On the Death of Siegfried Lenz ? ?You have to justify your life?

Siegfried Lenz, one of the great writers of German post-war literature is dead. He died on 7 October 2014, surrounded by his family. He was 88 years old.... more more

GoetheInstitute

03/03/2006

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.

Neue Zürcher Zeitung, 03.03.2006

"One beautiful Sunday in the Cold War, I set Axel Caesar Springer's chalet on fire atop a Swiss mountain." In his book "Ein Sonntag in den Bergen" (A Sunday in the mountains), author Daniel de Roulet confesses to the hitherto unsolved crime committed in 1975. Roman Bucheli is appalled at the arsonist's candour: "De Roulet explains that for him Axel Springer, founder of the Axel Springer media empire, was a Nazi, and so he wanted to let him know that his presence in Switzerland was undesirable. Only in 2003 – oh, saintly naivete – did he find out while chatting with a Berlin psychiatrist that he had been wrong about Springer. That was when he decided to 'have a look through the Cold War, those days when we were still Sunday-terrorists'. What follows in the 120 casually-written pages is a mixture of coming clean, emotionalism and love story – de Roulet insists he also committed the crime to show his girlfriend at the time that he was a man of action – all peppered with reminiscences from Vietnam, the Iraq War and September 11. But what the book does not contain is a self-critical appraisal of the partial blindness associated with the time."

On the media page, Colin Porlezza explains why Silvio Berlusconi is "no accident", but rather an integral part of the Italian media system. An independent journalistic culture never developed in Italy, Porlezza writes: "First of all, in Italy there is the so-called 'editoria impura', which subordinates journalistic principles to the interests of the owners. These owners are mostly commercial groups that otherwise have nothing to do with the media sector. Secondly, news reporting is strongly politicised. This is a continuation of the tradition of party-based newspapers, although these have mostly been phased out by now. The result is that opinion-based journalism is the dominant reporting style."


Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung, 03.03.2006

In an interview, author Paula Fox discusses her trip to Europe in 1946 as a stringer for a news agency, which she also describes in the second part of her memoirs, "The Coldest Winter". She had to keep her emotions in check at all times, she says, otherwise she would only have been able to write "shock, shock, shock": "But there are two episodes where I do talk about my feelings: one time when I describe my heartless laughter as the pilot of the plane I took out of Warsaw sunk a wing over a row of German war prisoners as if he wanted to decapitate them all. The other time was when someone in Prague told me about a professor whose entire family had been murdered by the Nazis. A few days after the liberation he saw a German soldier on the street, followed him and hanged him by the neck on a meat hook."


Der Tagesspiegel, 03.03.2006


In spite of all the kitsch and exaggeration, Rüdiger Schaper cannot get over Alain Platel's ballet "Vespero" based on Monteverdi's "Vespers" which premiered at the Berliner Staatsoper on Wednesday. "It takes some time to recover after the end of Platel's Vespers. Fifteen, twenty minutes of collective madness. A remorseless ghost invades the ensemble. The dancers quiver in ecstasy like the North American Shakers. Something takes possession of them, first their arms, then their upper bodies, then their legs, it varies. Is it exorcism, is it masturbation of all limbs, is it a wild trance? What ever it is, it refuses to be shaken off. It grows. Unperturbed, the female soprano stands there and sings the 'Magnificat'. Again and again. An enticement, a promise which is never fulfilled. It hurls the dancers to the ground. At last the moment arrives and the mountain glows. But the shaking gets more violent still. A fight to the death. Cold turkey, because the drug is withheld?"


Die Tageszeitung, 03.03.2006

Tobias Rapp enthuses about the structural changes in the pop music world brought about by the blogosphere. "After years of music journalists attesting to the death of the record industry (and not without a certain malice) now their own institutions are endangered. On-line hypes simply can't be reproduced with the means classical music magazines have at their disposal. They're just too fast. (...) But of course the main advantage of the music blog is that it can put an mp3 of the piece of music being written about directly in the text." Here are a few blogs and online magazines recommended by Rapp: Pitchfork, Tape, yousendit.


Süddeutsche Zeitung,
03.03.2006

Holger Liebs visits French artist Pierre Huyghe whose film "A Journey That Wasn't" is showing from today at the New York Whitney Biennial and also at the Musée d'Art Moderne in Paris. The film combines footage from his journey to the Antarctic in search of the extraordinary albino penguins and scenes from the musical he made about the adventure which was performed, black icebergs and all, on the ice rink in Central Park. Huyghe stresses he was not interesting in experiencing the extreme. "That would be exoticism. You know in advance that you will fail when you search for the empty, unexplored land, the 'elsewhere', hoping to capture it and bring it home. You lose the 'elsewhere'. But I don't think that's a bad thing. Failing is an necessary condition for my work. That sounds very melancholy, but melancholy means desiring something, while the object of your desire slips away, disappears." A retrospecive of Huyghe's work is also opening in the Tate Modern in London on July 5.

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