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GoetheInstitute

14/05/2007

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.

Monday 14 May, 2007

Berliner Zeitung 14.05.2007

The Cannes Film Festival starts on Wednesday. Festival director Thierry Fremeaux speaks with Marcus Rothe about the films in competition: "This year new borders are a major theme. Nowadays these are less geographical and more intellectual, a thing of the mind. Some examples: Chinese director Wong Kar-wai shot a film in the USA with French money: a real case of globalisation. Fatih Akin's film is about the universal dialogue of Western and Islamic cultures. And the Austrian Ulrich Seidl shows in 'Import/Export' that the relations between the West and the post-communist Eastern Europe are no longer political, but economic in nature."


Frankfurter Rundschau 12.05.2007

Ina Hartwig is excited to find that passion is still burning in the literature industry. The proof is in the recent edition of the literary magazine Bella triste published by students in Hildesheim. A pure celebration of poetry, by poets. "There is one thing this edition is not, and that is cool. It's hot, fired up and passionate. An orgy of avowal which has latched onto the poem of all things! Spanning the gamut from the die-hard absolutism of youth to the macro-view steeled by experience. As diverse as the individual positions might be, the writers are united in a glow of belief bordering on naivity in poetry today."


Saturday 12 May, 2007

Die Welt 12.05.2007

"Two Polish camps are facing off today. A Poland of suspicion, fear and revenge is struggling with a Poland of hope, courage and dialogue," writes Adam Michnik, chief editor of the daily Gazeta Wyborcza and former Solidarnosc leader, on Poland under the Kaczynski brothers. "The Solidarnosc veterans believed they would come to power after the fall of the dictatorship. But the guilty communists weren't penalised and the virtuous Solidarnosc activists weren't recompensed. Feelings of being treated unfairly led to bitterness, envy and aggression, aimed at revenge on former enemies and seemingly successful former friends. But the losers refused to recognise that achieving freedom was Poland's biggest success in the last 300 years." See our feature "In search of lost sense," by Adam Michnik.


Neue Zürcher Zeitung 12.05.2007

Karin Wenger reports from Iraq on the increasingly difficult situation for intellectuals and artists in the country. A true cultural life no longer exists - and critical intellectuals are even threatened in exile: "Teaching continues at universities in Baghdad, but only two to three days a week, explains an Iraqi physics teacher. This is to avoid subjecting students and professors to unnecessary danger on the streets and in the universities, she says. But she will say no more about the dangers intellectuals are subjected to in Baghdad, because rumours have been going around for more than half a year that intellectuals are no longer safe even in exile, and that hired killers are sent to silence them from Baghdad.... Word has it that above all Iran is increasingly making its influence felt, chasing Sunni academics, who are in the majority, into exile, murdering them and replacing them with Shiites sympathetic to its cause."


Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung
12.05.2007

Having read Amartya Sen's book "Identity and Violence", Mark Siemons is thoroughly convinced by Sen's dual imperative, that different cultures should be recognised, but also that the individual should have the freedom to decide for or against belonging to a culture. "A fear of cultural relativism is in the air which threatens to perforate our own principles. It seems that the confrontation with fundamentalism is breeding in the west a growing desire for a comparable reduction in complexity, a backwards turn of the screw away from the differentiation we have achieved, for a world that can be understood according to fixed cultural and religious systems. A society like the German one should feel guilty if its profile cannot be reduced to the clearly delineated denominator of 'leitkultur' (defining culture).


Die Tageszeitung
14.05.2007

Curator Alexander Horwath explains to Brigitte Werneburg in an interview why films at the upcoming documenta will be shown in the old fashioned way, in the cinema. "Take Kurt Kren's 'Tree Again': a tree in Vermont, a 3 minute film, filmed in stills over the course of 50 days, no sound. This can affect you as a viewer in ways you will never experience anywhere else. In many exhibitions you would be hard put even to notice that this was a work with no sound because all sorts of sounds will be coming in from elsewhere. And that this is a three-minute art work, time crystallised, not a loop."

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Saturday 13 - Friday 19 November, 2010

Dieter Schlesak levels grave accusations against his former friend and colleague, Oskar Pastior, who spied on him for the Securitate. Banat-Swabian author and vice chairman of the Oskar Pastior Foundation, Ernest Wichner, turns on Schlesak for spreading malicious rumours. Die Zeit portrays the Berlin rapper Harris, and the moment he knew he was German. Dutch author Cees Nooteboom meditates on the near lust for physical torture in the paintings of Francisco de Zurburan. An exhibition in Mannheim displays the dream house photography of Julius Schulman.
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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

Now that German TV has just beatified Pope Pius XII, Rolf Hochmuth tells die Welt where he got the idea for his play "The Deputy". The FR celebrates Elfriede Jelinek's "brilliantly malicious" farce about the collapse of the Cologne City Archive. "Carlos" director Olivier Assayas makes it clear that the revolutionary subject is a figment of the imagination. The SZ returns from the Shanghai Expo with a cloying after-taste of sweet 'n' sour. And historian Wang Hui tells the NZZ that China's intellectuals have plenty of freedom to pose critical questions.
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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

A new book chronicles the revolt of revolting "third persons" at Suhrkamp publishers in the wild days of 1968. Necla Kelek is appalled by the speech of the very Christian Christian Wulff, the German president, in Turkey. The taz met a new faction of hardcore Palestinians who are fighting for separate sex hairdressing in Gaza. Sinologist Andreas Schlieker reports on the new Chinese willingness to restructure the heart. And the Cologne band Erdmöbel celebrate the famous halo around the frying pan.
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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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