From the Feuilletons


In Today's Feuilletons

Die Welt 23.05.2007

After Andrzej Szczypiorski, Zbigniew Herbert and Zygmunt Bauman, now Ryszard Kapuscinski, one of Poland's most respected reporters who died in January this year, has been outed as a former secret-service informer, reports Gerhard Gnauck. The Polish Newsweek magazine published the files. "Basically what they have are reports from 1967-72, characterisations of individuals sometimes bordering on intimate, three receipts for expenses. It seems there is reason to hope that nobody suffered any personal injury as a result of the work carried out by agent 'Vera Cruz'. And this should be weighed up against his wonderful books which, without his sideline activities, might never have happened."

Frankfurter Rundschau

Artur Becker reports on the "difficult debate" which has broken out in Poland since it was revealed that journalist and author Ryszard Kapuscinski had worked as a secret police informer. "The two important papers, namely the Rzeczpospolita and the Gazeta Wyborcza, have made considerable efforts to exonerate Kapuscinski. But it is not easy. Krzysztof Gottesmann from the Rzeczpospolita cannot understand why Kapuscinski kept quiet after 1990 and never talked about his secret-police contacts, and publicly. And Gottesmann also asks what it actually means, when Kapuscinski's involvement is excused on the grounds that it didn't harm anyone. From a purely moral standpoint a justified question."

Süddeutsche Zeitung

Jens Bisky has been mixing with anti-globalisation activists to find out more about their preparations for the G8 summit. "The majority of the left-wing anti-globalisation movement does not want to and will not take up the sword. At the very most they might practise a little 'civil disobedience' as it is called today. And this is what they are rehearsing now. Last Saturday in Berlin Kreuzberg, a group of mostly young people met for blockade training. There was plenty of useful stuff to learn. How to communicate under stress. Which make-up is tear-gas proof. How best to be carried off by the police."

Neue Zürcher Zeitung 23.05.2007

Alfred Brendel sends his best wishes to pianist Katja Andy, who celebrates her 100th birthday today in New York. "I owe my acquaintanceship with Katja Andy to the great pianist Edwin Fischer. In the last of his master courses in Lucerne in 1958, a small, mousy little middle-aged woman sat in the background. None of us had any idea of who she was. After several invitations on Fischer's part ('Come on Katie, don't you want to play something?'), she sat down at the piano and played Mozart's Rondo in A minor. Unforgettable. That was the beginning of the most unclouded musical and personal friendship of my entire life."

Die Welt 23.05.2007

Director Fatih Akin, whose film "The Edge of Heaven" will be screened today at the Cannes Film Festival, sends a letter telling of his adventures in Cannes and some films he's seen. Although he was very taken with the Coen brothers' "No Country for Old Men," he liked their three-minute contribution to the section "To Each Their Own Cinema": "A cowboy type wonders what film he should go see, and finally he decides in favour of the one the cashier recommends: 'Climates' by my Turkish colleague Nuri Bilge Ceylan. A difficult film, but the cowboy understands it and comes out happy. Fantastic! In fact this whole collection of short films is just terrific. I was surprised at how many I liked. The Polanski, the Oliveira and the Kiarostami, which shows women moved to tears in the cinema, each one beautiful, each one a painting, a treasure. They should be shown to film students: how to take a good idea and make it into a three-minute short that has your own signature on it."

Süddeutsche Zeitung 23.05.2007

The newspaper dedicates an entire page to unfinished works of music, with a description of Schönberg's "Moses and Aron" and a list of the unfinished top 13. Jörg Könisgdorf interviews conductor and musicologist Peter Gülke, who has completed and recorded all of Schubert's symphonic sketches. Asked whether his project was not made questionable by the composer's spontaneity, Gülke answers: "That certainly makes things more difficult. But as opposed to painting, where sometimes a sketch is more thrilling than the finished work, music simply has to be brought into a form that can be performed. One way of doing that is Luciano Berio's, who quotes Schubert fragments in 'Rendering' and then comments on them in what is clearly his own style. I, on the other hand, have always refused to 'push on with Schubert,' and have contented myself with orchestrating the pieces, apart from one or two absolutely necessary modifications. In the wonderful andante from the last fragment, which has got to be the biggest discovery in all of these sketches, I simply decided in favour of one of the two endings crossed out by Schubert himself." - let's talk european