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GoetheInstitute

27/10/2005

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.

Die Zeit, 27.10.2005

Die Zeit prints Joachim Sartorius' speech in praise of Turkish writer Orhan Pamuk, who was awarded the Peace Prize of the German Book Trade last Sunday. "Orhan Pamuk was the first author in the Muslim world to criticise the fatwa against Salman Rushdie. And he publicly allied himself with Yasar Kemal when he was arraigned in 1995. He is in favour of his country's entry in the EU because it would force the Turkish government to actually implement the reforms it has begun, and keep the Turkish military out of politics. I lived in the country for three years, and you can believe me: it takes courage to say things like that."

Katja Nicodemus is deeply impressed by "Tropical Malady", the latest film by Thai director Apichatpong Weerasethakul, which was received with great enthusiasm but also come confusion at Cannes last year. At one level, the film tells the story of the repressed romance between two soldiers, at another, "an old Khmer story, in the deepest depths of mythological consciousness. In this story, a young soldier hunts an enormous tiger in a jungle - or a shaman that has taken on the form of a tiger. This jungle is the real sensation of the film, a rain forest the likes of which cinema has never known. It is in fact a soundtrack, on which the chirping of an insect, the snapping of branches, the rustling of the green shaded thickets form a secret wall. As though drawn by an invisible force, the camera delves together with the soldiers deeper into this forest. As bloodsuckers cling to the hunter's calves while he pushes further into the thicket, leaving his radio and uniform behind him, as he eats snails and rubs himself with mud for camouflage, we realise that something horrific is going on."

Theologian Klaus Berger, a former professor in the Protestant Theology Faculty at the University of Heidelberg who had consistently argued that Protestants must be willing to make concessions in ecumenical talks with the Catholic Church, explains why, while being an official member of the Protestant Church, he had secretly remained a Catholic. "I'd wanted to become a priest and wasn't allowed to, because I represented positions that the Catholic Church would have nothing to do with. That's how I started on a path that only people who love without ifs ands or buts can understand. If I had retained my 'formal membership' in the Catholic Church, I would never have been able to live the life I did."


Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung, 27. 10.2005

An exhibition of "Leni Riefenstahl. Fotografie – Film – Dokumentation" has opened at the documentation centre on the site of what was once the Nazi Party Rally Grounds in Nürnberg. This, next to the Olympic Stadium in Berlin, served as the most important backdrop for the photographer's work in the Third Reich. Bernd Noack studies a photograph of Riefenstahl standing in the shadow of Hitler as he addresses a party rally, then takes a few steps to the exact spot where the picture was taken. "From here, you see that Riefenstahl was in no way forced into the background. She had the entire Zeppelinplatz before her, the parade square with over 100,000 people, row on row. The director had the Reich's party clearly rally in view. And under control."


Frankfurter Rundschau, 27.10.2005

"I'm like a miner who gets dust lung after being underground for decades. Like him, I can no longer make a European heart of my German organ," acknowledges Kurt Scheel, publisher of Merkur monthly magazine, in the FR series "Mein Europa" (my Europe). "As the Swede I'd have liked to have been If I'd been asked, I would certainly have become a model European. And I could have written a rousing confession of faith for 'Mein Europa' about my sovereign liberality. I would have been a cool cosmopolitan post- or at least meta-nationalist, like Ulrich Beck (see our feature 'The big lie'), a leading representative of the second or even third modernity. Too late! Someone had to play the bloodhound, and who could do this better than an educated German who doesn't trust the Germans?"


Süddeutsche Zeitung, 27.10.2005


Reinhard J. Brembeck can't get really excited about the new Elbphilharmonie concert house in the old Cocoa Warehouse in the Hamburg harbour. "These buildings, regardless of how futuristically they're set into the cityscape, are nothing but increasingly soulless matter." Brembeck is afraid that the spectacular building will be more of a drain than addition to the city's culture scene. "Even a cheaply run project on the scale of the Elbphilharmonie, with its humongous concert hall, will have to engage in an uncompromising commercialisation of art just in order to survive. Building such an ambitious temple to classical music will only lead to the erosion of classical music."


Der Tagesspiegel, 27.10.2005


Rammstein, the German band that mixes pop and heavy metal, will release its fifth album, "Rosenrot", tomorrow. The new release doesn't live up to Kai Müller's expectations. "In the old days, the men around singer Till Lindemann really knew how to shock the bourgeois establishment. Their musical aggressiveness was second to none, and their pyromaniac live shows had as much fiery magic as glamrock stars Kiss and Alice Cooper." But the band has lost its cutting edge, writes Müller, and songwriter Lindemann is slowly running out of provocative ideas: "Lindemann has written about child abuse ('Tier'), cannibalism ('Mein Teil'), rape ('Weißes Fleish'), sex ('Bück Dich', 'Rein Raus'), masochism ('Bestrafe mich') and the disaster at an aviation show at the US airbase in the West-German town of Ramstein. Now he's on to problems like the will to destroy ('Zerstören'), the thrill of death and voyeurism ('Spring').... In today's ice age, hot lust is running out of steam."

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