SignAndSight.com

From the Feuilletons


02/07/2010

From the Feuilletons

Tagesspiegel 29.06.2010

The writer Peter Wawerzinek was awarded the Ingeborg Bachmann Prize for his autobiographical novel "Rabenliebe" (raven's love). In the book he remembers how his mother committed him to a DDR orphanage when she emigrated to the West. His former publisher and friend Rainer Nitsche celebrates his comeback: "Peter the wandering bard. In the GDR, he would go from flat to flat, he never had a manuscript with him, it was all in his head and he was always able to find the right words for any occasion, in rhyme if so desired, in classical or modern style as he liked. If this wasn't enough for him, he would improvise new texts, in a clear voice, outsinging any competing instrument, whether it was trumpet, shawm or piano. This piqued some of his fellow poets and raised their heckles. You can't just chuck high art onto the kitchen table like that, right off the cuff. And so he found himself relegated to the ranks of the frivolous: actresses, jugglers, street musicians, old soaks."


Süddeutsche Zeitung
30.06.2010

Alex Rühle thinks back to Congo's independence fifty years ago and the sinister role played by Belgium – where copious tears are now being shed in many an exhibition - in sealing the country's fate: "Belgium certainly did nothing to ensure that Congo would be able to stand on its own two feet. In a country the size of western Europe there were 30 trained high school teachers, not a single doctor, no lawyers, no officers."


From the blogs
30.06.2010

Markus Beckedahl is astounded by the way that the SWIFT agreement (more here) is being waved through, no questions asked. And that European social democrats are patting themselves on the back for having negotiated a number of changes. "The role of Europol is chaotic on a number levels. a) It is now up to Europol to authorise the data requests filed by the US. This goes against the demands made by the European Parliament in the May 2010 resolution, which specified that judicial authority should with the European Parliament. 2) Europol is now allowed to inspect US data, and this will undermine from the outset all incentives to keep the exchange of data to a strict minimum."


Neue Zürcher Zeitung
01.07.2010

Erwin Dettling talks to the Haitian Voodoo priest Max Beauvoir (more here) about the position of his religion on the earthquake. It is part of the vibration which forms the heart beat of Voodoo, he says, and the real catastrophe is elsewhere: "'We are used to being robbed by politicians and presidents in this land and having the stolen treasure smuggled into foreign bank accounts. But we are shocked that it is the same cliques who are using the aid money to line their pockets anew. These people, Beauvoir says, have forgotten that Haiti is a special land, which survived a revolution. The Haitians are striving for a sense of order, in which every man can be happy in the place that destiny reserved for him. This is the Voodoo order, the African order, Max Beauvoir insists. "The defining philosophical principle of the French is: I think therefore I am. We Voodooisants say: I am therefore we are."


Die Tageszeitung 01.07.2010

Anke Leweke talks to the exiled Iranian video artist Shirin Neshat, about her feature film debut "Women Without Men", and the forgotten seeds of democracy in Iran. Nesrat is determined to correct the understanding of her work in the West. "It might sound banal, but there is more than just one Islam! People always say that my work deals with the situation of women in the Islamic world. I beg to differ. I would never presume to talk for Turkish or Egyptian women. There are plenty of women in Egypt who wear the veil of their own free will whereas in Iran it is forced upon us."


Süddeutsche Zeitung
01.07.2010

Sebastian Beck bemoans the deterioration of a number of Munich's museums. "Currently the 934,00 visitors who visit the Munich Haupthaus every year are given an insight into what happens when a cultural treasure of global standing is starved of funding by the government and left in the hands of the uninspired. The Deutsche Museum has become a museum to itself, and has aged both spectacularly and embarrassingly. Its visitors can expect to be confronted such questions as: "What is the state of solar research in 1996?"


Die Zeit
01.07.2010

Gustav Mahler would have been 150 this year and by next year, he will have been in the ground for a century. The conductor Riccardo Chailly discusses the great composer in an interview: "Mahler's language was incredibly direct. Everything he expresses is a physical assault on the listener. It feels as if the music is going straight for the jugular, out to steal your last breath."


Die Tageszeitung 02.07.2010

Micha Brumlik explains why Germany is caught in a dilemma when it comes to Israel, because no other allied state violates international law and human rights with such regularity. "Which ever way you look at it, because of the Holocaust, Israel will always occupy a very different place in the German mind than, say, Kyrgyzstan or Congo. And if you don't understand that when we talk about Israel we are not so much doing our bit to solve problems in the Middle East as doing our bit to define our relationship with the Nazi past – then you should keep out of the debate."


Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung
02.07.2010

To celebrate the 100th anniversary of the birth of H.G. Adler (more here), his autobiographical novel "Panorama" has been republished. Adler, who survived Auschwitz and Buchenwald, wrote the book in 1948. Peter Demetz rates it "among the greats of world literature": "It took twenty years before a publisher had the guts to publish this novel, and German readers certainly had enough reason to think of Adler as an historian and sociologist - following his publication of the first scholarly research into Theresienstadt (1955) and his book about Jews in German history (1960) - rather than as a novelist who put the post-war writers of Gruppe 47 (Group 47) firmly in their place."
signandsight.com - let's talk european