From the Feuilletons


From the Feuilletons

Der Tagesspiegel 06.02.2010

Five years ago in Berlin, 23-year-old Hatun Sürücü was shot three times in the face by her 18-year-old brother Ayran. The young Turkish woman, who had a German boyfriend and a belly-button piercing, was murdered to restore the "honour" of her family. The clan behind the murder has now scattered across Europe, but Ayran "is in the juvenile detention centre in Plötzensee, the so-called 'murder house,'" as Ferda Ataman reports. "He is studying for his school-leaving exams and training to be a carpenter, and apparently enjoys the respect of his fellow inmates. 'The worse your crime, the more respect you get in there,' says a former inmate who knows and obviously likes Ayhan. 'Everyone in there thinks he did the right thing,' he says."

From the blogs 08.02.2010

"Axolotl Roadkill", the heavily hyped debut novel by 17-year-old Helene Hegeman has now been revealed to be the product of a lot of copying and pasting. The scandal broke after questions starting being asked about how a 16-year-old could write so convincingly about Berlin's nightclub Berghain. "The strict door policy in Berghain means that people who even look like they might be under 21 are refused entry," according to Deef Pirmasens in his blog Gefühlskonserve, who traced the passages back to the underground techno novel "Strobo" by a writer called Airen. A day later the blog announced: "Helene Hegemann apologises." Her full apology is published at buchmarkt de. "Airen, from whom I copied a whole page of writing, without changing much, copied more or less directly, is a great writer," she said.

Die Welt 09.02.2010

In an interview with Cosima Lutz, Helene Hegemann had the following to say about the accusations of plagiarism: "I don't see it as stealing because I have used the material in a completely different context which is entirely my own. And I have never pretended that any of this stuff was mine. When people insist on reinterpreting what I have written as the novel of the Noughties, then they have to recognise that the writing process is also a product of its time. This means that whole copyright excess has been replaced by the right to copy and transform."

Frankfurter Rundschau

The paper prints a speech by the senior prosecutor of the anti-mafia directorate in Palermo, Roberto Scarpinato, in which he blames the deregulated market, what he calls "the rogue economy", for the globalisation of the mafia. "One of the effects of the corrosion of political power is that criminal aristocracies now represent a structural component of the new global capitalism, and they are involved in the new formation of states and are able to infiltrate the structure of weaker states."

Neue Zürcher Zeitung 10.02.2010

The bloody beginnings of the new Romania and the mystery that still resides around Ceausescu's murder are a weight around the nation's neck, according to psychiatrist and writer Ion Viona: "We have never really found out who gave the orders to shoot the dictator on that day in December. And the terrible suspicion that the thousand or more people who died in the revolution could be the victims of another farce of even greater proportions, lies at the heart of post-communist Romania. But twenty years after the Romanian revolution, the files on those events have been closed, and at the same time, our nation is being condemned by international courts. Romania today is standing in the quicksand of lies about the events of December 21 to 25. And if historical facts are sinking ever deeper into this quicksand, so are our chances of ever finding the historical truth."

Süddeutsche Zeitung 10.02.2010

Three years down the line and the farcical trial into the murder of journalist Hrant Dink has yet to deliver justice. But last Monday his widow entered the courtroom, this time not alone, but accompanied by family members of twenty other victims of unsolved murders, as Kai Strittmacher reports. "Twenty murders, the families believe, that were carried out by the 'deep state': the networks and death squadrons of self-proclaimed protectors of the fatherland, who have been nesting in the catacombs of the nation since its birth in 1923. There has never been such a show of solidarity from its victims."

Der Tagesspiegel 11.02.2010

The Berlinale opens today in the German capital. After ten years with Dieter Kosslick at the helm, the Competition section is starting to feel deep neglect, Jan Schulz-Ojala complains. "At the press conference it was once again painfully obvious how little interest Kosslick has in the main section of the festival which is under his control - how infrequently he talks about this selection with any cineastic verve. Instead he proudly announced that tickets for the Culinary Cinema section - in which star cooks serve up their wares after screenings related to food, love and the environment - had sold out immediately. Even before the films had been announced." Moreover, Schulz-Ojala continues, the only world-class director at the festival this year is Michael Winterbottom. "This puts the Competition on a par with Locarno - or within Germany - with the young emerging talent festival in Saarbrücken."

Süddeutsche Zeitung 11.02.2010

As president of this year's Berlinale jury Werner Herzog remembers his high expectations of the festival back in 1968, when his first film "Signs of Life" was screened in the Competition. But he was deeply disappointed by what he found and decided to go it alone. "When I got to Berlin I found the festival to be a dusty affair. It was still stuck in the Fifties, and full of film functionaries introducing clapped-out old stars from the Nazi era. So I got together a handful of films, rented a cinema in Neukölln and put on my own little festival. I just wanted to kick the door down." - let's talk european