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

26/07/2005

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.

Süddeutsche Zeitung, 26.07.2005

The attacks in Scharm el-Schich are a catastrophe for the Egyptian opposition, says writer Alaa al-Aswani in an interview with Sonja Kekri. Now the government can strike again, and this will have devastating consequences. "The Egyptian government is not fighting against terror, it's creating it. Take for example the attacks on the hotels in Taba last year. At the time, thousands of suspects were imprisoned and tortured. The women were raped before the eyes of their imprisoned husbands, the suspects were tortured with electroshocks, some didn't survive. (...) If the government is looking for ten suspects, it arrests 500, people will sign the most fantastic admissions when being tortured. It's a black comedy. Those who have lost all are prepared to do anything."


Le Figaro, 26.07.2005 (France)

In Le Figaro, Middle Eastern expert Gilles Kepel endorses an interesting theory about the role the Internet plays for Islamists. "Because radical Islamists will never gain the support of the majority in their own countries, they seize upon the Internet as a sort of virtual Umma, which they can dominate without any form of censorship. "In the galaxy of Jihad, the Internet has replaced the Ulemas of yesteryear with bearded cyber-Salafists, who offer a purely literal interpretation of the holy texts. For them transcendence is digital, the afterlife and the virtual combine in their fantasy world to form a unity which is set apart from the real world and which follows their rules. The interaction between these two worlds leads to a double death: to the suicide of the 'martyr' which frees him from the schizophrenic tension between the two worlds, and to a bloodbath of the "unbelievers".


Die Welt, 26.07.2005

With an eye on potential political constellations in Germany, Eckhard Fuhr gives us some words of reassurance. In his opinion, the "Grand Coalition of 1966-1969 (made up of the Federal Republic's two largest parties, CDU/CSU and the Social Democratic Party (SPD) under Chancellor Kurt Georg Kiesinger) was not nearly as bad as its reputation. On the contrary, it implemented key reforms. "It took the first steps towards new German and Eastern politics by silently abandoning the unpopular Hallstein Doctrine and it no longer staunchly refused to make governmental contacts with representatives of East Germany. And as far as the liberalisation of society is concerned, the Kiesinger/Brandt government achieved significant gains which people like to attribute falsely to the social-liberal coalition which followed." (After the 1969 election, the SPD, headed by Willy Brandt, formed a coalition government with the FDP.)


Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung, 26.07.2005

Yesterday, German pre-historian Nicholas Conard presented to the public the ice age phallus that was excavated in the "Hohle Fels" caves in Baden-Württemberg. The object is anthracite in colour, made of compacted silt and measures 19 cm in length. While it is clear that the phallus was worked by hand and served practical as well as symbolic functions, there is much speculation over its precise use. Ulf von Rauchhaupt, writing in the FAZ, considers the various theses and concludes: "We know almost nothing about sexual life in the early palaeolithic ages. Speculation about male-dominated harem structures or matriarchal social forms have no basis – they are projections from current practices or ideologies." But the findings of contemporary ethnology offer some insight. "Peoples living in climatic zones that require only light or no clothing tend to have much stricter sexual taboos; the more people have to wear to keep warm, the looser their sexual mores. So, the phallus would probably have fitted well in the Ice Age." The phallus can be seen as part of the special exhibition "Ice Age Art – definitely manly" at the Stone Age Museum in Blaubeuren.


Neue Zürcher Zeitung, 26.07.2005


Gerhard Gnauck reports on a Polish box office hit. Giacomo Battiato's Pope film "Karol" has blown all records and – ahead of even "Star Wars" - is the most successful film in Polish cinemas. The critics are effervescing with enthusiasm. The Rzeczpospolita is overjoyed: "A thoroughly evocative portrait, a gift of great beauty from Battiato to Poland." The film covers the life of Karol Wojtyla from 1939 until when he became Pope. Part two is already in the making.

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Saturday 11 - 17 December, 2010

A clutch of German newspapers launch an appeal against the criminalisation of Wikileaks. Vera Lengsfeld remembers GDR dissident Jürgen Fuchs and how he met death in his cell. All the papers were bowled over Xavier Beauvois' film "Of Gods and Men." The FR enjoys a joke but not a picnic at a staging of Stravinsky's "Rake's Progress" in Berlin. Gustav Seibt provides a lurid description of Napoleonic soap in the SZ. German-Turkish Dogan Akhanli author explains what it feels like to be Josef K.
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Colombian writer Hector Abad defends Nobel Prize laureate Mario Vargas Llosa against European Latin-America romantics. Wikileaks dissident Daniel Domscheit-Berg criticises the new publication policy of his former employer. The Sprengel Museum has put on a show of child nudes by die Brücke artists. The SZ takes a walk through the Internet woods with FAZ prophet of doom Frank Schirrmacher. The FAZ is troubled by Christian Thielemann's unstable tempo in the Beethoven cycle. And the FR meets China Free Press publisher, Bao Pu.
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Danish author Frederik Stjernfelt explains how the Left got its culturist ideas. Slavenka Draculic writes about censoring Angelina Jolie who wanted to make a film in Bosnia. Daniel Cohn-Bendit talks   about his friendship, falling out and reconciliation with Jean-Luc Godard. Wikileaks has caused an embarrassed silence in the Arab world, where not even al-Jazeera reported on the what the sheiks really think. Alan Posener calls for the Hannah Arendt Institute in Dresden to be shut down.
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Saturday 13 - Friday 19 November, 2010

Dieter Schlesak levels grave accusations against his former friend and colleague, Oskar Pastior, who spied on him for the Securitate. Banat-Swabian author and vice chairman of the Oskar Pastior Foundation, Ernest Wichner, turns on Schlesak for spreading malicious rumours. Die Zeit portrays the Berlin rapper Harris, and the moment he knew he was German. Dutch author Cees Nooteboom meditates on the near lust for physical torture in the paintings of Francisco de Zurburan. An exhibition in Mannheim displays the dream house photography of Julius Schulman.
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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

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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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From the Feuilletons

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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