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

10/06/2005

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.

Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung, 10.06.2005

signandsight.com has been online for three months now, and is delighted at the critical attention from the FAZ. Even in March, the major German daily criticised Perlentaucher, signandsight's mother website, for receiving public funds for its English-language site. Now the FAZ has sent out its foreign correspondents to discover how signandsight.com is being received. Their conclusion: The potential is practically unlimited! US correspondent Jordan Mejias writes for example: "You could never say no one in the US has heard of 'signandsight'. John Rockwell, long-standing cultural editor of The New York Times, breaks the lengthy list of the uninformed and avows: 'I know the site.' But he doesn't need it. A former Europe correspondent for the Times, Rockwell is one of the leading American cognoscenti of German culture and looks in at Perlentaucher from time to time. He doesn't want to judge the English-language site from the outset, but feels its marketing leaves something to be desired, as shown by the widespread ignorance of the site. From the universities to the press offices of the major cultural institutions, enquiries about 'signandsight' meet with a 'Never heard of it!' Stuart Appelbaum, spokesman for Bertelsmann's US office, finds the idea not bad in theory. But even Bernd Hüppauf of the German House at New York University must admit, 'No trace of the site around here'." Okay guys, we're on the case! Mejias notes that the gains could be significant: "Even the writer Louis Begley, a keen observer of German culture, had heard nothing of signandsight. But he promised to have a look and finally announced: 'I like it.'"

Christian Schwägerl reports almost reverentially on a speech given in Berlin by Indian finance minister Palaniappan Chidambaram, who was extremely positive about the prospects for his country. "Asked whether India will suffer from the emigration of highly qualified people, the minister smiled and said that there are enough highly qualified people in India to satisfy the needs of India, America and Europe."


Süddeutsche Zeitung, 10.06.2005

After watching the video documenting the executions in Srebrenica in July of 1995, Croatian writer Slavenka Draculic asks why "it was necessary to humiliate the victims before they were killed". Her answer: "Execution was not enough. The soldiers knew that they were going to kill their victims. But they needed to absolve themselves by first humiliating of their victims before murdering them. The excess of brutality was the prerequisite for their being able to kill the young men. (...) They are enemies. They are the 'others'. How else can you kill someone similar to you?"

The SZ prints an interview that Rainer Werner Fassbinder gave just a few hours before he died on June 10 1982, to actor and filmmaker Dieter Schidor. Schidor asked Fassbinder what he thought of the portrayal of homosexuality in film. "It's always wrong, on principal. You can never do justice to any group. You can't do justice to homosexuals or heterosexuals, or any other group of people. You can only always do everything wrong. But homosexuality is not a theme of 'Querelle' (Fassbinder's last film based on Jean Genet's novel 'Querelle de Brest'). The theme is the identity of an individual and how he goes about creating it. This is linked to what Genet says, that in order to become complete you need one of yourself again. I agree completely with Genet on this."

Gustav Seibt comments on the proposal by French prime minister Dominique de Villepin in his first policy speech to the French parliament on Wednesday for the establishment of a "union with Germany in certain select areas". For Seibt, this "is flamboyant conceptual feuilletonism, displaying the doctrinaire very interesting hot air. Centralist France wants to unite with those parts of German statehood that lie under the competency neither of the federal states nor of Europe. The proposal strikes at the heart of the remaining German federal competencies, above all foreign, defence, research and social policy. Expressed in figures, that means about 60 to 70 percent of the federal budget. The French state has an entirely different makeup than the German. This would result in Paris having a grotesque preponderance in the union, reminiscent of the Napoleonic Confederation of the Rhine and the situation in Germany after 1806. Then too, the German states associated with France were only relegated scant domestic competences, while their military, foreign and trade policies were subjected to strict accords."


Neue Zürcher Zeitung, 10.06.2005

The main reason why the European constitution failed was because "after the aims and interests, the pragmatic sense of the continuous Europolitical invocation that 'we must join together more closely' became unclear, Hermann Lübbe believes. '"The cultural, religious and humanistic tradition of Europe'" referred to in the pages of the constitution are, says Lübbe, by no means "sufficient grounds" to press on with Europe's political unity. "The driving forces behind this unity are in fact interests, that merit respect, but that want to be heard and are therefore being voiced more decisively than before. This is the only way that the sense of the European unity can be debated."


Frankfurter Rundschau, 10.06.2005

Ulrich Clewing discusses the various "sources of wonder" for the "Brücke" group of German expressionist artists, whose 100th anniversary is now being celebrated with extensive exhibitions in Madrid, Duisburg, Essen, Aachen, Neu-Ulm, Schweinfurt, Halle, Jena, Heidelberg and Berlin. The Brücke artists around Ernst Ludwig Kirchner, Max Pechstein, Emil Nolde and Karl Schmidt-Rotluff were "ingenious taboo breakers", in his view, "but to say this took them to the very heights of modernity is a little exaggerated." For Clewing, "when Kirchner started work on his hundredth painting of 'Fränzi Combing her Hair', Kasimir Malevich was working on his 'Black Square' in Moscow. Now that was truly radical."

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Saturday 20 - Friday 26 November, 2010

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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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