?From the great beyond into the present? ? an interview with Jo Lendle

Hanser publisher Jo Lendle talks about gentle adjustments of languages and marketing strategies.... more more

GoetheInstitute

26/06/2006

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.

Ingeborg Bachmann Prize awarded to Kathrin Passig

The three-day Ingeborg Bachmann competition took place from Thursday to Saturday in the Austrian town of Klagenfurt. Writers read from unpublished works in a quest for Austria's most prestigious literary award, worth 25,000 Euros. This year Kathrin Passig won both the main prize and the "public's prize". Other awards went to Bodo E. Hell, Norbert Scheuer and Angelika Overath.

Paul Jandl of the NZZ enjoyed his weekend at Klagenfurt, but found the texts almost too good. "There are still the typical Klagenfurt texts. But this time, the economic under- and over-classes outnumbered the largest marginal group, the I's. There are no more self-reflective texts, rather examinations of the Hartz IV milieu (Claudia Klischat), the penitentiary inmate (Clemens Meyer) or the key account manager (Andreas Merkel). There's not much lacking in the texts, aside from the fact that their craft is so perfect it's almost boring. These texts are not beyond critique, they're made for critique."

Elmar Krekeler writes in Die Welt, "An icy wind of indifference blows over the texts. They go at the world from a distance. They don't want to get burned. Somewhere, one thinks, something should be smouldering, in the characters, hopefully in the authors. Please don't leave me so in peace. Move me, excite me, knock me off my feet if you have to. But nobody does." With the exception of the winning text by Kathrin Passig. "A dead funny thriller. A literary parable, a life parable. A picture of the world. A discovery. This is the world in which we find ourselves. Full of stray, desperate jokes."

For Passig, an online journalist (website here) and non-fiction writer, the story of a fight for survival in a winter storm was a first foray into fiction. In an interview with the FAZ online, Passig explains that she decided to participate in the competition after attending it last year as an audience member. "Based on my observations last year, I decided it should definitely not be a funny text, it shouldn't be about problems in a relationship and it should not contain bad dialogue." Passig, surprised by her listenter's mirth at her reading, "tried to look sternly at the audience. I'm talking about people dying! Maybe the video that introduced me had put them in a laughing mood."


Monday 26 June, 2006

Berliner Zeitung, 26.06.2006


Bachmann Prize winner Kathrin Passig and co-author Holm Friebe introduce "the next big thing. (...) This month's issue of Wired magazine calls 'going bedouin' a corporate trend – it refers to a company that has no physical base and exists only in the form of a website, employees and communication between them. 'Pop-up stores' are more than transitional use of vacant space, and they are not limited to five and dime stores. The trend in Berlin was initiated by Japanese luxury brand Comme des Garçons, which recently opened in a vacant wing of the Karl Marx Book Store. Various brands have followed. We recently received the business card of a Berlin dentist, on which there was nothing more than a mobile phone number and an email address. The reason: she has no practice, she's a freelancer who rents space in shared practices, wherever something happens to be free."


Die Welt, 26.06.2006

In an interview with Ulrike Langer, Wikipedia founder Jimmy Wales declares he doesn't believe in Internet egalitarianism or the intelligence of the masses. "It's true, Wikipedia as an institution is in many respects egalitarian and grass-roots democratic. But at the same time, we Wikipedians are also elitist. We believe that some people are idiots and would do better not to write for an encyclopaedia. And I'm also no prophet. I try to communicate that free licenses are not only influencing software development but also encyclopaedias. One of my most important tasks is developing the 'creative commons' platform, which develops legal models for exchanging and developing free licenses." Wales also defends himself against the accusation by Jaron Lanier that Wikipedia is digital Maoism (more here, Lanier's text here).


Saturday 24 June, 2006


Die Welt, 24.06.2006

In a long interview with Roger Köppel, the eminent German historian Ernst Nolte once more clarifies his position on Nazism, its links with Bolshevism and Hitler, as well as the key issue for future historians. "If I had just ten more years, I'd take an in-depth look at Islamism as the negation of the liberalistic American society. That would be a fitting end to my life's work, to examine after communism and fascism the third, the weakest it's true, yet also the most astonishing phenomenon in the resistance to the individualist uniformity of humanity." For Nolte, Islam is certainly not a new form of fascism, but "I would say that Islamism, - the extreme political form of Islam - reveals the very strong defensive reaction to intrusive capitalism that you also see in Nazism and Bolshevism." Is this the new "small dose of Nolte" that historian Götz Aly called for some weeks ago? See our feature "The logic of horror" by Götz Aly.


Süddeutsche Zeitung, 24.06.2006

The Pirate Bay, the Swedish Internet file-sharing service which is used the world over primarily for obtaining pirate copies, was recently removed from the Net. Gunnar Herrmann tries to explain why Sweden of all places has become a hotbed of pirate copiers. "Computers and fast Internet access have spread faster here than elsewhere... There are even ministers who've publicly acknowledge they had downloaded pirated copies from the Net. An EU directive on strengthening copyright protection on the Internet was implemented last year only after long discussions. And in Sweden they don't talk of pirate copiers, but about 'fildelare', or 'file sharers'." Pirate Bay is now provisionally back online and confidently awaiting the court's decision.


Der Tagesspiegel, 24.06.2006


The Polish city of Zamosc on the Ukrainian border was conceived as a "Padua of the North." Now the German art project "Ideal City - Invisible Cities" is stirring up much excitement in the town, reports Christina Tilmann. "Sabrina van der Ley, the artistic director of the Art Forum trade fair in Berlin, and her husband Markus Richter, until 2005 owner of a Berlin gallery, know absolutely everyone in the art world. Star artists from Francis Alys to Tacita Dean, from Pedro Cabrita Reis to Lawrence Weiner followed their call, and the local population can now only gape in astonishment at what has happened to their town. The citizens of Zamosc were suspicious at first, even aggressive, when the artists showed their installations, Richter said at the opening. Later that night, people celebrated in the city's former fortifications, there was free beer for everyone, the mayor came – and so did the police."

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