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21/07/2006

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, 21.07.2006

Today the paper's very readable weekly media page takes up the theme of war journalism. Petra Tabeling presents the work of the Dart Center, which helps traumatised war reporters, citing one journalist: "We constantly reported on traumata, without acknowledging that the conflict also left traces in our own souls. Each one of us tried to come to terms with our own experiences and deal with them at the bar. We thought we were emotionally immune."


Süddeutsche Zeitung, 21.07.2006


Günter Kowa has seen a preview of the first major exhibition of works by Hitler's favourite sculptor, Arno Breker, which opens tomorrow at the Schleswig Holstein Haus in Schwerin (here a flyer as pdf). The show benefits from its sober presentation, he writes. "Curator Rudolf Conrades' objective of neither playing down nor glorifying Breker is furthered by his museum. The brick half-timbered baroque construction provides an appropriate counterpoint to the reputation of monumental kitsch which surrounds Breker's work. No shrine, no pantheon, no sanctuary. Instead, the sculptures occupy a succession of small, low-ceilinged rooms and a plain staircase, all under iron T-beams provided by the state of Schleswig Holstein which help support the old ceiling."


Die Welt, 21.07.2006


After reading the catalogue to the Arno Breker exhibition in Schwerin, Uta Baier exclaims: "It's imperative to show Arno Breker! But not now and not in the Schleswig Holstein House in Schwerin. And not under the direction of a former museum director whose reputation is so minor that for the exhibition he is forced to rely solely on the collection of the Breker family, and who in order to make the exhibition happen puts up with unthinking enthusiasm of a friend of the Breker family in the catalogue, and who in his own text puts the Colossus of Rhodes on a par with Brekker's representatives of the master race."

Israeli writer Meir Shalev finds the Israeli reaction to Hizbullah's attacks justified, "but too many questions remain, raising suspicion and doubt. There are too many attacks against civilians, there is no definition of the war objectives, and there is no definition of what would constitute a victory – that is, the end of the operation. Is the point to secure the return of the captive soldiers? Or the withdrawal of Hizbullah from Southern Lebanon? And if yes – how far back do they have to pull back? Or is the point to kill Hizbullah leader Hassan Nasrallah? Or the complete dissolution of Hizbullah? Or is this really all about the fight against worldwide terror and the struggle against Syria and Iran?"


Berliner Zeitung, 21.07.2006

Iranian filmmaker and dissident Mohsen Makhmalbaf talks to Julia Teichmann about the current leadership in Iran: "There's a well-known line in an Iranian poem: 'The truth was a mirror in the hands of God. It fell and shattered, and every person took a shard of the mirror and each thought that they now had the whole truth in their hands. But the truth was in many hands.' Anyone who thinks they have the whole mirror in their hands is close to fascism. Because he will force others to follow him. Iranian ideologues think that they have the truth in their hands."


Der Tagesspiegel, 21.07.2006

When filmmaker Lars Von Trier backed out two years ago, dramatist Tankred Dorst was asked to jump in and direct the four-part opera cycle "Ring of the Nibelung" at the Bayreuth Festspiele. At 80, these are his first opera stagings. The first in the cycle, "Rheingold", premieres July 26. Dorst speaks with Christa Sigg, who asks if in his production the gods have human occupations. "No. They don't have careers, they're not stockbrokers or anything like that. And the humans don't need them any more. The people suntanning on a dried meadow don't even notice the gods when they appear. In the background you can see discarded monuments and statues. The story takes place in today's world of dilapidation and destruction. For example there's a forest that's been logged, and over it a highway bridge where a couple of welders are working. The dragon-slaying scene takes place underneath, but the welders don't even notice."


Frankfurter Rundschau, 21.07.2006

At the Ruhr Piano Festival, Guido Fischer observed a return of the piano concert. He was particularly impressed by the work "Malignant Cells" by pianist and composer Thomas Larcher, inspired by a Mozart concert and the film of the same name by Barbara Albert, in which "relationships are unabashedly trampled on. Against this morbid background of distress, Larcher develops his heart-rhythm system which pumps through the lurid orchestral movement and the alarmingly motor-like piano repetitions. Larcher's piano compositions show him walking in John Cage's footsteps as much as taking up the archaic suggestiveness of the Georgian Giya Kantscheli. This is the bandwidth he perpetuates with unswerving attention. Playing together with the Munich Chamber Orchestra conducted by Dennis Russell Davis, Thomas Larcher has not only launched the rehabilitation of the piano concert; without a doubt 'Malignant Cells' points the way for the future possibilities of this genre."

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