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

19/08/2005

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 Rundschau, 19.08.2005

Peter Fuchs, a sociologist and practising Catholic, turns away in disgust from the "benumbing scene of sloppy sentimentality" at the World Youth Day in Cologne, where Pope Benedict XVI yesterday made his first apostolic pilgrimage. "What we see here is a mass spectacle worthy of Leni Riefenstahl (who filmed documentaries of the 1934 Nazi party congress in Nuremberg and the 1936 Olympics in Berlin). The comparison is not only formal, but also functional: there are giga-appeals to the emotions and unbridled expression of feelings, which are used as an instrument to blockade clear thinking. The sayings by German philosopher Johann Gottfried Herder 'I feel, therefore I am!' and by Goethe, 'Feeling is everything!' take on new meaning today. Now we say: 'We feel, we are young, we are, and that's all!' It is more than telling that a well-nigh feverish and frenetic cult of the personality is at the core of this powerful display. But it has nothing to do with the collected, simple life of Jesus of Nazareth, who would have had nothing to do with this ruckus."


Die Welt, 19.08.2005

Conductor Daniel Barenboim and his West-Eastern Divan Orchestra – made up of young musicians from the Middle East (more here) – are in Spain rehearsing for an upcoming concert in Ramallah. Manuel Brug went to visit him. "There is no sign of disquiet or tension in Pilas, a former seminary 25 kilometres west of Seville. The bell tower shimmers in the heat, easily made out among the orange and peach groves. There is discrete surveillance at the entry of the campus-like grounds, with their wide courtyards and dormitories, chapel, pool and central auditorium. Heavy marching music can be heard through the thin doors: Daniel Barenboim is rehearsing Mahler's 1st Symphony. For many years, Barenboim was not particularly interested in young talent. 'I had other priorities', he says candidly. 'I like continuity and am no friend of master courses. That's why I hardly appear as guest conductor. In the short rehearsal times you have to be very target-oriented, and concentrate on the programme. I prefer to work on articulation, dynamic and phrasing, and take a relaxed attitude to strict parameters so as not to nail myself down too much. You have to retain your spontaneity. Like with this orchestra. It plays the way it does because we've been working together for years now.'"


Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung, 19.08.2005

The FAZ preprints excerpts from Jürgen Schreiber's book "Ein Maler aus Deutschland - Gerhard Richter " (a painter from Germany – Gerhard Richter) across two pages. Among other stories, Schreiber has researched into Richter's family members whose photos he painted in large formats in his early years. A tragic story lies behind the portrait of his aunt Marianne, for example. She was interned in a psychiatric clinic in 1938 and murdered in 1945. Schreiber writes: "The boy was still young when the doors of the psychiatric ward closed behind Marianne Schönfelder for ever. When little Gerd played too wildly, his mother would warn him: 'You'll end up like Tante Marianne'. She would blurt this out in moments of irritation, without worrying about the effect such a prophesy could have on a child. He got queasy at the thought. Over the years, Tante Marianne grew to be a frightening figure for him, a shadow over the entire family..."


Die Tageszeitung, 19.08.2005

Tilman Baumgärtel presents the film series "The Scene", which is available only on the Internet in P2P exchanges. The plot: "To gain prestige in the 'scene' of bootleggers and film pirates, Sandro and his gang upload the latest Hollywood blockbusters on the Internet, if possible even before they come out in the USA. To get the newest releases, Sandro maintains good contacts with people working in the film industry and at DVD printers. When he gets a new film, he organises the 'ripping' and publishes it on the Internet. His helpers go by the pseudonyms Teflon, Trooper and c0da, and are pure Internet acquaintances. He has never met them personally. They are not motivated by profits, what they want is a reputation in the 'Scene'."


Neue Zürcher Zeitung, 19.08.2005

Karl Lüönd reports on an symposium on the history of the newspaper taking place at the Gutenberg Museum in Mainz. "Two dozen participants presented their work, from some extremely specialised areas. Some of the findings could give a lesson in humility to journalists and editors particularly absorbed with their own importance. Research in England, France, Scandinavia and elsewhere confirms unanimously that the impetus for founding newspapers was not the spread of content, but of advertisements. In London in the late 17th and early 18th centuries, booksellers, theatre managers and holders of medical patents all invested in founding newspapers, to gain a platform for products they had on offer." Even the newspaper entrepreneur as "neutral 'content provider'" is an invention of the 17th century, we discover.

Get the signandsight newsletter for regular updates on feature articles.
signandsight.com - let's talk european.

 
More articles

From the Feuilletons

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.
read more

From the Feuilletons

Saturday 4 - Friday 10 December

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.
read more

From the feuilletons

Saturday 27 November - Friday 3 December

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.
read more

From the Feuilletons

Saturday 20 - Friday 26 November, 2010

The theatre event of the week came in a twin pack: Roland Schimmelpfennig's new play, a post-colonial "Who's Afraid of Virginia Woolf" opened at the Deutsches Theater in Berlin and the Thalia in Hamburg. The anarchist pamphlet "The Coming Insurrection" has at last been translated into German and has ignited the revolutionary sympathies of at least two leading German broadsheets, the FAZ and the SZ. But the taz, Germany's left-wing daily, says the pamphlet is strongly right-wing. What's left and right anyway? came the reply.
read more

From the Feuilletons

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.
read more

From the Feuilletons

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.
read more

From the Feuilletons

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.
read more

From the Feuilletons

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.
read more

From the Feuilletons

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.
read more

From the Feuilletons

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.
read more

From the feuilletons

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.
read more

From the Feuilletons

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.
read more

From the Feuilletons

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.
read more

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.
read more

From the Feuilletons

Saturday 4 - Friday 10 September, 2010

Thilo Sarrazin has buckled under the stress of the past two weeks and resigned from the board of the Central Bank. His book, "Germany is abolishing itself", however, continues to keep Germany locked in a debate about education and immigration and intelligence. Also this week, Mohammed cartoonist Kurt Westergaard has been awarded the M100 prize for defending freedom of opinion. Chancellor Angela Merkel gave a speech at the award ceremony: "The secret of freedom is courage". The FAZ interviewed Westergaard, who expressed his disappointment that the only people who had shown him no support were those of his own class.
read more