From the Feuilletons


From the Feuilletons

Neue Zürcher Zeitung 23.01.2010

Edu Haubensak introduces the American composer Conlon Nancarrow who, in the course of his eventful life, emigrated to Mexico City in 1940 and invented "exhilarating and highly complex music for the mechanical piano": "Only on first hearing could this music sound abrupt and off-putting. The more you listen though, the more accessible these crystal clear structures become, in spite of their dense complexity. The early blues and boogie-woogie studies are astonishing and the Hispanically tinged pieces are full of humour on the mechanical piano. Stylistically, Nancarrow is absolutely at home in baroque; he named Johann Sebastian Bach's fugues as a source of inspiration, and imitation, strict canon, is present in most of his works."

Much of his work of his work can be heard on Youtube. This for example, is spectacularly mind-blowing.

Der Tagesspiegel 25.01.2010

Henryk M. Broder explains why he is taking it as a compliment that the German feuilletons have dubbed him and "his sisters" hate preachers (more about this in last week's From the Feuilletons): "This is not about Islamophobia or anti-Semitism. This is about a couple of 'Turkish chicks' and a 'Jew slob' defying expectations. Whining Turks who can't stop going about discrimination are hugely popular. The same goes for whining Jews on talk shows who bang on about how many relatives they lost in the Holocaust and how scared they are of the NPD today. My sisters and I are not whining though, we are aggressive and offensively-minded and not afraid to take on the social milieus we stem from. And what's more, we don't need anyone to do the talking for us."

Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung 25.01.2010

Having seen two plays by the trendy young German playwright Nis-Momme Stockmann, Gerhard Stadelmaier now understands what all the fuss is about. "He is not passing judgement on a depraved world, nor he is pleading the cause of theories or discourse. Instead he defends the victims from the sidelines, and offers them his sympathy. His terrain: the family as battlefield, the housing estate as war zone. And Stockmann is the paramedic, who lays on beautiful, poetically anointed, sometimes lightly dipped in kitsch but always philanthropic, wound dressings. He is a man who loves the world. And where all hope has been abandoned, the grass grows again when Stockmann enters.

Die Welt 27.01.2010

Andrzej Stasiuk travelled to Belzec in Eastern Poland, where the Nazis once built a death camp of which almost nothing remains today. "In June 1943, the Germans abandoned the camp and destroyed all traces of it. Only the locals knew what had happened there. After the war, when the Germans were gone, they dug around in the earth looking for gold or gems. It was raining and the only other people there were a husband and wife from Mexico with their Polish tour guide. They were trying to understand something but they could only hold hands and look around helplessly."

In conversation with Andrea Seibel, Necla Kelek, one of Henryk Broder's aforementioned "sisters", discusses the ongoing debate about Islam criticism, explaining why she thinks the feminist aspect is so central: "Removing the veil from the woman, in other words personal and social equality, would totally transform the face of Islam. It would be a revolution. As long as there is no sexual equality, Islam will continue to be an apartheid system."

Spiegel Online 27.01.2010

Its not just China, almost all nations are involved in cyber espionage, writes Frank Patalong in an article on the alleged hack attacks on Google and other US companies. "The Anglo-Saxon countries are global leaders in the field, and their secret services are well connected. With the Echelon network, for example, the USA and Britain worked together with Australia and Canada to build the world's largest network for total surveillance of international communication. One of its uses is corporate espionage among allies. In the mid-Nineties, for example, Echelon information that reached the US plane builder Boeing allowed the company to undercut the Europeans in a bidding war for Airbus. Even the European parliament got upset about it."

Die Zeit 28.0.2010

In the company of Virgil – although you can skip him if you want – millions of nerds will soon be thrashing their way through Dante's underworld. Electronic Arts has created a video game based on the poem - and it's not just arty nonsense, Andreas Rosenfelder reports approvingly, it's a proper blockbuster. "How does it feel to play 'Inferno'? It's a bit like being in a slot machine in the unconscious of the Occident. In the Third Circle of Lust a giant Cleopatra presents her pubis, Gluttony level is full of testicular-looking Hieronymous-Bosch beasts defecating; in the Circle of Greed a haggard schizophrenic creature guards the gold with one arm, and squanders it with the other. And every time you encounter a sinner, Pontius Pilate, say, or Frederich II, the Roman-German emperor who declared war on the Pope – you can decide whether to take out the tortured soul with a scythe or a cross, or be merciful instead and earn some righteous soul points."

Neue Zürcher Zeitung 29.01.2010

Knut Henkel doubts that the proposed ban on Mexican narcocorridos will have much success. "It's not only in the North, near the US border, that the songs by the Tigres, the Tucanes de Tijuana, Chalino Sanchez and Los Pajaritos are played around the clock in bars, and homes; corridos are winning fans further south too.... The drug capos often make it their business to have their stories told in verse and accompanied by accordions, guitars, bass and drums. Drug capos have been known to pay several thousand US dollars for a musical homage and there are bands who now belong to the entourage of the drug bosses." - let's talk european