Friday 29 June, 2007

Sir Simon Rattle meditates on the difference between the song of a bird and that of a butterfly - as heard by a deaf child. The NZZ is concerned about Hikikomori, the social withdrawal of youth in Japan. Norman Mailer defends Günter Grass' avoidance of uncomfortably personal themes; he too had a hard time writing about stabbing his wife. And Lang Lang's facial antics are seen in the context of a long and august tradition.
read more

Thursday 28 June, 2007

Reactions are mixed to David Chipperfield's design for a new entrance building to Berlin's Museum Island. Director Dai Sijie tells how his attitude to homosexuality pushed him to shoot "The Chinese Botanist's Daughters," while Werner Herzog explains why his film characters are like metal alloys. And the FAZ examines the limits of French national literatures.
read more

Wednesday 27 June, 2007

Die Welt counsels Tony Blair against converting to Catholicism if he values his head. Swedish author Richard Swartz learns a thing or two about swollen legs and thankless daughters-in-law on a train from Belgrade to Zagreb. The taz lauds Bruce Willis' flesh and blood battle against the digital world. And the FAZ prefers the French hand-kiss to the German stable-boy hand-shake.
read more

Tuesday 26 June, 2007

Frank Castorf, director of Berlin's Volksbühne theatre, tells how he discovered his personal god Obatala. Philosopher Rüdiger Safranski congratulates his colleague Peter Sloterdijk, the playful author of the "Spheres" trilogy, on his 60th birthday. Poet Jan Wagner writes of lips, lobes and Uppsala fruit salad. And we learn why you need to be healthy to be healed by music.
read more

Saturday 23 June - Monday 25 June, 2007

On the Salman Rushdie front, Ranjit Hoskote and Ilija Trojanow note how media-savy Muslim protesters are while Ayaan Hirsi Ali proclaims, "Long live the Queen!" Andre Glucksmann draws a parallel between the West's tolerance of Hitler and Putin. The FR recounts the challenges facing a film festival in Kabul where cinemas are a rare thing and bombs are not. And the FAZ pays tribute to photographer Bernd Becher, archivist of industrialisation, who died last week.
read more

Friday 22 June, 2007

Alexander Litvinenko's widow speaks out: Putin was behind the polonium murder. "Productive failure" is the force behind this year's Documenta exhibition. In today's theatre the director is the real author, while the author is just the medium, writes the SZ. And Bulgarian author Vladimir Zarev tells how 'Valentin the warm' saved millions earning just 600 euros a month.
read more

Thursday 21 June, 2007

The feuilletons bear witness to an overall dearth of tolerance. In Islamic protests against Salman Rushdie's knighthood, the British Queen is being called an "old goat" and Hitler is enjoying a comeback. Indian author Kiran Nagarkar warns that Sir Rushdie could be used to justify a suicide bombing. And in Germany, Die Zeit is concerned about neo-Nazi's youth recruitment strategies which include after-school programs and cake donations.
read more

Wednesday 20 June, 2007

Katharina Hacker rejoices in Saul Friedländer's winning of the Peace Prize of the German Book Trade. Writer Ilija Trojanow is horrified by book price deregulation in Switzerland. Elif Shafak explains why for her, Istanbul defies the distinction between East and West. And an exhibition of English 18th century children's portraits shows the wee ones to be foot-loose, fancy-free and well-fed.
read more

Tuesday 19 June, 2007

Alone among the feuilletons, Die Zeit draw attention to renewed threats against Salman Rushdie's life. Navid Kermani reports on the trial in Iran of conservative opposition figure Ayatollah Boroujerdi. "sculpture projects muenster 07" demonstrates that art can be shown in public places, and that it can be funny at that. And an exhibition of works by painter Christopher Paudiß shows the bleak and beautiful side of the baroque.
read more

Saturday 16 June - Monday 18 June, 2007

Three literary relics rehash old times on the 60th anniversary of the Gruppe 47. A Cindy Sherman retrospective in Berlin shows it all, from the early portraits to the pornographic puppet games. Palestinian writer Hassan Khader worries that Hamas is becoming more Israeli than the Israelis. And we learn where Pete Townshend got his balled fist.
read more

Friday 15 June, 2007

Documenta 12, which opens to the public this weekend, has been previewed by the critics – most are left tepid at best. The NZZ explains how the Taliban is getting the better of not just military but also moderate religious forces in Afghanistan. Dorota Maslowska's style is likened to a clogged drainpipe. And historian Saul Friedländer will receive the Peace Prize of the German Book Trade.
read more

Thursday 14 June, 2007

Günther Grass and Martin Walser talk for three pages about love, sex and literature. The Venice Biennale and Kassel's documenta are the same, but very different. Bruce Nauman's "Square Depression" is a low-level highlight at "sculpture projects münster 07." And the Kremlin's operation 'Successor to the President' is following a 70 year old scenario.
read more

Wednesday 13 June, 2007

The FAZ mulls over the bold thesis of this year's documenta exhibition that modernity is our antiquity. Prize-winning author Martin Mosebach remembers painter Peter Schermuly, for whom every canvas was a Zen garden. Filmmaker Wim Wenders goes in search of Europe's soul. And Art Basel is all pomp and no trousers.
read more

Tuesday 12 June, 2007

Catalan authors give the Frankfurt Book Fair a dressing down. Algiers is keeping mum about terrorism in its bid to become the cultural capital of the Arab world. Historian Ulrich Herbert says there should be an exhibition on Nazi era slave workers. And part of Günter Grass' autobiography "Peeling the Onion" has been peeled down in The New Yorker to it's very core.
read more

Saturday 9 June - Monday 11 June, 2007

American thinker Richard Rorty has died. Jürgen Habermas tells what binds Rorty, orchids, and justice on earth. In Venice great art is hard to find in an uninspiring Biennale, aside from Isa Genzkin's German pavilion, combining five and dime charm with an LSD hell. And men's loos illustrate the gap between postmodern China and politically correct Taiwan.
read more

Friday 8 June, 2007

Martin Mosebach has been awarded the prestigious Georg Büchner Prize. The summer of art has kicked off disappointingly with the Venice Biennale, where sated curators and limp artists serve up the same old lukewarm goods. Forty years on: It's time for mutual recognition between Israel and Palestine. And the taz reports from New York on why US Muslims have it good.
read more

Thursday 7 June, 2007

Tom Segev says it was "Holocaust panic" that made the Six-Day War inevitable. Almost a week before the start, Documenta curators Roger Buergel and Ruth Noack give a glimpse of how the show will look. The Berliner Zeitung joins the row over the proposed mosque for Cologne. The NZZ wishes Vienna's "Tempest" weren't so tame. And the other papers take a break on Corpus Christi.
read more

Wednesday 6 June, 2007

Die Zeit lets the world's silent majority speak up as the G8 Summit kicks off in Heiligendamm. Russian journalist Elena Tregubova says Putin must be stopped. Die Welt is blinded by the morbid beauty of Damien Hirst's diamond-studded skull. And Petra Reski sings praises to Africa's first opera, on its way to Europe.
read more

Tuesday 5 June, 2007

Descendants of Polish writer Henryk Sienkewicz want him out of school curricula - along with all the other greats. Necla Kelek says Islam is a world philosophy, not a "church." Video artist Wang Jianwei shoots a youth and finds himself. And curators Roger Buergel and Ruth Noack want to make Documenta accessible to the rabble.
read more

Saturday 2 June - Monday 4 June, 2007

East German author Wolfgang Hilbig has died, the man who wrote the GDR into a reductio ad absurdum. Chinese sociologist Wang Hui worries Germany may be going the way of Asian authoritarianism. For Camaroonian author Patrice Nganang, the trial of former Liberian President Charles Taylor is an historical event. And Gabriele Goettle visits a Chinese translator who remembers the reluctance of her revolutionary students to learn German back in 1973.
read more

Friday 1 June, 2007

Writer Abdourahman A. Waberi searches Berlin for traces of its African population. Despite all appearances, the Chinese book market is firmly in the hands of geriatric party-liners. The NZZ is utterly overwhelmed by Luc Bondy's "King Lear" in Vienna. The taz is amazed to find out that The Scorpions are still alive. "You all whistled along," the singer's piercing blue eyes seem to say.
read more