Kremlin will become evident. By October, the victors in the Kremlin will be known. The losers will be obliged to react. For many, the option of working with us to establish democratic institutions may be the best way out, at least to ensure their own continued prosperity.”



Süddeutsche Zeitung
19 April 2007

“Does this tell us anything?” asks Tobias Kniebe, and subjects two playlets written by Cho Seung-Hui, the 23-year-old “shooter of Virginia”, to a hermeneutics exegesis. “Richard McBeef and Mr. Brownstone, as the two works are entitled, reveal an enormous sense of rage on their 10 and 11 pages respectively. Both texts revolve around teenagers who vent their hatred of adults in dialogue form and in the most drastic fashion. In Richard McBeef, 13-year-old John engages in verbal battle with his stepfather. When the latter pesters him, John calls him a paedophile pervert, accuses him of murdering his own father, ridicules him for eating at McDonald’s and being a loser, before attempting, finally, to choke him with a granola bar. Mr. Brownstone is a sort of mathematics teacher from hell who has apparently raped and humiliated two teenage boys and a girl, all 13 years of age. For pages on end, his victims explain that he must die, but it never actually comes to that.”


Die Tageszeitung
19.04.2007

Amin Farzanefar wanted to know how a film school functions in Iraq and asked Kassim Abid, co-founder and co-director of the Independent Film and TV College in Baghdad. "You can tell many stories without risking your life. You show the conflict indirectly, it can even be better that way. You show how the conflict affects common people, you show everyday life in Iraq... Unter Saddam, you needed a permit for every shoot. Now we censor ourselves. What is certain, where is the red line? If you criticise the regime, you have a problem and if you praise it, you also have a problem."


Die Zeit 19.04.2007

"We're going to go down," writes T.C. Boyle, possible ironically, in his contribution to a series on the future of nature. "Why brush your teeth, why go to school, why raise children, why pay rent, why even budge if everything is meaningless and only death is certain? That is the ugly truth overshadowing our environmental program: there is no hope."

Claus Spahn portrays possibly the world's shyest soloist, the Russian pianist Grigory Sokolov, who prefers not to go on tour, not to record CDs and not to give interviews. "All of his gestures say: pay no attention to me! Don't look at my person! I'm not the one making art. But he is. He does make art and how! In Sokolow's concerts, one learns that music is played on instruments but it's actually ringing thinking and feeling. Under his hands, the notes lose their conditions and origins. Sokolov touches the keys with perfect technique – and at the same time with a naturalness that goes beyond all virtuous talent."


Neue Zürcher Zeitung 19 April 2007

It annoys the Japanese that 90% of the Japanese restaurants in Paris and elsewhere are run by Chinese incapable of preparing their national cuisine properly. Now they have established a committee for the certification of Japanese restaurants abroad, reports Irmela Hijiya-Kirschnereit: “The plan has drawn ridicule, including jokes about the sushi police…...still, the discussion has also recalled that the Japanese have always been eager to take up and assimilate foreign influences - in the culinary arts as well. Just think of tempura, which took hold in the 16th century with the Portuguese, who also introduced, incidentally, sponge cake in moulds, sweet potatoes, corn and peppers.” The sushi police are by no means intended to disseminate a dogmatic image of Japanese cooking. Stressed is their openness and informational function, reports Hijiya-Kirschnereit, who offers a useful hyperlink.




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