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GoetheInstitute

03/11/2005

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 Welt, 03.11.2005

Anneke Bokern has flipped through the pages of a Dutch dictionary and noticed shocking developments. "With keywords like 'duty to naturalise', 'naturaliser', 'de-naturalise' and 'immigration-stop', the large dictionary of the Dutch language paints a picture of a society that is talking with increasing frankness about letting-in and throwing-out. The emotionality of the topic is shown by the canonisation of crude terms such as 'kut marokkan' (shit Moroccan) or 'knuffelallochtoon' (cuddly foreigner). The language betrays the attitude that only the successfully integrated are to be loved by the locals. They then have to accept the status of quota foreigner, for which the dictionary provides the resonant and politically incorrect neologism 'alibiali'".


Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung, 03.11.2005


Joseph Hanimann blames Nicolas Sarkozy (profile) and his loose tongue for the clashes in the suburbs of Paris. His talk of "Kärcher" - high pressure cleaning systems – for the suburbs was received with humour last summer. "But when he was insulted and made a target by youth during his visit to a police beat last week, his reaction didn't refer to dirt but to people. He's going to free them from these 'rascals', this 'pack' – 'voyous', 'racaille' – he announced to the locals standing around, referring to their own children."


Süddeutsche Zeitung, 03.11.2005

Sonja Zekri travelled to Bamian, Afghanistan, where the Taliban destroyed the world-famous Buddha statue in 2001. German scientists are working alongside others to ensure the safety of the remains of the blown-apart Buddha. "For two summers the restorer Edmund Mezl, a compact, well-disposed Bavarian, and a colleague have worked with the wiry Toubekis, sorting through, measuring and storing the Buddha rubble with funding from the German Foreign Office. They rapelled themselves down the edge of a cliff to locate the very last remains of plaster. They've explained to their Afghanistani colleagues how to distinguish between clay and stone, because one is a valuable surface and the other just mass. And they've tried not to be blown up themselves. Today for example, they came upon a five kilogram bomb, and other shrapnel remains fill many shelves. After 22 years of war, the temple was a death zone; Soviets, Mujahideen, Taliban all used the Buddha niches as munitions depots. 40,000 square meters of the plateau beyond the cliff are still mined."


Die Zeit, 03.11.2005

George Blume has been given a lesson in police psychiatry by Chinese dissidents who've emigrated to Germany; they describe what it means to be "cured" of dissenting ideas. "China's method of declaring healthy people crazy is frighteningly simple. 'Wang Wanxing makes a good impression,' writes the police doctor in the medical department of Ankang Hospital in Peking on August 11. His emotions are stable, he obeys authority, listens to the radio, likes to read and is generally helpful. But he displays 'delusions, and a disability in logical thinking when dealing with political subjects.' As his delusions had not improved, the doctor recommends further treatment."

Hanno Rauterberg went to Stuttgart and saw a building the likes of which were thought to be unbuildable. The new Mercedes Benz Museum is a piece of digital modernity that reveals its entire grandeur only from the inside, which is modelled on the computer. "After ascending the soft hills and entering the museum's gulch-like front door, the visitor stands in an overpowering entrance hall. Above him is the open core of the building, almost 50 meters high, a triangular concrete chimney that exerts an incredible pull. This pull is the leitmotiv, or better the leit-feeling of the museum. Everywhere you can feel the pushing and pulling, the sliding and the rotating. Individual mobility, normally a bureaucrat's term, is experienced here in the visitors' own bodies."


Frankfurter Rundschau, 03.11.2005

Michael Rutschky celebrates Dieter Wellershoff's eightieth birthday, calling the author "a much more reliable chronicler of postwar Germany than Günter Grass or Heinrich Böll". "Anyone who delves into Wellerhoff's novels is taken by their immediate intensity. The ordinary, unglorious setting of the (West) German postwar era makes it especially necessary to lend the works an epic quality. Here the highlights are the catastrophes of varying orders. In "Ein schöner Tag" (English translation "A Beautiful Day" out of print), the slightly bedraggled son gets a bad sunburn at the outdoor swimming pool in Bad Wildungen. Wellershoff makes of it a sort of mystic ecstasy. And all the bill juggling businessman Ulrich Vogtmann has to do in Wellershoff's novel "Winner Takes All" (1983 - translation 1986) to at least postpone his slow slide into bankruptcy makes for thoroughly breathtaking epic material."


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