24/01/2006

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.

Die Tageszeitung, 24.01.2006

Daniel Bax presents the next big thing: Turkish-German Arabesque music! The stars are Murat "Muhabbet" Ersin ("Sie liegt in meinen Armen" - she lies in my arms) and the duo Mehmet and Murat who have "already won themselves a large fanbase in the Internet". (...) "In Turkish chat forums there are scores of devotional hymns of praise from mostly female fans. This no doubt stems from their fearless expression of their emotions, not to say kitsch. Because lines like 'Where are you / you know very well, I love you / Where are you / you know very well, I need you / Where are you / don't leave me alone / I love you and no one else' could not gush more pathos. So this is what it sounds like when Turkish men love too much!"


Die Welt, 24.01.2006


Kiev-based Russian author Andrey Kurkov tells of his "first year with Ukrainian president Viktor Yushchenko". He was struck by one thing in particular: "Viktor Yushchenko is a Don Quixote, struggling against Russia and his enemies in the parliament at home. Moreover, his fate is even more tragic than Don Quixote's, because he's got no Sancho Panza. He's all alone up there. The people loved and supported him at first, but now they seem to feel sorry for him more than love him. They wanted a resolute president, one feared by his enemies. And for the first six months his enemies were afraid of him. But then they started thinking: 'What are we so afraid of? Yushchenko is a good, quiet romantic. He breeds bees and collects Ukrainian folk art."


Süddeutsche Zeitung, 24.01.2006

"When an Egyptian thinks about Germany, he thinks of Mercedes Benz limousines. And the Goethe Institute, where Egyptian intellectuals like to drink fine wines and eat dainty food on the house while taking in a bit of culture on the side," writes Egyptian author and caricaturist Ahmed Alaidy on the opening of the 38th Cairo International Book Fair, whose guest of honour this year is Germany. "But conspicuously, the Egyptian Merit Publishing Company is not part of the German programme here. This year the independent publishers will put out 50 new titles in literature, politics and sociology (a number far higher than other Egyptian and Arab publishers). Five of these books are German, and were translated into Arabic with German support. And in 2004 and 2005 as many as 25 were German! The company's head, Muhammad Hashim, was invited to the Frankfurt Book Fair for the last three years, but he belongs to the opposition... It seems that the Germans, who were not afraid of inviting him to Frankfurt, are now suddenly afraid of having an opposition figure as their guest in Cairo because it might cause offence to the host country."


Berliner Zeitung , 24.01.2006

Michaela Schlagenwerth went to Charite Hospital in Berlin to see the first results of an ongoing cooperation between Berlin-based choreographer Sasha Waltz, her dance troupe Sasha Waltz & Guests and the world of science. "It's about the secrets of pattern formation in nature. How do the cells know what they're doing, how they should get into formation? Self-organisation is the key word. But what happens when one transfers the rules of science onto human beings? Fourteen Waltz dancers attempt to find human expression and movement for the things that biophysicists see under the microscope." After the performance, the audience, made up largely of scientists, "started talking enthusiastically about ideas the choreography had inspired, throwing around possibilities for experiments with proteins and protein folding".


Frankfurter Rundschau, 24.01.2006

Orhan Pamuk, Turkish author and winner of the Peace Prize of the German Book Trade in 2005 (see our featured interview "The Turkish trauma"), has made no bones about calling the Turkish genocide of the Armenians by its name. This led to his being arraigned for "insulting Turkishness" last autumn. The trial was then postponed until February, and now the charges have been dropped. Ina Hartwig is dissatisfied with this outcome: "Unfortunately that means: Pamuk has not been acquitted. Those filled with an overblown sense of national honour will go on calling him a traitor. And there is no cause for jubilation – because scores of intellectuals are now currently facing trial in Turkey, a fact that Pamuk, the most prominent among them, never tires of drawing attention to."


Other papers, 24.01.2006

Le Figaro shows a very fetching series of photos reflecting the intercultural dialogue between John Galliano and the Catholic Church.

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