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GoetheInstitute

11/01/2006

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.

Berliner Zeitung, 11.01.2006

In an interview with Gerhard Midding, French film and stage director Patrice Chereau tells why he chose Joseph Conrad's short story "The Return" (text here) as a model for his new film "Gabrielle": "It's about people who come to see that they've ignored both their bodies and their feelings in their marriages. I'm fascinated by Conrad's tremendous insights, for instance in one amazing sentence the woman says in the story: 'If I had believed you loved me..., I would never have come back.' It was when I read that sentence that I decided to film 'Gabrielle'."


Die Welt, 11.01.2006

Ariel Sharon has been depicted as the shepherd of Israel on the cover of a new biography. Meir Shalev, uncle of the now more famous author Zeruya Shalev, considers this fitting. "It's comfortable to be a sheep, to depend on the shephard to lead us onto the green meadows. But one must not forget that this image contains more than meadows, water and flutes. The props of this character include the shears, the milking hand and the butcher's knife."

Uta Baier visited the "grandiose" exhibition on Adam Elsheimer's painting "Flight into Egypt" in the Alten Pinothek in Münich. "Nobody before or after Elsheimer has painted the night sky so realistically, so precisely and so scientifically correctly as the Frankfurter Adam Elsheimer in the year 1609. For that reason, his picture with the 1200 individual and 1500 Milky Way stars has been compared with computer images of the night sky from 1609. The result: Elsheimer painted the sky over Rome in the night of June 16, 1609 at exactly 21:45. In the night before the full moon. With a moon full of craters. As one can only see it through a telescope and as Galileo Galilei described it very precisely in his text "Siderus Nuncius" (Of new stars), which appeared in 1610. Therefore, one can be quite certain that Elsheimer had looked through one of the recently invented and still very rare telescopes before Galilei."


Spiegel Online, 11.01.2006

Historian Gerd Koenen writes in a very insightful essay about the effects of Islamic terror, "terrorism is less a military than a psychological form of combat. It aims to set up a cycle of violence and anti-violence, in which the fronts become unclear, the causes and effects switch places and conflicts bundle into a seemingly solid knot. Its most powerful effects are general moral fatigue and indifference and an increasing confusion over terms and measures. (...) Who are they that cut the throats of pleading hostages in front of video cameras? Who lets tanks explode in markets? Who blows himself up in the middle of a wedding or a Shiite procession? The facelessness of this unbounded terrorism, whose actors are described and thus honoured by the international press as 'rebels' or 'revolutionaries', is compounded by the paralysing, deadening effects of these almost stereotypical reports and images of terror." (See our feature by Gerd Koenen on the student leader Hans-Jürgen Krahl)


Süddeutsche Zeitung, 11.01.2006

Andrian Kreye describes how and why some American and Canadian universities are protesting the Coca Cola company by calling for a boycott of Coca Cola products. The company headquarters in Atlanta are beginning to show some concern. The students have accused Coca Cola of "lowering the water table in India through their deep drilling for the soft drink. But the most serious accusations are the ones about the company in Colombia. There, the local union and food industry are in a desperate situation because local bottling companies have hired death squadrons to not only put pressure on the unionists but to kill them."


Neue Zürcher Zeitung, 11.01.2006

Barbara Spengler-Axiopoulos has had a look around Kosovo (unfortunately the article is only available to e-paper subscribers), where not only electricity and jobs are in short supply, but also increasingly its own identity. "For five years, Kosovo has been under international mandate. The 'internationals', as the forces are known here, had the goal of imparting a feeling for democracy and respect for minorities and human rights. But how can something like that be successful in a society where youth unemployment is over 85 percent? Where the average yearly income is 1,000 euros? Where 65 percent of its inhabitants are under 30, making the population one of Europe's youngest? Perhaps it's the growing conviction that such elegant emancipatory formulas are in fact specious that has given young Kosovars the feeling of being left in the lurch."


Frankfurter Rundschau, 11.01.2006


Robert M. Buergel is director of documenta 12, the 2007 edition of the international contemporary art exhibition that takes place every four years in the city of Kassel. In an interview, Buergel gives first insights into how he conceives the event. Although he comments that his exact plans "don't concern anyone other than myself at present," and he prefers not to cater to media neuroses ("concerning the lists of invited artists and stuff like that"), he does describe his scheme to involve the city of Kassel more closely from the start. "It seems to me as if the courtly traditions were still deeply rooted in Kassel. The people have something plunked down in front of them, and they are expected to accept it. That kind of thing can be viewed with a certain scepticism." For that reason, the exhibitions should "highlight the relationship between local knowledge in various places – and Kassel is one of these. Ultimately that will show there's no difference between local and global."

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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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