From the Feuilletons


From the Feuilletons

Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung 16.10.2010

In 1968 a number of editors at the Suhrkamp publishing house staged a protest against the publisher Siegfried Unseld. Sandra Kegel reads a newly published chronicle of the uprising, and it turns out that Unseld was taking plenty of notes! He finally triumphed over the rebels by turning to his authors for support. "With obvious relish Unseld cites the reactions of the big names in his portfolio. Adorno, for example, could not believe that 'the children' as he called the thirty-year-old editors, had lost all sense of proportion. The philosopher viewed the editors' revolt as a 'lapse into socialism at its most primitive'. Unlike authors and publishers, he believed, editors were 'third persons' in the Marxist sense. Unseld didn't understood what he meant, so Adorno explained again: They are parasites 'like pimps and whores.'"

Die Welt 18.10.2010

The journalist Güner Yasemin Balci would like to know why writer Feridun Zaimoglu and filmmaker Fatih Akin feel so discriminated against as Muslims in Germany – (last month they signed an open letter to the new German President Christian Wulff, calling for a democratic culture of mutual respect). She had always regarded them as champions of enlightenment: "Take Akin's film 'Head-On' in which the female protagonist is battling with her family because she wants to be able to decide whom she goes to bed with. Or Zaimoglu's novel 'Leyla', which shows the violent excesses meted out by an Anatolian tyrant against his wife and children. Were these stories about Muslim women oppressed by their families serious in intent - or were they just the sort of 'stereotyping' you both complain about so much?"

Die Tageszeitung

In the Gaza Strip a new faction is gaining power for whom the Hamas are too mild: the Salafis or the Palestinian Taliban, confide in Susanne Knaul at a conspiratorial meeting: "The Salafis are happy to oblige if an Internet cafe needs setting alight because someone has downloaded some porn there, or a hairdresser's where men cut women's hair. 'We always warn people, al-Hareth says. 'Only repeat offenders are punished.'"

Süddeutsche Zeitung 19.10.2010

Alex Rühle celebrates forty-something Cologne band Erdmöbel (meaning 'earth furniture', which they claim is a GDR word for coffin). "You don't need Monaco to make great pop music, the songs of the Cologne band have always focused on the small towns and suburbs where all our lives take place, which is why we think they don't warrant more than a cursory glance. Fantasy, writes guitarist Markus Berges citing Vladimir Nabokov in his freshly published first novel, fantasy is the muscle of the soul. With Nabokov, he says, that the true sense of beauty has 'less to do with art than with the constant readiness to discern the halo round the frying-pan (…)- In 'Life is Beautiful!' Erdmöbel sing 'Red skies over chimney stacks / Sweet wrappers between train tracks' and they cry, or rather shout at the end: 'And it's beautiful / Life is beautiful / I don't understand your tears'. Long live the frying-pan!"

Neue Zürcher Zeitung 20.10.2010

Peter Hagmann was bowled over, at the Donaueschinger music festival, by Austrian Georg Friedrich Haas' Concerto grosso, for six grand pianos and orchestra: "What made it so unique was that the six grands had been tuned microtonally apart. At the premiere, under the conductor Sylvain Cambreling, this literally pulled the carpet out from under the audience's feet. From the pianos came a caterwauling glissandi, which a straight-laced string quintet sought to counter, and thundering earthquakes of notes pummeled out from the depths of the keyboard that produced no end of filthy sounds."

Berliner Zeitung 20.10.2010

The regime critical Moscow newspaper Novaya Gazeta (where Anna Politkovskaya worked before her murder) is on the brink of closure, reports Daria Afonina. After an article about a far-right party, the paper was accused of 'fascist propaganda' and issued with a warning. Afonina cites the acting editor-in-chief Sergey Sokolov: "He says there is a increased tendency at present to persecute the media for so-called propaganda. The course of action taken by civil servants from the Ministry of Communication he attributes 'either to the ignorance of individuals' or to a policy of systematically punishing the media for critical reporting."

Die Tageszeitung 21.10.2010

The sinologist Andreas Schlieker reports on the "Freud and Asia" conference in China which is the first time the country has opened up to psychoanalysis, officially registering in the International Psychoanalytical Association (IPA). "Until now there has been no place in the new China for the structure of the heart, as psychology is called there. During the Cultural Revolution, class war and permanent revolution was all that counted. Anyone showing the correct red consciousness was considered psychologically healthy. Everything was political, nothing was private, nothing individual."

Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung

Necla Kelek
has harsh words for almost every part of the speech that German president Christian Wulff delivered to the Turkish parliament (more here). She was particularly appalled by his constant emphasis on religion: "Can't we just be Germans and Turks for once, instead of Christians, Jews and Muslims; citizens rather than believers or unbelievers? Is that the mission of the ProChrist (an Evangelical missionary movement which Wulff supports -ed) and Catholic Christian Wulff? If the return of belief is the presidential message from Ankara, then we stand before a new religious conflict in our state. And the president has started it with his simplistic speech, far off in Turkey." - let's talk european