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26/09/2007

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.

Die Welt 26.09.2007

Social philosopher Andre Gorz, co-founder of the French Magazine Le Nouvel Observateur, whose "Zur Strategie der Arbeiterbewegung im Neokapitalismus" (on the strategy of the worker's movement in neo-capitalism) strongly influenced the 1968 movement in Germany, committed suicide together with his wife on the weekend. Marko Martin writes an obituary, quoting from Gorz' newly published book "Brief an D" (letter to D), a declaration of love to his wife Dorine. "Soon you'll be 82. You've lost six centimetres in height, you weigh just forty-five kilos, and you're still beautiful, gracious, desirable. We've lived together for fifty-eight years now, and I love you more than ever. Just a short while ago I fell in love with you anew, and once again I carry in my breast this gnawing emptiness which alone the warmth of your body against mine can assuage."


Süddeutsche Zeitung 26.09.2007

Volker Breidecker is astonished at Hans Magnus Enzensberger's description of his intellectual path published in the current issue of Le Nouvel Observateur (here the French original and here a quote in English from our Magazine Roundup). In his essay, Enzensberger characterises himself merely as a "participatory observer" in the 1968 movement. Breidecker comments how different Enzensberger must have sounded in the studio of Hessische Rundfunk broadcaster in May 68, when he became the "flaming mouthpiece" in the struggle against emergency measures passed by parliament. "With the example of May 68 in Paris fresh in his mind, he called for a country-wide general strike: 'The lesson is clear: scruples are not enough. Mistrust is not enough, protest is not enough. Our goal must be finally to create, here too in Germany, conditions like those in France.' A thunderous roar went through the hall, which was heard in the most distant German living rooms."


Die Tageszeitung 26.09.2007

"I think the Left in Turkey is really going to give it to me," says director Fatih Akin in an interview about his new film "On the other side." In the end, the Kurdish character Ayten betrays her revolutionary comrades. "The feuilleton in Turkey tends to be left liberal. The first reactions from Cannes were reserved, cool. Il Manifesto in Italy wrote that I show the Turkish jail to be a five star hotel. The Turkish papers didn't write that because they probably noticed how carefully it had been researched. We shot in a real prison. All those pastel colours are real. The only thing I was not allowed to shoot was laundry hanging out the window. The prison director said 'no way' – there are EU norms that prohibit hanging laundry like that."


Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung 26.09.2007

Jordan Mejias was witness to Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad's less than friendly public appearance at Columbia University in New York. "The questions after his speech weren't exactly reconciliatory, Ahmadinejad couldn't skirt around them. The Holocaust? Not adequately researched. Homosexuality? A phenomenon unknown to Iran. Women? Best thing God ever made. And they're respected in Iran. Should one laugh or cry when the guest demands humane methods in problem-solving and claims that it is only natural that a university defend freedom of opinion and speech. 'All voices want to be heard!' he announces with something short of a winning smile."


Neue Zürcher Zeitung
26.09.2007

Andrea Köhler reports on the legal debate over a planned but never completed installation by the Swiss artist Christoph Büchel in Massachusetts. It's title: "Training ground for democracy." The debate is touching on fundamental principals. "Referring to the Visual Artists Rights Act (VARA), that gives artists the right to prevent the publication of a piece of art under their name if it has been changed or corrupted, Büchel is suing back.... Last Friday, the debate, which is being followed closely by the art world here, was settled: the judge Michael A. Ponsor argued that VARA applies only to completed artworks, not to works in the making. The MassMoCA may exhibit the collected material, against the will of the artist, as a 'work in progress' – as long as it is clearly represented as unfinished." (On its website, the museum has made clear that it has decided not to exhibit anything, despite the court's ruling.)

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