From the Feuilletons


In Today's Feuilletons

Monday 27 November, 2006

Neue Zürcher Zeitung

"Would – as so often suggested – an increase in public awareness really contribute to a solution in Darfur?" asks Angela Schader in relation to the ongoing conflict in Sudan. The voices she collected range from sceptical to distraught. The Sengalese writer Boubacar Boris Diop who within the 'Rwanda - ecrire par devoir de memoire' project has dealt extensively with the genocide in Rwanda – said bitterly at the time that in the eyes of the West, it was just a load of blacks beating each other up. Today he writes on Darfur: "Sometimes it seems as if a greater fate presides over the execution of genocide. It happens, and as it unfolds before the eyes of all mankind, people argue about it and can say nothing more than how powerless they are to do anything."

Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung 27.11.2006

Mark Siemons introduces the 24-year-old Han Han, a Chinese writer and racing driver who is seen as a symbol of the new generation that is difficult to control and whose blog is unprecedentedly critical of his fellow writers. "He stopped going to school at seventeen, and instead published a sarcastic novel ('Three Doors'), a no-holds barred attack on the educational system which sold over a million copies. Despite having dropped out of high school, he was offered a place to study at the famous Fudan University in Shanghai, which he turned down in favour of writing another four books - before going on to become a racing driver. He invested his literary earnings in cars, was taken on by the BMW training programme, became a member of the Shanghai 333 Race Club and soon went on to win his first race."

Die Welt 27.11.2006

It seems that at the last minute Berlin has delivered a major contribution to the Mozart year. Manuel Brug applauds Hans Neuenfels's 'Magic Flute' at the Berlin Komischer Oper. The main props are a giant wooden penis and a silvery scrotal sack.

Saturday, 25 November, 2006

Die Welt

Journalist Ulrike Ackermann considers the western response to the unreasonable demands of Islamism: "The fearful flinching from angry attacks by the Muslim world indicate that the west's self-confidence is quite poorly developed, when it comes to its own freedoms. And appeasement, or even that western tendency toward self-hate that you sometimes see nowadays, is hardly capable of taking on this new totalitarian threat. It is high time to take stock of what freedom is and what it means to us."

Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung

In the newly revived weekend supplement Bilder und Zeiten, Charles Simonyi, the programmer behind Word and Excel, explains how he prepared for his flight aboard the Soyuz TMA-10 to the International Space Station. "System theory is my best subject. It's all about making something dependable and secure out of elements that are fragile and dangerous. The Russians have mastered this art, in part because, unlike their American colleagues, they have to work with serious handicaps: a lack of resources, a lack of dependable suppliers, and many other problems. I'm really keen to get to know their way of thinking. Just imagine what you could achieve with technology perfected under such conditions, when combined with the boundless possibilities available to us in Silicon Valley." (read his diary)

Frankfurter Rundschau 25.11.2006

Director Thomas Ostermeier made it big nine years ago with his production of Mark Ravenhill's "Shoppen und Ficken" (Shopping and Fucking). Now he's put Ravenhill's latest work, "Das Produkt" (The Product) on stage. Nikolaus Merck took in the premiere: "Does the pedagogical concept work on the stage? The audience had a lot of fun, maybe even too much fun. And gave a big round of applause for the aging matadors, the impishly smiling 'stage-setter' Thomas Ostermeier and, at his side, Mark Ravenhill: bald, paunchy, looking rather uncouth, and casting a reptilian, mistrustful eye at the scornful audience."

Neue Zürcher Zeitung 25.11.2006

In the literature and art pages, Islam expert Tilman Nagel addresses the relationship between violence and Islam, and concludes: "The Koranic conviction – whose earliest traditions, permeated as they are with Islamic law, proved the truth of Islam through power-political success - remains alive and well to this day." And Nagel throws a sarcastic comment at the open letter from Muslim leaders regarding the Pope's speech in Regensburg: "Not being a Muslim was never a legitimate 'casus belli,' write the 38 signatories. But in fact, Mohammed only authorized an attack if the 'call to Islam' was ignored three times." - let's talk european