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GoetheInstitute

18/01/2006

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.

Der Tagesspiegel, 18.01.2006

Tony Kushner, who wrote the scenario to Steven Spielberg's film "Munich", defends himself in an interview with Peter von Becker against accusations that he was sloppy in his research. "The problem is that there are no accessible documents on the background to the events in Munich in 1972 and their aftermath. Each informant only tells his own side of the story. We know Abu Daoud's version because he wrote a book about it. Now he's gone into hiding, all the while complaining that we didn't talk with him. In truth he's insulted that until now there's been no English translation of his book! (laughs) Even among the Israelis there are differing accounts. And some would like to cover up the fact that the trail of the bloody retaliation for Munich leads to Israel's prime minister at the time, Golda Meir. I have a lot of respect for Meir, and the film doesn't put her down. But without her, Palestinian terror suspects across Europe wouldn't have been hunted down and liquidated, and a lot of innocent lives would have been saved."

Rüdiger Schaper presents Lebanese performance artist Rabih Mroue, who is in Berlin for the HAU theatre's "Middle East News" weekend. "'Looking for a Missing Employee' is based on a true story that is hidden in a morass of suspicion, false reports, fantasies and lies. It's like a small version of the Hariri case. One day, Mroue says, a tax collector disappeared from Beirut with a suitcase full of money. At one point his body was discovered, but it was never cleared up if he had been working on his own, or if the secret services or a criminal gang were behind it. Mroue works with freely accessible material: the newspapers. 'Looking for a Missing Employee' is a political mystery. What makes it explosive is the calm with which Mroue tells it.


Frankfurter Rundschau, 18.01.2006

Rudolf Maria Bergmann has visited an exhibition on church architecture since 1989 at the Kunsthalle Krems in Austria, but what he saw was little more than "Jesus-loves-us-all-architecture". "When the catalogue says 'the new generation of architects' has 'a refreshing lack of self-consciousness', what it really means is that only a handful have the first idea about liturgy. Some of the buildings on display give the impression that theology is nothing but instructions for handworkers on how to create an aesthetic religion, rather than a social science. No effort is spared in order to impress: minimalistic kitsch, an exalted mix of materials, breathtaking forms, overpowering spaces. A torrent of images whose arbitrariness only leads to anything and everything. The crate-like construct could just as well serve as an oversized bike shed; cool glass shrines and sharp-edged concrete blocks could just as well house IT subsidiaries."


Süddeutsche Zeitung, 18.01.2006


Oliver Fuchs foresees a huge success for the band "Arctic Monkeys" and their debut album set for release this Friday, even if the songs have been available on the Internet for months. "It's not that they've 'reinvented' rock, as critics love to say. But they do get just about everything out of two guitars, a bass and drums that's there to be had. The utmost in power, density and thumping rhythms. Sheffield is an old steel city, but the Arctic Monkeys sound less like steel than fluid metal. Flexible. Elastic. Their songs bounce gaily like super balls."


Die Welt, 18.01.2006

Sven Felix Kellerhoff has visited the new permanent exhibition at Berlin's House of the Wannsee Conference, where the final solution was decided on. "The exhibition, supervised by historian Peter Klein, summarises current knowledge on the preparation of the genocide. Research in this area has taken huge strides in the past 15 years – above all thanks to the opening of numerous archives in Eastern Europe. For this reason the new exhibition has little in common with the previous one, although the same tragic story is being documented."


Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung, 18.01.2006

Paul Ingendaay writes on the perversions of unchecked Catalan "nationalism": "Recently it came out that in nine Barcelona hospitals, the Catalan regional government had almost one thousand patients' histories checked for the requisite use of the Catalan language, without the consent of those concerned. Privacy can obviously be neglected in favour of the authorities' control mania. And a doctor living in Barcelona has just announced he would start a hunger strike in front of the regional government buildings if his daughter doesn't receive kindergarten instruction in Spanish. For the inhabitants of Catalonia, the right to bilingualism has in practice become forced monolingualism."

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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.
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Saturday 2 - Friday 8 October, 2010

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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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