Writing against disappearance ? Sa?a Stani?i?

Sa?a Stani?i?, who grew up in Bosnia-Herzegovina and Germany, writes regional novels of an unusual kind. His novel ?Vor dem Fest? was awarded the Prize of the Leipzig Book Fair. ... more more

GoetheInstitute

18/06/2007

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 18 June, 2007

Die Welt
18.06.2007

Eckhard Fuhr was at the Berliner Ensemble theatre on Friday night for an evening celebrating the 60th anniversary of the founding of the "Gruppe 47," which was at the heart of German postwar literature until it disbanded in 1967. Present were authors Günter Grass and Martin Walser, and critic Joachim Kaiser. "Martin Walser was the one who distanced himself most from the group. He first met with them in 1953, and in 1955 he won their literature prize for his story 'Templone's Ende' (Templone's end). But then he seems to have suffered at their hands. Walser quoted at length from contemporary critics, primarily Hans Habe, who called the group a 'sort of Hitler Youth' and 'literary hooligan.' Although he didn't exactly associate himself with this position, Walser did admit he was unsure why the group drew such excessive enmity upon itself. Then, to the general astonishment of presenter Wolfgang Herles and everyone else, Walser went on to report in great detail how Franz Josef Strauß (long time conservative minister in the Federal Republic and premier of Bavaria - ed), read his manuscripts, and how excruciating this ritual was. In fact he meant the writer Franz Joseph Schneider, but it took a good while before Joachim Kaiser could interrupt him and set him straight."


Süddeutsche Zeitung 18.06.2007

Palestinian writer Hassan Khader finds that the romantic nationalism of his patriots has finally been exhausted. Now the Israeli occupiers are being copied. "Hamas speakers have declared entire quarters of Gaza to be military-only zones, their people in combat areas have ordered the capitulating security forces to take off their clothes and come out of their buildings, half naked. It's common practice among the Israelis in the West Bank and Gaza to declare an area a military zone and then order the people to take off their clothes before being arrested. The only improvement by Hamas was to drive people through the streets in front of rolling television cameras and journalists and to shoot over their heads into the air. It's hard to understand how anyone could miss the irony of the situation."


Der Tagesspiegel 18.06.2007

Bernhard Schulz explains that architect Andreas Meck is going to design the Berlin memorial for those killed in the Bundeswehr (the German federal armed forces). "Meck's design doesn't deny all pathos, but plays it down. He optically softens the massiveness of the concrete blocks, 10 metres high, with a bronze curtain. Meck uses hard-edged shafts and forward-leaning flag masts to pay respect to the traditional repertoire of national memorials. Before the jury's decision was published, it demanded that the 2,600 names of the dead be made more visible – a patented recipe which has been a convention since the Wahshington Vietnam Memorial's commemoration of 58,000 names. Here in Germany, the naming of names is a necessary feature of all Holocaust memorials. But with the Bundeswehr memorial, it's not about retrieving individual fates from forgotten realms."


Frankfurter Rundschau
18.06.2007

The paper publishes an excerpt from a lecture held by political scientist Wolfgang Kraushaar on the installation artist Gustav Metzger, who had a major behind-the-scenes influence on rock musicians like Pete Townshend (his blog). "It's no coincidence that, in December 1962, Townsend went to a lecture at the Ealing School of in London on the relationship between self-destructive and self-creative art. The speaker was an artist known only to a small circle: the German-Jewish emigre Gustav Metzger. A total of 50 slides were shown and explained that evening. One of them made a lasting impression on the young art student. It showed the action of a Japanese artist: Saburo Murakami, member of the Gutai Group – founded in 1954 in Osaka – leaping through a paper strip with his arm extended above his head, his fist balled. Later there was rarely a Who show in which Townshend didn't jump onto the stage in this position."


Neue Zürcher Zeitung 18.06.2007

Uwe Justus Wenzel visited a conference at the Einstein Forum in Potsdam on "The Future of the Character," where he met some new sociological "types" such as the "therapeutic self" and the "histrio": "The histrionic social character is, as its name indicates, an actor who owes his theatrical appearances to the omnipresent culture of television. He is easily excitable, and his feelings of egocentricity, superficiality, persuasibility, and susceptibility are displayed often exaggeratedly, accompanied by both the individual penchant and general pressure to emotional self-presentation."


Saturday 16 June, 2007

Neue Zürcher Zeitung 16.06.2007

Documenta 12, the major contemporary art exhibition taking place every five years in Kassel, seems to have no message at all this year, but that doesn't bother Samuel Herzog. On the contrary: "Roger M. Buergel's event inspires an easy pace - you can stroll though the wooded grounds, things appear and disappear, everything is somehow important, and yet also somehow unimportant. The path through the show is gentle, avoiding steep rises and deep abysses. Documenta 12 sees itself as an aesthetic alternative to the booming art market and its love for glamour and the spectacular. And in fact, most of the artists presented are not among the major market protagonists. But that's all this walk through the Kassel woods aims to achieve: there's no focus or central message we're supposed to receive or understand."


Der Tagesspiegel 16.06.2007

Christiane Meixner went to Berlin's Martin Groupius Bau museum for the "Cindy Sherman" show, which opened on Friday. "Numerous international loans ensure nothing is missing from the entire gamut of Sherman's self-reflections, from the early black and white portraits to the colour 'fashion' series with poses from fashion magazines, to the 'Fairy Tales' of the 1980s right up to the photographs based on historical paintings. All of this is complemented by rare photographs featuring other protagonists, including her pornographic puppet games showing dislocated or mutilated bodies. These are the first of her works to show such mutilation, even if the models are just mannequins and anatomic models."

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