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GoetheInstitute

23/09/2005

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.

Die Tageszeitung, 23.09.2005

Joschka Fischer, current Foreign Minister and icon of the German Greens, has announced that he is unwilling to serve political office in the absence of a SPD-Green Party government. Which seems to mean he is retiring from politics. In a three-page interview, the taz offers Fischer ample opportunity to summarise his political career. "Germany has become another country in this time. More open - for example with the new citizenship and immigration laws. More ecological, despite the moaning of business and actually to its advantage. Freer. It's clearer to us Germans today, who we actually are. In our foreign policy, better embedded in Europe and for the West, a more self-determined nation. We as Red-Green can be proud of all that. Germany is, seen as a whole, a wonderful country."


Neue Zürcher Zeitung, 23.09.2005


Tatjana Montik reports that in Belarus, President Alexander Lukashenko is quashing all attempts by local artists and intellectuals to revive the national culture. Nonetheless, writers and painters are fighting to publish or exhibit their works and are being hunted down by gangs of thugs or condemned to jail sentences. In the wider public, the conflict has its consequences: "In response, the regime is unpacking a new but old stereotype; those who speak Belarussian are members of a US-financed opposition which is preparing a revolution and threatening to condemn the county to chaos. Unfortunately, that's effective for many. And thus Belarussian society becomes more divided with each passing day."

Joachim Günter reports that the publishing houses Manesse, Kösel and Deutsche Verlagsanstalt, which currently belong to the FAZ, are to be sold to Bertelsmann's daughter company, Random House. Günter fears that many further mid-sized publishers will meet a similar fate. "Just to defy book trade giants like Thalia or Weltbild, the powerful companies on the publishing side are going to drive the concentration process forward."



Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung, 23.09.2005


Marta Kijowska writes a portrait of Polish classical philologist and crime writer Marek Krajewski, whose works take place not in Wroclaw, but in Breslau (as it was called in the German Reich), in the Nazi era or the Weimar Republic: "The work of a classical philologist demands precision and a love for detail. Krajewski makes use of just these qualities as a crime writer. Using old newspapers, letters and documents, he paints a topographically precise image of the old city of Breslau, in which neither business names nor menu dishes are missing. And many others share his fascination. After a half a century in which a strange state of ahistoricity has prevailed, it seems that Wroclaw is finally coming to terms with its past."


Süddeutsche Zeitung, 23.09.2005

Theatre director Peter Stein, who gave a public reading of Friedrich Schiller's "Wallenstein" trilogy in May in Frankfurt and will stage the work there in 2007, talks in an interview on his new life as a farmer in Italy – "It's high time I harvested those peaches over there and made them into sorbet" - the relative disinterest in his work in Germany – "I can't work in Germany, because no one offers me anything" – the malice of German critics – "But coming back to Wallenstein: I read it in Frankfurt and Stadelheimer, or whatever that critic from the FAZ's name is, ridiculed me for it. He's been doing that for 15 years, trying to destroy me. Which of course he can't do, because I'm entirely independent" – and his blend of talents – "A talent for organisation, an eye for finances, the gift of observation, and an ability to mime. I can express words, concepts, ideas in a physical way. That's a gift I have. And for a long time I did nothing else than read. That's why someone a lot more dumb than me, namely theatre director Claus Peymann, says I'm so intelligent."


Die Welt, 23.09.2005


Manuel Brug is amazed at the young musical talent in Venezuela, a country which promotes music along lines suggested by Jose Antonio Abreu – who put music instruments in the hands of ghetto kids: "Today Venezuela has an incredibly effective country-wide youth and children's orchestra network. What might look like wacky social romanticism has had an indescribable success. In fact, ghetto kids really would rather reach for the oboe than the revolver. Their heroes are not scowling rappers but Bach and Beethoven. The Venezuelan classical music manufactory is certainly the best-organised and most influential sound-combine in the world."

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