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GoetheInstitute

20/09/2006

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, 20.09.2006

In an interview the Tunisian-born French poet and essayist Abdelwahab Meddeb ("The Malady of Islam") talks about his criticism of the militant and official Islam: "The real danger is not militant and violent Islam, that's only a minority thing. Much more dangerous is the diffuse Islamism which is spreading through society as a whole. This became very clear to me during my visit to Cairo shortly after the Luxor shootings in 1997. I was not surprised by them. They were a radical expression of the general mood in the country. Every journalist, intellectual and theologian I met said Egyptians couldn't have been behind the killings, that it must have been foreign enemies. Fleeing responsibility again! I argued with everyone at the time: you're crazy! These people only put your anti-western and xenophobic rhetoric into action. And the representatives of traditional and official Islam also contributed to this climate."


Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung, 20.09.2006

After the local elections in Germany last Sunday where, in the state of Mecklenburg-West Pommerania, the right-wing German National Party (NPD) won 6 seats in the local parliament, with votes up 6.5% to 7.3%, Frank Schirrmacher looks at demographic reasons for this development. "In countless villages young unemployed men live together with old people, not only with no hope of getting work, but also with no chance of finding a partner. Since Klaus Theweleit analysed 'male fantasies' of the volunteer corps in the Weimar Republic, we have known how the attractiveness of these male-bonding life forms rise, with the absence of a partner, or the possibility of finding one."


Frankfurter Rundschau, 20.09.2006


The Hungarian author György Dalos writes that although the Hungarians do have grounds for dissatisfaction, he finds the current riots in Budapest inappropriate. Comparisons drawn by many observers with the Uprising 50 years ago do show "striking similarities," he writes. "Yet for all the similarities, it's the differences that really count. In October 1956 the masses went out onto the streets against the dictatorship because they had no effective means to express their demands. Today, by contrast, it should be possible to solve even the most sensitive issues within a democratic framework. For society to bring its own experience to bear in differentiating between truth and lies, what it needs above all is inner peace."


Süddeutsche Zeitung, 20.09.2006

In a beautiful, very personal essay published by the paper in the context of the focus on India at this year's Frankfurt Book Fair, London-born writer - and prospective successor to Kofi Annan as the head of the UN - Shashi Tharoor explains why he writes in English. "Indians like me," he writes, "Indians who even as children made friends in English, quarrelled in English and – later of course – wooed in English... all share an urban education and an international view of the Indian reality. I think this view is no less authentically 'Indian' than the views of writers who publish in other Indian languages. Why should the farmer in his village or the small-town teacher with a mark on his brow be more Indian than the quick-witted student or the Bombay socialite? India is a gigantic and extremely complex country. There are very many, very different Indias. I write about an India with many truths and many realities, an India that is more than the sum of its parts. This diversity is easier to express in English than in any other Indian language, because English isn't rooted in any particular region of the country."


Berliner Zeitung, 20.09.2006

Jens Balzer interviews Edgar Froese, founder of the German rock band Tangerine Dream, which kicks off its 40-year jubilee tour tomorrow night as part of Berlin's Popkomm music festival and trade fair. Froese looks back on highlights from the past, among them a concert in 1980 in the East-German Palast der Republik (Palace of the Republic), the first by musicians from West Germany. "It was insane: all the international TV crews you can think of, and 80 percent of the tickets had been sold to party cadres. The real fans were all outside and couldn't get in. They pressed against the doors and that huge glass window, shouting: 'We want in! We want in!' Then all the journalists ran outside, everyone was running everywhere, actually it was all a bit menacing. I said to the organisers: either we stop playing right here and now, or you let the people in. Which they finally did, after a lot of dithering. In the end the place was just packed, even the stairs were full. They would've really liked just to chuck us all in jail, but the general excitement was too much for them."


Die Welt, 20.09.2006

"Form bands!" cries Michael Pilz. Times might be bad for the music industry, but not for musicians. Because today distribution is no longer dependent on the once feared A&R (Artist and Repertoire) manager, but on Myspace and Youtube or ambitious net stations like Pandora or Last.FM. "Or the countless musicblogs, which are not only run by crazies hungry for recognition, but - in the case of Motel de Moka or Moistworks - by trustworthy music lovers. Mainly, though, the better blogs present themselves as collections of the best musical gems. Despite all the precautions they take to protect themselves, they basically provide MP3s and naturally the record companies could sue. But there's no way they will. Because there's no point taking action against opinion leaders."

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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.
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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.
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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.
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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.
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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.
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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.
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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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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.
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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.
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Saturday 4 - Friday 10 September, 2010

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