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GoetheInstitute

13/07/2005

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.

Der Tagesspiegel, 13.07.2005

Bernhard Schulz is blown away by the Goya exhibition "Prophet of Modernity" in Berlin's Alte Nationalgalerie, for which Madrid's Prado has loaned out its treasures for the first time. "The exceptional and very well arranged Berlin exhibition undermines its own name in the nicest way. Goya is not modern in the sense of art history. He is modern in his dismissal of all certainties of faith, conservative in his decimating perception of people. Goya painted 'The Yard of Madhouse' in 1794 as a parable of irrepressible human stupidity, in 1800 the shockingly realistic picture 'Bandit stripping woman', and in 1808, 'Cannibals' as the culmination of what humans are capable of. Goya is the painter of terror. If the inexpressibly terrible is a sign of modern times, then Goya is not the prophet of modernity but the ultimate foreseer of the modern nightmare."


Berliner Zeitung, 13.07.2005


Robert Rotifer has put together an interesting summary of the reactions in England to the bomb attacks. In the first days, it was all about the "collective steeliness" of the Londoners, but now, as Rotifer writes, the opinions are "significantly more differentiated". "In the Independent on Sunday, Robert Elms found the most pragmatic explanation for the unwavering continuation of life in London: 'Earning a buck - that's a religion that we share. And the believers lose no time in returning to the altar.'" Even the conservatives are doing nothing to conceal their opinions: "'Dozens of commentators wrote in this and other papers that Mr Blair, David Blunkett and Charles Clarke invented the fiction of the terrorist attack on London, to justify their long-standing desire to tear up the Magna Carta,' writes Tim Hames on Monday in The Times. 'It would be nice if these people would write a collective apology, but I'm not expecting that to happen.'"


Süddeutsche Zeitung, 13.07.2005

Dierk Walter, military historian at the Hamburg Institute for Social Research, argues against "labelling the fight against terrorism war". If politicians and social scientists "start talking about war every time there's a massive occurrence of violence, they needlessly propagate a fashionable term that adds little to an understanding of the situation and at the same time waters down our concept of war. Above all, it adds grist to bogus legitimations for excessive anti-terrorist measures. Expanding the term 'war' cements the overriding competency of state security, and in the last resort the armed forces, for dealing with conflicts in the Third World. Given the degree to with which the Western military apparatus is swamped with tasks like peace keeping, development and reconstruction, one has to be very careful with the term, and only use it after thorough consideration."


Die Welt, 13.07.2005

Die Welt features a commentary by Edward Luttwak, senior fellow at the Center for Strategic and International Studies in Washington, on bombing attacks by Muslim terrorists. For Luttwak they're all amateurs who can no longer "hope for the support of al-Qaeda, for the simple reason that despite all affirmations to the contrary, al-Qaeda no longer exists". The attacks in London have shown that. "Anyone acquainted with London transport in the rush hour knows that the terrorists could have killed many more people if they had placed the bombs in certain other locations." So we should simply stop getting so worked up. "There is no immediate remedy for Muslim disaffection, nor can the tiny minority of activists be intercepted before they set off bombs. But we can and must learn to underreact, to reduce the incentives to further attacks."


Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung, 13.07.2005

A monument by Israeli artist Dani Karavan will be inaugurated today on the Haidplatz in Regensburg, to commemorate the expulsion of the Jews from the city in 1519. The monument is located on the site of the former synagogue: "In Dani Karavan's aesthetic reconstruction... the synagogue is once more present in the city. Not as a closed building, but as an open outline which precisely follows the trapezoidal foundations. The monument suggests the most important supporting and constitutive elements of the building, accentuating not only the interior of the synagogue, but also the broken history of the city."

Wolfgang Sander was at the opening concert of the Schleswig-Holstein Music Festival, Europe's largest festival for classical music, in the north German state. On Friday, Michael Tilson Thomas, head of the San Francisco Symphony Orchestra, conducted the Sinfonieorchester des norddeutschen Rundfunks in works by Brahms. Sander was struck above all by Julia Fischer's performance of Brahms' D major violin concerto. "Playing with such an orchestra does a lot for any soloist. But Julia Fischer, the 21 year old violinist from Munich who now leads the phalanx of major young soloists, not only plays well against this background. She integrates herself into it, just as Brahms had intended for his work, creating an impressive blend with the finely structured fabric of this masterpiece. But even in her arpeggio accompaniment she is never approximate, each and every tone is consciously formed, there is no hint of a diffident al-fresco style."


Die Tageszeitung, 13.07.2005

Brigitte Werneburg has been to the exhibition "LaLa Land – Parody of Paradise" by the American artist Paul McCarthy in the Munich Haus der Kunst and recommends it to families with "museum-friendly children". "There's a lot that they won't understand and therefore thankfully not see. But they will get to know an artist who doesn't scare them away. Because he presents his work in a dirty, sexual, entertaining, bold, grotesque and strange way; smelling strongly of chocolate, accurate and precise in its detail and with that execrated seriousness that is particular to child play."

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