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

04/10/2005

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 4 October, 2005

Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung, 04.10.2005

Paul Ingendaay describes the desperate strategies of the Africans, intent on scaling ever higher barbed wire fences in the Spanish enclave of Melilla in Morocco, to get into Europe. "There were so many would-be immigrants that the border guards lost control of the mass. Ladders were all thrown against the fence at the same time, the people all climbed up simultaneously, they all threw themselves against the barrier at the same time in the knowledge that some of them were not going to make it. Even more than the secret landing of dinghies on European coastlines, this assault emphasises that people are the only resource that poverty-stricken countries in Africa have in abundance. This is why some of these people are on the road for a year or longer. And this is why they get caught up in the barbed wire where they are simply trampled over, where they fall back unnoticed, tear bits of flesh off their bodies or get struck down by bullets."


Berliner Zeitung, 04.10.2005

Sebastian Preuss reports on the success of the once so provincial seeming Art Forum in Berlin. "'It was crazy,' says Alexander Sies of the gallery Sies+Höke in Dusseldorf. He sold eight sculptures and photographs by Florian Slotawa whose ready-made sculptures made from everyday objects are certainly not easily digestible. He also sold several photo works by Uta Barth at between 15,000 and 20,000 dollars a piece. 'Almost all our buyers were new to us,' Sies explained happily."


Süddeutsche Zeitung, 04.10.2005

Patrick Roth asks American film director Terry Gilliam about his filmic fairy tale, "Brothers Grimm" which hits movie screens this Thursday. "I think Grimm's fairy tales are responsible for my absurd optimism," the 64-year-old ex-Monty Python member told Roth. "I see them everywhere, a kind of base coat shining through daily reality. Witches don't live in gingerbread houses any more, but  studio bosses do." According to Gilliam, Hollywood big shots Bob and Harvey Weinstein are definitely good fairy characters. "Bob and Harvey are no Hollywood bureaucrats, they're passionate film producers," he says. "We began the project with MGM, researched filming locations, were sat in Prague and wanted to start. Then the call came: MGM had bailed out, the film was dead in the water. 24 hours later – by this time the team had split up and were back in London, Paris, New York – I got a call from our producer Chuck Roven. He told me Bob and Harvey were taking over the project, filming would start the next day."


Saturday 1 October, 2005

Süddeutsche Zeitung, 01.10.2005

Star sociologists Anthony Giddens (more) and Ulrich Beck (more) have published an appeal in all EU member states to try to jolt Europe into action. Nation states and the European Union, according to their central thesis, are not mutually exclusive. On the contrary: "Let us start to think of the EU not as an 'unfinished nation' or an 'incomplete federal state', but instead as a new type of cosmopolitan project. People feel afraid of a possible federal super-state and they are right to do so. A resurgent Europe can't rise up from the ruins of nations. The persistence of the nation is the condition of a cosmopolitan Europe; and today, for reasons just given, the reverse is true too. For a long time the process of European integration took place mainly by means of eliminating difference. But unity is not the same as uniformity. From a cosmopolitan point of view, diversity is not the problem; it is the solution."

On October 3, the Germans celebrated 15 years of unity. The author Ingo Schulze talked to the paper about his new novel and the end of the DDR. "In East Germany words concealed figures, which is why the whole system collapsed. In the autumn of 1989 the meaning of words reached their peak, just think of the slogans in Leipzig. People called out something and it happened, the world was falling apart. Then events accelerated and words could not keep pace. And suddenly it was all over. Suddenly there was the Deutschmark. From then on it didn't matter what people said, now it was things that counted."


Die Welt, 01.10.2005

Unusually for a such a conservative broadsheet, one unnamed online reviewer has failed to follow in the footsteps of other positive reviews and is highly critical of the new Mao biography by Jung Chang and Jon Halliday because it fails to probe deeper into the Chinese communist leader's philosophy: "Going like a bull at a gate, Jung Chang's and Jon Halliday's "Mao" is not just an awful read because of the barbarity and the crimes the biography (subtitle "the life of a man" and "the fate of a people") describes . What is also awful about this book is its narrowness; the authors make no attempt to actually explain the reasons for Mao's evil character. As a result, the 'Mao Myth' remains intact. It is a situation which mirrors that of Stalin, whose subcutaneous standing in Russian society remained pretty much unbroken, as was visible at the recent celebrations marking the end of World War II."


Frankfurter Rundschau, 01.10.2005

Elke Buhr took a look at the exhibition of current South Asian art, "Politics of Fun" in Berlin's Haus der Kulturen der Welt (House of World Cultures) and liked what she saw. The exhibition opening, she decided, did real justice to the title. "So roughly, this is how we imagined South Asian art: a hybrid of tradition and the modern, a vibrating mix of spirituality and High Tech. Now Bangkok artist Michael Shaowanasai has done us a big favour. His video 'Artist of the Moment' is admittedly no real documentary about his work, rather a highly amusing fake guide to the Western art world for up-and-coming Asian artists."

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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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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.
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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.
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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

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.
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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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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

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.
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