14/11/2005

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.

The feuilletons battle it out over the French riots...

In an interview in Saturday's Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung, French demographer Emmanuel Todd takes the riots in the French suburbs as proof that immigrants' children have successfully integrated: "With their revolt, the insurgent youth have integrated into the French tradition. And they're treated by the police just like any other revolutionaries. Despite Interior Minister Nicolas Sarkozy's absurd rhetoric (more), the police and the population haven't lost their nerve. If the events can be brought to an end more or less peacefully, France will wake up and say to itself: this revolt doesn't mean the failure of the French model. On the contrary, it shows that it works. Because that's what we call assimilation in French."

In another interview in Saturday's Die Tageszeitung, French sociologist Michel Pialoux makes an interesting differentiation between the sexes: "Girls from the immigrant milieu are more successful at school and at entering the job market. Unemployment is higher among young men. This feeds the youths' despair, and it also feeds their machismo. Another factor is that street culture is typical male territory."

Saturday's Die Welt publishes an essay in which author Michael Kleeberg compares the country's republican discourse with its apartheid praxis, which is the flip side of an unspoken but deep-rooted elitism: "France, in contrast to the official rhetoric, is an archly conservative country in which the elite recruits almost exclusively from within the elite. In France, men with the academic training of someone like ex-chancellor Helmut Kohl or outgoing chancellor Gerhard Schröder (obscure provincial high school, continuing eduction, mass university, no marriage into higher social spheres) can at best hope to become mayor in a middling provincial town."

Writing in today's Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung, Michael Jeismann sees in the French suburbs not only cause for despair, but also signs of hope, for example in Evry, southwest of Paris. "The European space programme is centred in Evry. And with Genopole, the elite of French scientific research and biotechnology is at home there too. But that's not all. It's also the only place in France where a new cathedral was built in the 20th century. It's right next to the city hall and has over fourteen hundred seats. Pope John Paul II visited it in the 90s. And at the same time, there are more people from Mali living in Evry than anywhere else in the world, and a huge Buddhist temple is being built there as well."


Other stories


Die Tageszeitung, 14.11.2005


A major conflict is currently rocking the German news magazine Der Spiegel, between the magazine's editors and the heirs to Rudolf Augstein, the magazine's founder. Augstein's daughter, Franziska Augstein, has attacked the editors, among them editor-in-chief Stefan Aust, and labelled the publication a "gossip rag". Oliver Gehrs (author of "Der Spiegel Complex") describes how the battle lines are being drawn: "The editors of the magazine's various sections have protested against the criticism in a joint statement. Absurdly, the signatories include many harsh critics of Aust. But anyone who refused to sign the statement would probably be out of a job in less than six months, because as Gabor Steingart, Der Spiegel's office manager in Berlin, likes to say, fear is what makes Der Spiegel tick."


Süddeutsche Zeitung, 14.11.2005

After visiting the exhibition "On normality. Art in Serbia 1989-2001" in the Belgrade Museum of Contemporary Art, Tom Holert testifies to a Serbian art scene which is steadily becoming truly heterogeneous. What unites all the works, however, is that they address nationalism, war, UN sanctions, social disintegration or former Yugoslavian president Slobodan Milosevic. "In one of her impressive paintings Biljana Durdevic (born 1973) lays out Father Christmas on the autopsy table. The red coat with its white fur lining is opened at the chest allowing a glimpse at the milky white skin, coloured socks and dirty underwear. The young Belgrade artist has invested little sympathy in her depiction of the corpse. It is a painstaking demystification, accompanied by repugnance and a lust for revenge, of something that has long had the magic taken out of it, painted in a Baroque realist style. And it doesn't take much to see in this painting a reflex reaction to a society in which images of dead bodies belong to media routine in a politics of fear."


Die Welt, 14.11.2005

In the media section, Uwe Schmitt introduces the gangsta rap magazine DonDiva. "Over 150,000 buyers have turned this prison rag into a lifestyle magazine – with tips on hiding goods in plug sockets, tests of mobile money-counting machines for street business and practical getaway car tires which can do 50 miles per hour even when full of bullet holes."

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