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GoetheInstitute

09/08/2007

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.

Die Welt 09.08.2007

"An accident? A material defect? Ulterior motives?" Dankwart Guratzsch ponders over why just two years after being completed, one sixth of all the concrete stelae in architect Peter Eisenman's Holocaust Memorial in Berlin have now developed cracks. "Before repair work starts, we should really consider Eisenman's intentions. Because it doesn't seem all too far-fetched to think he may have realised a long-cherished idea. Again and again, this mastermind of deconstructivism has complained that architecture is 'the most difficult of all disciplines to destabilise, because it aspires to stability by its very nature.' It has remained practically still for 500 years. But after the sciences and philosophy plunged the world into a fundamental upheaval, Eisenman has declared that it's the time for architects to realise 'a new concept of the world'. Rather than a construction defect, could the 400 stelae now showing cracks reflect a 'construction principle'?"


Der Tagesspiegel
09.08.2007

Former world chess champion and Russian dissident Garry Kasparov writes that to understand the Putin regime one should read not the political classics but Mario Puzo: "Historians see elements of Mussolini's 'corporate state,' Latin American juntas and Mexico's pseudo-democratic Institutional Revolutionary Party in today's Kremlin. But any Puzo fan sees deeper into Putin's government. The strict hierarchy, the blackmail and intimidation, the secrecy codes - and above all profit-first mandate: what we've got here is a Mafia. When a member of the inner circle rebels against the Godfather, he pays with his life."


Neue Zürcher Zeitung 09.08.2007

Islam expert Christian Meier describes the huge problem that Islamic society has with HIV-Aids. The first HIV-infected man in Egypt was put into hospital under strictest quarantine and shot by his panic-stricken minders. The authorities are disclaiming responsibility or denying the problem outright. Foreign countries and still darker powers have been blamed for introducing diseases – a familiar behaviour pattern around the world. Until a few years ago in several Arab countries the official HIV quota was officially zero percent, which made it more difficult for international organisations to access reliable statistics."


Süddeutsche Zeitung 09.08.2007

Tobias Kniebe managed somehow to get his hands on the script of Bryan Singer's film project about Stauffenberg, "Valkyrie", and was amazed by what he found. "It has the makings of a great film. A masterpiece even... Never before has a Stauffenberg film made it so clear how long it took to forge the plans to kill Hitler, how many failed attempts there were, with Stauffenberg himself driving numerous times to the Führer's HQ with the bomb in his luggage, before he finally got the opportunity to set it off. Other films have cut this drastically, probably because they were anxious not to confuse the audience. The experienced thriller writer Christopher McQuarrie, however, who penned the Oscar-winning and highly convoluted plot for Bryan Singer's "The Usual Suspects" has no problem with complexity. He has used it to bring the true potential of this historical thriller to the screen. And the wealth of background information should please even historians – as long as they can turn a blind eye to a scene or two."


Die Welt 09.08.2007

Ukrainian author Andrey Kurkov who writes in Russian explains why he has retreated from the language war raging in his country. "All these years I have protested against the plans to raise Russian to the second state language. Then finally I understood that everything was just a political game. It's only the politicians that need a language debate. The people don't have any such problems. The differences between Russian and Ukrainian are less than between German and Dutch. In Kiev, I often hear people asking a question in Russian that gets answered in Ukrainian, and no one is bothered in the least."


Die Tageszeitung 09.08.2007

Morocco's King Mohammed VI plans to develop Tangiers into a modern centre of trade and finance. "Things are well under way," reports Ronald Düker. "Since the beginning of July, ferries and cargo ships have been docking at the first terminal of the mega-harbour 'Tangier Med.' Greek shipping companies docking here are now exporting Moroccan wares all over the world, while supplying local refineries with crude oil. And many hopes are set on a feasibility study commissioned jointly by Morocco and Spain. Swiss engineer Giovanni Lombardi, who has long been involved in the Gotthard Tunnel, should conclude by the start of next year whether Europe and Africa could be joined by a rail tunnel."

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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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