?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

10/11/2005

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.

Frankfurter Rundschau, 10.11.2005

"People in the suburbs say: Baghdad is here. They see the events on television and think it's great," says French philosopher Andre Glucksmann in an interview with Ruthard Stäblein. "The violence has a global element and a French element to it. I'm sorry, but the French said no to Europe; and used their veto everywhere they could, in world trade talks and agriculture negotiations. The French say no whenever they can. The French government, that is, Chirac. For me these youths who are becoming murderers are imitating the big players, copying the politicians. A nihilist atmosphere is reigning in France today, and not just in the suburbs."
See our feature "The victory of Euro-nihilism" by Andre Glucksmann.


Neue Zürcher Zeitung, 10.11.2005

Beat Stauffer describes how hard it is to create a civil society in the Maghreb states. In Tunisia, for instance, human rights groups are not forbidden but rather undermined. The Tunisian state has created many fake groups in order to combat the authentic organisations. "'Of the more than 9,400 NGOs that exist officially in Tunisia, 7 are truly independent,' explains Essia Bel Hassen, spokesperson of the Tunisian Association of Democratic Women. All other organisations have been created by the authorities and have no real basis. The independent groups and organisations have a lot of trouble fighting against them. They also have to deal with the infiltration strategy of the former unity party RCD, which remains almost omnipotent. State-paid agents, one learns, try in large numbers to join the independent organisations and to gain a majority in the directorial committees."

Ueli Bernays considers Madonna's new album a total disappointment: "In 'Confessions on a dance floor', Madonna doesn't even live up to her previous standards. How can she? From an aesthetic standpoint, she's an opportunist; what we used to call the art of transfiguration was in fact crafty adaptation. And now that the sun of a new trend is rising, the cold blooded artist would like to shine. But today, the subcultures are conservative, they fall between 'neo' and 'retro'."


Die Zeit, 10.11.2005

Peter Kümmel was left cold by Shakespeare's "Macbeth" and Hans Henny Jahnn's Shakespeare-based "Richard III", the first performances at Hamburg's Schauspielhaus under the new artistic director Friedrich Schirmer. "These days people prop up old plays with analogies. Macbeth = Don Corleone, alias 'the Godfather'. Don Corleone = Joe Smith. In this way the director can demonstrate his power over the material. Analogies can best be wielded by someone who sees through all things, someone over and above the worlds he compares. The director refuses all contemporaniety, by 'short-circuiting' the epochs he treats. The '=' sign that he places between all times and all people, and that can continually be used as a bridge between them, is murder. Murder has always existed, and it will always exist. It is this '=' sign that makes today's theatre so empty, such a tautology."


Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung, 10.11.2005

Michael Althen visited the set where Tom Tykwer (Run Lola Run) is directing a film version of author Patrick Süskind's modern classic "Perfume". Süskind had long been opposed to the filming of his book, which made the best-seller lists for nine years and has sold over fifteen million copies worldwide: "With such sales figures, Patrick Süskind's "Perfume' was of course of great interest to filmmakers. But the author was immune to temptation, and abhorred the limelight. He sent them all packing, from Spielberg to Scorsese. His dream was that one day Stanley Kubrick would come knocking at his door, a director who shared both his reclusiveness and his perfectionism. But when Kubrick died, this dream could no longer be fulfilled, and Süskind finally gave in to the pleading of his friend, producer Bernd Eichinger. The author's rights are said to run in the neighbourhood of some ten million euros."

In a conversation with Joseph Hanimann, the French author Mehdi Belhaj Kacem analyses the symbolic play between Nicolas Sarkozy and the revolutionary youth: "A leftist magazine recently portrayed Nicolas Sarkozy as a kind of Al Pacino, who never loses sight of his goal and is willing to brave fire and brimstone to achieve it. One has the impression that Sarkozy read the article and wanted to prove its point: Sarkozy as hero in a gangster showdown in the suburbs. The youth didn't wait too long with their response. They took on the offer of the minister, who had bowed down to their level of rhetoric and entered into the showdown."


Süddeutsche Zeitung, 10.11.2005

Jörg Königsdorf was there when the Nürnberg Staatstheater performed Richard Wagners "Ring der Nibelungen" in Beijing: "The continuing, intense concentration of the Beijing audience and the 15 minute long standing ovation, crowned with 'ho-ho-ho calls' that followed the 'Götterdämmerung' show that the gold, avarice and gods obviously struck a nerve with the Chinese. Which shows, on further consideration, that Wagner's visions of social change has no better parallel to life than here. It's only a little mental leap from Wotan to Mao..."

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