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GoetheInstitute

03/08/2007

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.

Neue Zürcher Zeitung 03.08.2007

The use of journalism as an instrument to describe reality and uncover the truth never really caught on in Germany, writes media historian Lutz Hachmeister. He names Friedrich Sieburg as a founding figure in blocking this function of journalism, then discusses today's neo-bourgeois "neo-journalism" and representative figures such as Frank Schirrmacher, publisher of the Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung: "The values behind neo-journalism can be boiled down to the electoral slogan Marshal Petain coined for collaborating France: travail, famille, patrie – work, family, fatherland. Today this is enriched by godliness and a love of the Pope. This development has to do with the retirement of an entire generation of formative post-war journalists and publishers; with the deliberate distancing of the younger generation of opinon makers from any form of politics or pedagogy related to 1968; with the latent threat to German welfare by globalisation; and above all with today's political vacuum. What we're missing is a modern left-liberal political project that could also inspire journalists."


After the bomb attacks in Casablanca a few months ago, Beat Stauffer summarises the discussion of terrorism in Morocco, and talks among others to Mohamed Darif, professor of political science at Mohamedia University. He discovers "on the one hand the confounding fact that the suicide bombers don't come from poverty-stricken areas, but from the middle classes, and lead perfectly unobtrusive lives until the moment of the attack. On the other hand, several factors show that there are further cells in the country which could be planning suicide attacks."


Frankfurter Rundschau 03.08.2007

Wolfgang Kunath analyses the self-doubt plaguing Brazil after the recent plane crash in Sao Paulo. "An aeroplane, of all things! Ever since Alberto Santos Dumont, the son of a coffee farmer, made his first hops in a heavier-than-air flying machine in the Bois de Boulogne a hundred years ago, dominating the skies has been the Brazilian national metaphor for progress. Regardless of whether the Brazilian air pioneer was the first, or only the second to fly after the Wright brothers, he remains a national hero. The Zeppelin that flies above Sugarloaf Mountain; the capital Brasilia that was built up from scratch and whose outline resembles an aeroplane; the Embraer company, the third-largest aeroplane manufacturer in the world – all of these are emblematic of the role aviation plays in the country's self-image. Even Congonhas, the overloaded airport in the middle of Sao Paolo where the accident took place, was once a symbol for how seriously the country took the gruff motto 'Order and Progress' on its flag."


Die Welt
03.08.2007

Uta Baier reports on recent findings which suggest that the legendary bronze statue of the Capitonline she-wolf was not created in Antiquity but in the Middle Ages. Restorers believe that the "bronze animal originates from a time between the 9th and the 13th century – which makes it even younger than the lion of Braunschweig, which dates back to 1166. This naturally rules out that it is the work of legendary Etruscan sculptor and master builder Vulca, who lived in the 6th century BC." The matter will be cleared up once and for all by a C14 test.


Die Tageszeitung
03.08.2007

The German Gangsta Rap scene is dominated by children of immigrant families who earn their money by reproducing and reinforcing prejudices held against them, explains rapper-turned-writer Murat Güngör. "And the so-called taboo breaking they come up with is nothing other than the reproduction of backward and reactionary images of the so-called migrant ghetto. The rappers are both the perpetrators and the victims of these images. Their success rests on the emotive power of racist stereotypes about tough boys from the ghetto."


Süddeutsche Zeitung 03.08.2007

Sonja Zekri visits the leader of the Russian National Bolsheviks, Eduard Limonov. She no longer thinks this routine rabble-rouser is dangerous, more amusing. "In a quiet quarter behind the station in Kursk, the shell of a children's playground looms between the housing blocks. A young man opens the door, black suit, deadly serious expression. Then comes Limonov. He is slimmer than before, in a black shirt and tie with a grey pointy beard. Part Trotzsky, part Catweazel. It seems to cost him a considerable effort to shake my hand, he doesn't look visitors in the eye. The man is cagey and looks like he could do with a good night's sleep (poor child!) Only his words still betray a full-blown Napoleon complex."


Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung
03.08.2007

Israeli writer Amos Oz is optimistic about the situation in Israel and Palestine. "Few people seem to have registered the good news from the Middle East. The separation of the Gaza Strip and the West Bank is an historic chance for peace for Israel and the Autonomous Authorities of President Abbas. Both governments accept the two-state solution, the principle of 'land for freedom' and the goal of ending Israeli occupation. Undoubtedly there are a number of points of contention but the divide is not unbridgeable. In serious talks they will be able to overcome their differences and broker a deal."

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Saturday 6 - Friday 12 November, 2010

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Saturday 23 - Friday 29 October, 2010

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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

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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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