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

05/10/2007

From the Feuilletons

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.

Friday

Die Tageszeitung 05.10.2007

Klaus-Helge Donath learns from Russian satirist Viktor Shenderovich what stability under Vladimir Putin means. "Stability comes in many forms. A tree is stable. It lives, bits of it die off, others grow in their place. This is stability through change. But our stability, however, is the stability of a morgue, where the dead always lie in the same place with a yellow label tied to their toes. Nothing happens, everything is lifeless. But everyone knows where the yellow labels are stored and where the corpses belong. Stability in Russian means politics is non-existent and the atmosphere of a freezer prevails."


Süddeutsche Zeitung 05.10.2007

Even the intellectuals in France succumbed to the charms of beefy men during the Rugby World Cup writes Christian Kortmann. Sebastien Chabal, known as "the anaesthetist" for his vicious tackles, is the focus of particular attention. "Raw violence and unbridled manliness are suddenly being seen as a recipe for success. Away with neuroses and humour, forget Freud and Woody Allen! Philosopher Catherine Kintzler goes weak at the knees at the thought of this muscle-clad fight for survival. In an interview with French national player Christophe Dominici in Philosophie magazine, she explains her 'philosophy of contact,' calling the tight pink-coloured tricots a second skin, praising the collective team spirit and comparing rugby matches with the opera."


Frankfurter Rundschau
05.10.2007

Christian Thomas writes an obituary to the architect Oswald Mathias Ungers who died on September 30. A man, Thomas says, whose career was marked by an insistence on the affinity between architecture and art and a vast desire for knowledge. "His library, the product of five decades of collecting, had a legendary reputation. In this 'Kubus Haus', which he built in 1989 to house his treasures, he brought together the reference works of the western art of building and architectural theory, in a memory storage room of the most exacting proportions. Accessible via a patio and peristyle, the master builder erected a room calculated for rarities and first editions ... from which to launch his plea for autonomy."


Die Welt
05.10.2007

Wulf Schönbohm, former director of the Turkish office of the Konrad Adenauer Stiftung, argues strongly for Turkish EU membership and has harsh words for German conservative politicians: "It's becoming increasingly difficult for CDU and CSU politicians to make a plausible case for keeping Turkey out of the EU. Yet they are sticking to their guns because this is one of the last seemingly conservative posts, and because they're afraid of their voters. Instead of trying to erode prejudices prejudices, they prefer to develop them. This is not conservative, it's reactionary. Unfortunately they fail to see that EU membership of a reformed Turkey would put the West and Islam on a new footing, and provide the Islamic World with a progressive, future-oriented perspective, even offering a positive role model."


Thursday

Frankfurter Rundschau
04.10.2007

In a very long interview, Nobel Prize laureate Günter Grass speaks with Martin Scholz about his upcoming eightieth birthday, the SPD, 1968, his SS avowal (more here) and reactions to his autobiography "Peeling the Onion." Needless to say, the German feuilletons don't come away unscathed: "In American and English literary criticism, people aren't above telling the reader what happens in a book. By contrast, I often get the impression that the German feuilletons write entirely for themselves. The authors are out to impress their colleagues or focus on their own expectations of an author. If these are fulfilled, so much the better. But if not, the reaction is correspondingly vitriolic. Things are quite different in the Anglo-Saxon world. There critics start at author's intentions and assess the degree to which these have been realised." And his own mistakes? "I will never have anything to do with the FAZ again, that's for sure."


Der Tagesspiegel 04.10.2007

Marcus Rothe has spoken with Jia Zhangke, the director of "Still Life." Winner of this year's Golden Lion at the Venice Film Festival, the film came out in Germany this week. Jia criticises not only Chinese society, but also his fellow filmmaker Zhang Yimou ("Hero"): "Our society is sick. It wants to build up its future by erasing the past. By contrast, my characters show how things are forgotten. With them, we experience what a painful process thus is…. I think every film – regardless of which genre it belongs to – should be bound up with today's reality. Kung-Fu, horror and other commercial films can all say something about the time we live in. Zhang Yimou's move towards purely commercial entertainment films may be understandable because our film industry still has feet of clay. But it's a great shame that his works make no attempt whatsoever to reflect society today, and that he's changed his political convictions so radically." (Here Christina Tilman's review of "Still Life.")


Tuesday

Süddeutsche Zeitung
02.10.2007

Last Sunday, NDR television station broadcast a documentary which provided new evidence about the involvement of the Quandt family, owners of BMW, in National Socialism. Günther Quandt used slave labourers in his battery factory in Hanover, as Karl-Heinz Büschemann reports. "It is beyond doubt that towards the end of the World War II, the AFA factory grounds were systematically transformed into an outpost of Neuengamme concentration camp. Prisoners were forced to do extremely hazardous work under the eyes of the SS guards. Many died. In an internal memo, Günther Quandt allowed for a 'fluctuation' in his factory, indicating that he clearly factored the deaths of many concentration camp workers into his calculations. Concentration camp prisoners were also used in the Berlin AFA plant…. Today, the Quandts are one of Germany's wealthiest families."


Monday

Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung
01.10.2007

In the FAZ on Sunday, Nils Minkmar talked to Indian author Amitav Ghosh whose book "The Glass Palace" takes place in Burma. He had the following to say about the current turmoil in the country: "The fact that it was the monks who lead the protests is a cause for the highest hopes. We know of course that plenty of foreign money is flowing into the Burmese opposition, but I would have been concerned if one of these groups had lead the protests with western financial backing. But the important thing, the unique thing about these protests in that they come were initiated by sole institution which can lay claim to real legitimation and authenticity in Burma today, and that is the Buddhist monasteries."


Saturday


Die Welt 29.09.2007

Matthias Heine was at the Berliner Ensemble for the premiere of Robert Wilson's "Dreigroschenoper" (Threepenny Opera) and is bubbling with enthusiasm, particularly about Angela Winkler. "Her Pirate Jenny leaves the usual rancid romanticism of the Zille whore, which is always associated with this role, light years behind. Red-haired, tousled, her face whiter than white, she looks like a character from a Japanese horror manga, and she whimpers the 'Solomon' song like a crazed angel copulating with a singing saw (not sure about the technical details of this), coaxing out of it the highest notes of inhuman lust. This queen of derangement has long since left the eighth circle of madness behind her."

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Saturday 13 - Friday 19 November, 2010

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Saturday 6 - Friday 12 November, 2010

The NZZ asks why banks invest in art. The FAZ gawps at the unnatural stack of stomach muscles in Michelangelo's drawings. The taz witnesses a giant step for the "Yugo palaver". Bernard-Henri Levy describes Sakineh Ashtiani's impending execution as a test for Iran and the west. Journalist Michael Anti talks about the healthy relationship between the net and the Chinese media. Literary academic Helmut Lethen describes how Ernst Jünger stripped the worker of all organic substances.
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Saturday 30 October - Friday 5 November, 2010

Now that German TV has just beatified Pope Pius XII, Rolf Hochmuth tells die Welt where he got the idea for his play "The Deputy". The FR celebrates Elfriede Jelinek's "brilliantly malicious" farce about the collapse of the Cologne City Archive. "Carlos" director Olivier Assayas makes it clear that the revolutionary subject is a figment of the imagination. The SZ returns from the Shanghai Expo with a cloying after-taste of sweet 'n' sour. And historian Wang Hui tells the NZZ that China's intellectuals have plenty of freedom to pose critical questions.
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Saturday 23 - Friday 29 October, 2010

Author Doron Rabinovici protests against the concessions of moderate Austrian politicians to the FPÖ: recently in Vienna, children were sent back to Kosovo at gunpoint. Ian McEwan wonders why major German novelists didn't mention the Wall. The NZZ looks through the Priz Goncourt shortlist and finds plenty of writers with more bite than Houellebecq. The FAZ outs two of Germany's leading journalists who fiercely guarded the German Foreign Ministry's Nazi past. Jens-Martin Eriksen and Frederik Stjernfelt analyse the symptoms of culturalism, left and right. Hans Ulrich Gumbrecht demonstratively yawns at German debate.
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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

Nigerian writer Niyi Osundare explains why his country has become uninhabitable. German Book Prize winner Melinda Nadj Abonji says Switzerland only pretends to be liberal. German author Monika Maron is not sure that Islam really does belong to Germany. Russian writer Oleg Yuriev explains the disastrous effects of postmodernism on the Petersburg Hermitage. Argentinian author Martin Caparros describes how the Kirchners have co-opted the country's revolutionary history. And publisher Damian Tabarovsky explains why 2001 was such an explosively creative year for Argentina.
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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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