From the Feuilletons


Der Standard 07.04.2007

Late and contrite we would like to draw attention to Daniela Strigl's interesting article from Saturday's paper on Elfriede Jelinek's new novel "Neid" (jealousy), "the third of her books on the seven deadly sins." Jelinek is experimenting here - with the Internet among other things, and the Nobel Prize laureate has put the first 63 pages online. Strigl explains: "What we have is a city like Eisenerz, a mountain like the Erzberg, a lake like the Grüne See, once again the world as Styria. The homey atmosphere of a virtually abandoned gold digger town. Politically the area is still red, but economically it is dead. It deals with the survival of people in times of unemployment, even the mountain is still being mined, differently than before but it has not yet served its time (a show mine!), even the dead promise profit and 'people will always die' - E.J sees, this much is clear, 'Six Feet Under'."

Berliner Zeitung

In an interview with Sabine Rennefanz, Scottish author A. L. Kennedy makes a few drastic political comparisons: "When I take a look at the UK, it reminds me of the Nazi era. Blair is a delusioned war criminal. And I have little hope that Brown is any better. Once more we're stigmatising a single religious group, this time it's the Muslims. One part of society is labelled criminal. That really gets my back up." How does she get her information? "I've stopped reading the papers. An online service sends me a daily overview of the most important reports, mostly from American sources."

Neue Zürcher Zeitung 11.04.2007

In the series "The past of the future," philosopher Dieter Thomä takes another look at Emile Zola's now forgotten novel "Fecondite" (fecundity), which counters ideas about sinking birthrates circulating in France even in Zola's day with a Utopia of fertility. Thomä quotes: "'Milk trickles endlessly from nourishing breasts, milk, the eternal lifeblood of humanity. This stream of milk pumps life through the veins of the world, it swells and overflows, never-ending down the centuries.' Zola practically foams at the mouth when criticising his time, and now we see he foams with milk. - His Utopia is certainly questionable - and yet it's worth a second thought. The book is largely free of the chauvinistic tones so common in the French debate on demographic politics before the First World War. And yet Zola isn't really sketching the portrait of a republic. The whole thing is much more a hymn to the old-style patriarch, one who functions as the unchallenged authority in a dynastic order."

Another series, this time on the "Climate front," features texts by international writers on the climate change. Nigerian author Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie writes from her home village of Abba. "Something has happened with the weather and with the world, and I can't grasp what's going on. I feel helpless just thinking about it. I imagine that in Abba it will get so hot that no human soul can stand it any more. Or perhaps this really is just my imagination. Maybe I've seen too many film images of melting glaciers and icebergs?"

Die Tageszeitung

Angi Harrer-Vukorep talks to art critic and Frieze editor Jörg Heiser about his book "Plötzlich diese Übersicht" (suddenly this oversight), the goings-on in art today and the good and bad cops of art criticism. "Bluntly put, there are extremes typical of the art world that are probably found in other areas of culture, such as the pose of the unmasking critic, who reveals the true face of commercial machinations. That would be the 'J'accuse!' attitude. The opposite of this is the 'Jacuzzi' attitude, the header in the fray and the joy at the glamourous accumulation of recognition, money and other perks." - let's talk european