?From the great beyond into the present? ? an interview with Jo Lendle

Hanser publisher Jo Lendle talks about gentle adjustments of languages and marketing strategies.... more more

GoetheInstitute

26/09/2005

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.

Monday 26 September, 2005

Süddeutsche Zeitung, 26.09.2005


Reinhard J. Brembeck applauds Michael Gielen, the conductor of Stefan Herheim's staging of Verdi's "The power of fate" at Berlin's Staatsoper. "Inexorably alert, the great old conductor rises above the orchestra pit, confining himself to a few gestures. But his looks, they must be horrifying. The musicians have unquestioning faith in him, and Gielen's interpretation pays less respect to the easy-listening strictures of the Italian Hm-ta-ta tradition than to his own uncompromisingly modern approach. Verdi seems to him a precursor of Gustav Mahler, someone who passionately, yearningly, unifies the banal, disintegrating world. A radical approach which - of course – provoked many boos."


Die Tageszeitung, 26.09.2005


In 1989, the Chinese rock star Cui Jian provided the soundtrack for the student protest in Tienanmen. He recently gave his first big public concert following years of being banned from performing. George Blume was there and met many fellow former protesters. "Shen Fang is already a bit drunk. He is wearing the red shirt that he wore at Tiananmen. On it are the words of Cui Jian: 'You ask me what I think. I'll tell you: Let's go at it together!' Shen listens to Cui Jian playing at Tiananmen. He had to give up his studies in order to partake in the protests. 'I would have become a mandarin. Now I have a piston factory.'"


Die Welt, 26.09.2005


Reinhard Wengierek reports of two "decimations of Shakespeare" in Berlin: Robert Wilson's "The Winter's Tale" at the Berliner Ensemble and Tina Lanik's "The Merchant of Venice" at the Deutsches Theater. Yet again, Wengierek writes, Wilson takes the classic as an opportunity "to celebrate himself and his own manias, using images that are nearly frozen, that contain barely enough life to illustrate the fiery drama." Meanwhile, Wengierek credits Lanik, 32 years Wilson's junior, with at least enough intelligence to give her lead actor Ulrich Matthes free rein as Shylock. But "Matthes plays the stubborn insistence on the pound of flesh from his antagonist as a kind of emancipatory act: finally he bares his teeth to those who have beating on him for so long. Which would be all very natural if the others would show their teeth in return. If they were all to stem from this inhumane world. But the Venetian Christians are mere shadows of themselves, making this staging in this supposed 'theatre of the year' superfluous."


Frankfurter Rundschau, 26.09.2005

Friedrich Schirmer's first production as artistic director at Hamburg's Deutsche Schauspielhaus is wide of the mark, writes Peter Michalzik, who has nothing good to say about Jacqueline Kornmüller's "beyond-the-pale" staging of Ibsen's "The Lady from the Sea". The performance "is at least as platitudinous, insensitive, embarrassing and clodhoppping as Ellida Wangel, the play's central figure, is supposed to be. Almost every sentence is not only wrongly conceived, it is also wrongly felt. What the Schauspielhaus dishes up for Hamburg audiences is a series of stencilled emotions, ready-made to produce a sort of operatic fervour, or the kind of cheap laugh you can get best by denouncing the central figure. It's difficult to accept that at one point or another this all does not just become too silly for everyone concerned."


Saturday 24 September, 2005

Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung, 24.09.2005

After the speeches opening the retrospective of works by Jörg Immendorff at Berlin's Neue Nationalgalerie, Niklas Maak had a walk around the room and saw Immendorff's famous painting Cafe Deutschland, but this time in action: "The painter Daniel Richter got excited in a discussion with a theorist of the conservative camp, defending chancellor Gerhard Schröder's over-buoyant television appearance on election night a week ago (more here). Veronica Ferres, who did a lot to promote the financing of the exhibition, walked by the 1984 painting 'Anbetung des Inhalts' (adoration of content) which depicts a person with abstract strokes of colour, and said that much of what Immendorff paints is a vivid painted commentary on the question of form in painting. Then, later in the evening, the chancellor himself smiled as he strolled by a huge flag bearing the words: 'L'autre, c'est moi'. Immendorff succeeded once more in creating a surreal commentary on the state of the nation."


Die Tageszeitung, 24.09.2005

A few days prior to the 15th anniversary of the German Unification on October 3, Uwe Rada takes stock in sombre terms: "Anyone who does not fear losing votes will admit: the unification is washed-up, and an 'Aufschwung Ost' – or 'Eastern Recovery' – will never happen." His suggestion: The founding of an "Eastern Special Welfare Zone", with both social security and economic deregulation: "Such a mixture of welfare state and free economic zone would be a signal that, given the failed Eastern Recovery, people are now ready - after 15 years of united Germany - to try out new ideas, and take the concept of a social laboratory seriously."


Neue Zürcher Zeitung, 24.09.2005

Angelika Timm reports on a controversial art exhibition in the Tel Aviv Museum called "Group and Kibbutz in the Collective Israeli Consciousness": "The exhibition's main statement is that Kibbutz members are not socialised to learn a true collective spirit, but rather to become a homogeneous grey mass. This reflects the contemporary opinion in Israel that the socialist experiment has failed, here as elsewhere. But today's critique of the Kibbutz is not only aimed at extreme elements of the movement, for example the 'Kinderhaus' daycare system, which are indeed worthy of criticism. The vision of equal coexistence is fundamentally opposed to a world characterised by consumerism, media manipulation and egotism of all kinds, in which the incantation of individuality ultimately, even more than in the Kibbutz, creates a conformist and uniform mass."

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