On the Death of Siegfried Lenz ? ?You have to justify your life?

Siegfried Lenz, one of the great writers of German post-war literature is dead. He died on 7 October 2014, surrounded by his family. He was 88 years old.... more more

GoetheInstitute

Thursday 31 August, 2006

The death of Egyptian writer Naguib Mahfouz provokes a reconsideration of his contribution to Arab modernity. An exhibition in Essen looks at humanity's future – complete with jellyfish houses and electronic robot skin. Venice is accused of subsidising too much Siberian water glass music, and German Wikipedia is chastised for trying to sterilise the inherently messy Net.
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Wednesday, 30 August, 2006

The Biennale in Venice is off to a daring, possibly perfect start. Re-readings of Günter Grass' novels are seen to reveal the author's twisted relationship with his masculinity. The Saxon royal treasures have returned to the Green Vault in Dresden's Royal Palace. And the FR sees politicking of German expellees' associations behind a misplaced speech at Buchenwald by deputy cultural minister Hermann Schäfer.
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Tuesday 29 August, 2006

Film producer Bernd Eichinger discusses the problems of making Patrick Süskind's bestseller "Perfume" into a movie without a likeable protagonist, a love affair or even a story. Fifty years after the death of Bertolt Brecht, the Berliner Ensemble is once more the ideological Disneyland it was in its heyday. Berlin's director of building Hans Stimmann will retire, having enforced his view of stony Berlin for the last fifteen years. And the exhibition "Poor Pigs" investigates the cultural significance of Porky and co.
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Saturday 26 August - Monday 28 August, 2006

Two new exhibitions on the Holy Roman Empire are re-incarnations of the monster the empire once was. Art historian Ruth Hanisch explains the complex relationship between fashion and architecture. Once the plaything of two Canadian hippies, the Cirque de Soleil has become the most successful enterprise of its kind. And contemporary music is just not happening anymore.
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Friday 25 August, 2006

Polish author Stefan Chwin and the mayor of Gdansk both reopened "The Tin Drum" to answer their questions about Günter Grass. Syria might have pulled its troops out of Lebanon, but its soap operas are still fully in control of Arab living rooms. Stuttgart not only has the best ballet and opera in the German-speaking world, it now has the best theatre as well. And Germany should learn from Glydebourne to take the torture out of opera.
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Thursday 24 August, 2006

Critics are divided on Matthias Glasner's disturbing film "The Free Will", dealing with the impossible loves of a sex offender. But if you interview the director, don't mention the pieta! There's much head-nodding and precious little indignation at the exhibition of Holocaust cartoons in Tehran. Fashion functionary Zhang Xiaomei evokes the willowy wasp-waistedness of true Chinese beauty. And fifteen female professionals call for a new feminism in Die Zeit.
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Wednesday 23 August, 2006

The Polish newspaper Gazeta Wyborcza rallies to the side of poet Zbigniew Herbert, who was recently attacked for having been a secret police informant in the 1960s. The truth seems to be emerging at last about who really wrote Michail Sholokhov's novels. The controversial film "The Free Will" opens in Germany tomorrow, an amour fou showing a rapist through his lover's eyes. And the new "Miami Vice" film is to Visconti what the series was to Antonioni.
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Tuesday 22 August, 2006

The FR is astounded at Grass' amazing ability to stand on both sides of the political fence when it comes to the politics of remembrance and Die Welt just wants to draw a veil over the whole shameful episode. Nader Mashayekhi, chief conductor of the Tehran Symphony Orchestra, tells of performing music in Iran, where some consider it a sin. And syrup-smeared naked bodies do raucous table dance at Berlin's Tanz im August festival.
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Saturday 19 August - Monday 21 August, 2006

Author Louis Begley tells the FAZ why he wishes Günter Grass would cast off the role of moral apostle. Pianist Ivo Pogorelich remembers the death of his wife and teacher Aliza Kezeradze. London's libraries are now turning into more attractive "Idea Stores". The SZ reveals one of the greatest mysteries of India: the one firmly lodged in European minds. Political scientist Herfried Münkler looks at the asymmetrical demands in the Lebanon war. And ghost writer Thomas Pynchon is haunting Amazon, or is he?
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Friday, 18 August, 2006

Sociologist Natan Sznaider says peacekeeping troops in Lebanon will soon see that European optimism is naive. John Irving laments the denuding of Grass and stands by the author as a hero. Tilman Krause says the Waffen SS, like the Taliban, was designed for sexually frustrated young men like Grass. Adolf Muschg respects Grass for fessing up and Ivan Nagel says he knows what it means to be silent for half a century. And the taz examines the "mutual penetration" of art and pornography.
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Thursday, 17 August, 2006

A generational fault line surfaces in the Grass debate - a couple of younger writers would like to move on to issues that matter. Director Volker Schlöndorff says its was inevitable that Grass peel his onion. Hazem Saghieh, London-based editor of Al Hayat, is concerned about the radicalisation of British Muslims. The NZZ enjoys the armoured underwear parading around Peter Stein's "Troilus and Cressida" in Edinburgh. And the FAZ reports that Russian film idol Renate Litvinova is from another planet.
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Wednesday, 16 August, 2006

Political scientist Claus Leggewie sees Günter Grass' late confession as a form of overcompensation. Poet Marcel Beyer elucidates the role of the bee-unto-itself in the former USSR. Polish historian Adam Krzeminski discovers the devil in the details of the "Forced Departures" exhibition in Berlin. And a virtual museum has been erected as a memorial to victims of China's Cultural Revolution.
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Tuesday, 15 August, 2006

The Günter Grass saga continues: Erich Loest, loyal to the writer, says Grass waited too long to tell the truth about his Waffen-SS membership. Die Welt offers a sneak mini-review of the new Grass autobiography. The taz argues that Western "fundamentalist humanism" backfires on the war in Lebanon. And a portrait of German director Angelina Maccarone, winner of a Golden Leopard in Locarno, who draws from the well of the "no man's land between two cultures."
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Monday, 14 August and Saturday, 12 August, 2006

Günter Grass' admission that he was in the Waffen-SS draws reactions ranging from outrage to empathy. The writer was practically a boy at the time, notes the FAZ, but few papers are willing to forgive Grass' years of silence. On Brecht Day, Falk Richter remembers his first staging of the playwright's "In the Jungle of the Cities" in Atlanta. And Hellmuth Karasek recalls the peace propagandist Brecht.
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Friday 11 August, 2006

Seventy international intellectuals appeal for an immediate ceasefire in Lebanon. Debate continues on the Forced Departures exhibition. Jostein Gaarder's anti-Semitism provokes general outrage. An exhibition on Cristobal Balenciaga in Paris inspires reflections on puffy sleeves. And Germans should stop navel gazing on their low birthrate.
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Thursday 10 August, 2006

Turkey needs a genuine separation of state and religion. Opinions are divided on Germany's new mosques. Family life boils down to sharing porridge. And luddites can take a chill pill: blogs don't hurt journalism and the Web 2.0 won't be revolutionising our lives all over again.
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Wednesday 9 August, 2006

Tjark Kunstreich accuses European politics of legitimizing Islamic anti-Semitism. Ilija Trojanow criticises Israel's "you started it" incantation. Beirut architect Bernard Khoury discusses the politics of destruction and reconstruction in Lebanon. Gerhard Matzig tells Europe to get on the skyscraper bandwagon. And the reconstruction of Thomas Mann's former home in Munich is a disaster.
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Tuesday 8 August, 2005

Historian Christoph Jahr spits venom at the naivety of the German Historical Museum's permanent exhibition. The "Forced Departures" show comes off considerably better in the SZ. The FR looks at the origins of the German onnagata. Anna Funder discusses her fascination for everyday life under dictatorships. And birthday congratulations go out to openDemocracy!
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Saturday 5 August - Monday 7 August, 2006

Film director Amos Gitai outlines the dilemma posed by the current conflict for the Israeli Left. Ilija Trojanow explains why no Bulgarian Mafia boss has been prosecuted to this day. Castro and Cuban exiles in Miami agree - they detest the middle way of "Todos Cubanos." Thomas Hürlimann describes his escape from a monastery school into the world of letters. Werner Spies looks at Classicism's grisly graveyard, where Arno Breker and Gunther von Hagens join company. And "Night of the Omnivores" provides insomnious Parisians with cinema and cuisine.
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Friday 4 August, 2006

Moshe Zimmerman, duelling with Abbas Beydoun, says all Lebanon is hostage to Hizbullah. Wagner's "Tristan and Isolde" and "Parsifal" at this summer's Bayreuth Festival are a delight, apart from the postmodern, trash-strewn stage direction, that is. The feuilletons praise counter-Callas Elisabeth Schwarzkopf, who died last week aged 90. The NZZ wonders if with her book "Brick Lane," Monica Ali will follow in Salman Rushdie's footsteps. And filmmaker Pedro Almodovar explains why he gave Penelope Cruz a rounder rear.
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Thursdays 3 August, 2006

Syrian-Lebanese poet Adonis writes that Israel sees the Arab world with "eyes of metal." Ethnologist Thomas Burkhalter describes how the war in Lebanon affects musicians. The SZ traces the roots of Nazi theatre, 70 years after the opening of Berlin's Waldbühne outdoor arena. Oliver Herwig laments how "Architainment" is transforming Germany's landscape. Die Welt looks back at the frenetic premiere of Brecht's "Threepenny Opera." And Hamburg hiphopper Jan Delay has put out a disco funk bellyache about German bad taste.
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Wednesday 2 August, 2006

Historian Peter Longerich says the Nazis dropped deliberate hints about their genocide of the Jews. Thanks to a "total" PR campaign, conservatives praise Oliver Stone's film, "World Trade Center." The real Rembrandt? Actually, it's the copies now on display in Berlin that fascinate. And as Wagner's Ring cycle closes in Bayreuth, the feuilletons praise the conductor and pan the director.
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Tuesday 1 August, 2006

Israeli writer Zeruya Shalev says Lebanese civilians are victims of Hizbullah. Israel lacks respect for laws of war, but Hizbullah knows no rules at all, says lawyer Knut Ipsen. Writer Marek Halter says he fears the words of the Iranian president more than bombs. Italy is soft on its own soccer corruption. And Stephan Balkenhol's wooden sculptures are mute, eloquent and eerie Mr Nobodies.
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