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GoetheInstitute

19/09/2007

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.

Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung 19.09.2007

Cardinal Meisner, Archbishop of Cologne, addresses the "misunderstandings" caused by his service for the inauguration of the Kolumba art museum of the archbishopric of Cologne. In the service, the cardinal used the term "degenerate culture" - strongly reminiscent of the Nazi term "degenerate art" (more here). But the word "degenerate" could easily be replaced, he stresses: "I repeat: I regret that this word has given rise to misunderstandings in the shortened form of a quote reproduced out of context. The word can easily be replaced without any loss of meaning: Where culture - in the sense of civilisation - is estranged from the cult - in the sense of the worshipping of God - the cult stagnates in ritualism, and culture is badly harmed. It loses its centre."


Die Welt
19.09.2007

Eckhard Fuhr was impressed by Romuald Karmakar's film "Hamburger Lektionen" (Hamburg Lessons) in which actor Manfred Zapatka simply reads aloud the sermon of an Islamist 'hate preacher' whose mosque in Hamburg was visited by those responsible for 11 September. "The prospect of having to sit through 133 minutes of an Imam's theological hair-splitting and the thickness of the manuscript in Zapakta's hands is enough to make any viewer balk. Get out of the cinema quick, says the voice in your head. But the effect of this minimal set-up soon starts to work. Not the extreme images in the daily flood of news, but the words of a man speaking deliberately to a virtually stationary camera open up the cosmos of the Islamist mind, revealing the mentality of its propagandists and making the atmosphere of the parallel world of the mosques and prayer houses tangible."


Die Tageszeitung
19.09.2007

On the opinion page, Moroccan sociologist Fatima Mernissi assures her interviewer, Daniel Bax, that the media is about to bring democracy to the Islamic world. "The digital revolution has spawned 200 pan-Arab satellite channels and has significantly boosted the political maturity of the consumers. This is why I believe that the democratisation of the Arab world will ultimately happen very rapidly: because we will witness democratisation from below." And this, Mernissi says, will not simply catapult the Islamists to the top � as one look at Turkey shows. "The Islamists there have decided that they no longer want to describe themselves as Islamists. Simply to evoke Islam is no longer enough. The people want results. The issue is whether they will solve everyday problems � that's the only thing people are interested in. And if the Islamic party can't deliver, they'll simply be voted out."


Spiegel Online 19.09.2007

From today on the New York Times Online intends to make almost all of its site free of charge (pulling the carpet out from under the feet of the German papers who invariably lag two years behind in online trends) reports Konrad Lischka. "The reasoning of the Nytimes.com management is that free access to archive material means links, good Google search results and new readers. This line of argument was also expressed in August by the new owner of the Wall Street Journal, Rupert Murdoch. He is believed to be planning an end to the payment-oriented model of WSJ.com."


Neue Zürcher Zeitung 19.09.2007

Peter Hagmann enthusiastically sums up the Lucerne Festival, which has just come to an end. "On the one hand an increasing number of symphony concerts were dedicated to 'origins', the motto of the festival. One example was provided by the Wiener Philharmoniker, which played Bartok and Ligeti, demonstrating how the sound textures of Ligeti's 'Atmospheres' are rooted in Bartok's 'Music for Strings, Percussion and Celesta.' That was pure 'origins'.... The secret highlight of the event was in fact a bit of news: if everything works out, in 2012 the festival should have the world's first 'Salle Modulable': a room suited to the most diverse artistic needs in which traditional opera is just as feasible as modern music theatre. Chamber music, which needs an intimate atmosphere, will be just as at home here as modern works that spread the sound throughout the room."

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