Monday 31 October, 2005

The grandfathers of German cultural criticism wonder why the younger generation lacks the courage of its own convictions. Glowing reports of the extraordinary characters seen at the Viennale Film Festival and generally high praise for Berlin's young, avant-garde Philharmoniker. The freshly christened re-built Frauenkirche in Dresden both gleams and wobbles and Berlin's new main train station boasts a remarkable view of nothing.
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Friday 28 October, 2005

Critics rave at Thomas Ostermeier's incidental monster "Hedda Gabler" in Berlin. The NZZ reviews the latest smorgasbord of musings by Francois Weyergans and Burak Turna's America- and Europe-bashing bestsellers. The SZ marvels at Dresden's newly-reconstructed Frauenkirche and sees lust for revenge on the part of Vladimir Putin behind Mikhail Khodorkovsky's prison sentence.
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Thursday 27 October, 2005

Die Zeit reprints a speech by Joachim Sartorius praising Orhan Pamuk's courage, and applauds Apichatpong Weerasethakul's homo-erotic and horrific jungle romance "Tropical Malady". The FAZ reviews an exhibition on Leni Riefenstahl which has opened where she shot "Triumph of the Will". In the FR, publisher Kurt Scheel says he can't be a cosmopolitan European because he doesn't trust the Germans. And pop-metal band Rammstein has lost its punch.
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Wednesday October 26, 2005

The German press is up in arms about the sale of the Berliner Zeitung to media mogul David Montgomery who in turn promises he's not out to make a quick buck. The debate about anti-Semitism in the German political Left rages on while the Iranian Propaganda Office flaunts its English publications of inflationary anti-Semitic texts at the Frankfurt Book Fair – and nobody seems to have noticed.
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Tuesday 25 October, 2005

Today in the taz 68er Tilman Fichter, the brother of a student who failed to blow up Berlin's Jewish Community Centre in 1969 tells all. Die Welt reports on celebrations for the 200th anniversary of Friedrich Schiller's death – Chinese style. In the FR, director Thomas Ostermeier tells why Ibsen speaks more to us today than Chekhov. Plus the latest from Cologne's art film biennial and London's Frieze Art Fair.
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Saturday 22 October - Monday 24 October, 2005

Orhan Pamuk's winning the prestigious Peace Prize of the German Book Trade has not met with universal approval in the German-language press. We have picked out a palette of pro- and contra-Pamuk voices. Middle East expert Dan Diner traces the path to democracy in the Arab world, sociologist Wolfgang Sofsky weighs up the precarious balance between freedom and security in life during the War on Terror and Korean poet Ko Un unsettles his German audience at the Frankfurt Book Fair.
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Friday 21 October, 2005

Senegalese author Boubacar Boris Diop is angry at the images coming out of Ceuta and Melilla. French writer Camille de Toledo finds it hard to breathe in the free democratic world we live in. An exhibition on soccer in Berlin and Schnitzler in a shoebox in Donaueschingen. And painter Bernhard Heisig ruminates on what holds the Leipzig School together.
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Thursday 20 October, 2005

A few days before receiving the Peace Prize of the German Book Trade, Orhan Pamuk talks to Die Welt about Turkey's love-hate relationship with its intellectuals and the West. The FAZ implies that Pamuk's political statements were aimed to win him the Nobel Prize, and Die Zeit reprints a defence of Pamuk by Salman Rushdie against charges in Turkey. In the Berliner Zeitung, East German spymaster Markus Wolf talks about his relationship with his younger brother, the filmmaker Konrad Wolf. And the FR sees Leni Riefenstahl in David LaChapelle's "Rize".
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Wednesday 19 October, 2005

Iraqi author and exile Najem Wali explains how he feels when he sees Saddam Hussein on TV. Korean author Kim Young Ha tells of a hastily assembled Western-style toilet for Jimmy Carter. The Discovery Campus in Leipzig was a total success and the Frankfurt Book Fair opens with a call for Germans to have a little more fun. And Procyon lotor encroaches on not so innocent Brandenburg.
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Tuesday 18 October, 2005

The SZ condemns a possible takeover of the Berliner Zeitung, Germany's "most important East-West laboratory." The FR calls a new "edition unseld" pedagogical Eros. Die Welt reviews a book uncovering how former Nazis were made to spy on kindergarten teachers and the like in the GDR. And in the taz the brains behind Depeche Mode tells how addled brains made music history.
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Saturday 15 October - Monday 17 October, 2005

In honour of the country featured at the Frankfurt Book Fair this week, much on Korea: its taxis with translation services and love motels called "Abraham Lincoln". The Berliner Zeitung shudders at its planned takeover by British investor David Montgomery. Turkish writer Orhan Pamuk reflects on the relationship between poverty, nationalism and Islamicism. Dutch politician Ayaan Hirsi Ali insists that immigrants be treated as real citizens. And Die Welt calls Ingo Schulze's new novel "Neue Leben" world literature.
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Friday 14 October, 2005

Most German papers balk at this year's winner of the Nobel Prize in Literature, Harold Pinter. "A terrible decision", a misguided tribute of work that is "anaemic, dumb", "anachronistic and horribly boring". There is, as the Süddeutsche Zeitung points out, the question of whether any German critics can recall anything they ever read by Pinter. Luc Bondy, by contrast, says more will remain of Pinter than of Brecht. The Frankfurter Rundschau and the Neue Zürcher Zeitung find the decision justified and celebrate Pinter's "slips of the tongue" and "striking punchlines".
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Thursday 13 October, 2005

Die Zeit tells of capitalist literary euphoria in Korea's Paju Book City, while the Tagesspiegel reports how the spirit of Kim Il Sung appeared in Berlin. Tahar Ben Jelloun says Northwest Africa belongs in Europe, and Moses Isegawa gives a thought to fellow African writers fenced out in Ceuta and Melilla. Ingo Schulz admits he's not as courageous as the hero of his new book. And the FAZ reports on consumer articles for the very rich from the Millionaire Fair in Moscow.
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Wednesday 12 October, 2005.

Daniel Cohn-Bendit demands that African immigration to Europe be legalised. Knut Ahnlund, member of the Nobel Prize for Literature Committee, steps down in protest of last year's distinction of Elfried Jelinek's "sadistic and masochistic" work. Turkey penalises a journalist who, as an Armenian, refused to sing praises of the Turkish "heroic race". And the taz explains why the Left still stinks in Poland.
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Tuesday 11 September, 2005.

"It's a girl!" cries the taz about Angela Merkel, Germany's new chancellor with the "Stalin gene". Botho Strauß' new play "Rape" explodes on the Paris theatre scene like a blood-sausage bomb. After just seven years writer Ingo Schulz has finished his new novel on starting a new life. And Berlin author Hatice Akyün is fed up with media hype around honour killings.
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Saturday 8 October - Monday 10 October, 2005

Sulayman Al-Bassam writes on the revolutionary power of Shaik al-Zubair, as the Bard is known in Arabic. The FAZ knows Valencia's new cultural centre looks like a sea creature, but which: a fish, an oyster or a whale? And critics are divided on Michael Thalheimer's "Faust II" at Berlin's Deutsches Theater. In Saturday's papers, the FAZ looks at a new show of Russian Pop Art. And Paul Michael Lützeler looks for but can't find today's great European novel.
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Friday 7 October, 2005

The FR tells us that all European culture is Turkish anyway, so what are we worrying about? The taz focusses on the upcoming role of guerilla communication in Belarus. Zafer Senocak tries to unpick that most German phenomenon: self hate, and Ian McEwan warms to materialism.
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Thursday 6 October, 2005

Dirk Schümer tells us why we can't make the Turks into Europeans overnight and Leon de Winter pinpoints the deep rifts within Europe. Lettre Ulysses Award jury member Isabel Hilton talks to Die Zeit about the art of reportage. Communications expert Siegfried Weischenberg rants about Berlin journalists, and Eva Demski is trying to save Germany's oldest bridge.
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Wednesday 5 October, 2005

Adam Krzeminski comments on the "brutal rhetoric" in Polish politics. Ukrainian author Andriy Bondar is disappointed in the schoolboy antics of Viktor Yushchenko. A German glossy publishes a special "Jews" edition. And the majority of Turks are more conservative than we believed says a Turkish-German conservative politician.
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Tuesday 4 October, 2005

Star sociologists Anthony Giddens and Ulrich Beck join forces to jolt the EU into action. Ex-Python Terry Gilliam gets affectionate about Harvey Weinstein and his new movie, "Brothers Grimm". Berlin's Art Forum is not the provincial little petunia it once was, and 15 years into German unity novelist Ingo Schulze talks about the end of the GDR.
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