From the Feuilletons


Die Tageszeitung, 28.12.2005

Esther Slevogt looks back at the life of theatre impresario Max Reinhardt (Baden 1873 – New York 1943) who not only directed theatre in Berlin, he also built theatres which people flocked to in droves. And this was precisely why he was such a controversial figure. "The anti-Reinhardt sentiment reflected from the start the discreet and totalitarian charm of the German religion of art, but also the fact that German theatre tradition was a courtly one and theatre as an art form was never intended for the people. The civic role of the theatre had been impressed upon it by the cultured bourgeoisie, who above all demanded that theatre mediate values and educational content. Reinhardt pretty much did away with all that, democratising theatre as an art form. He created the idea of the director as self-determining force, as a craftsman of his own good fortune so to speak, which the bourgeoisie had been dreaming of since the Enlightenment. Yet this good fortune never sought to go beyond the the realm of theatre."

Frankfurter Rundschau, 28.12.2005

Elke Buhr reports on the rivalry between two Istanbul families, the Eczasibasi and the Sabanci, for the unofficial title of most generous sponsor. The nephews of the businessman Sakip Sabanci have just staged the exhibition "Picasso in Istanbul", and the Sabanci museum will show Rodin next year. "It is not the state but private individuals who are responsible for the current Western oriented cultural explosion in Istanbul. The Istanbul biennale for example, which attracted vast international attention this summer, was organised by a member of the pharmaceutical family Eczasibasi, as is the Istanbul Modern museum which opened last year in expensively converted warehouses on the docks. The Eczasibasi and the Sabanci families finance hospitals and schools, and the Sabancis have even founded an entire university."

Die Welt, 28.12.2005

The newspaper prints a speech by Heinrich August Winkler, who calls for a Western oriented Europe and is immensely sceptical about Turkey's so-called Western orientation. "The stubborn denial of the genocide of the Armenians is irreconcilable with the political culture of the West. The European Commission and the European Council, in other words the governments of the member states, have (unlike the many national parliaments and the European Parliament) systematically ignored this point, and continue to do so. Turkey's handling of the genocide of Armenians will be brought up in the entry talks – it will have to be."

Neue Zürcher Zeitung, 28.12.2005

Would Einstein stand a chance of publishing his theses in a scientific journal today? Could Wittgenstein obtain a chair in philosophy – without having the Habilitation, or post-doctoral degree, as is the custom in Germany today? No, writes the philosopher and former Minister of State for Culture Julian Nida-Rümelin, because at present only formal criteria count in German universities. "The attempt to win the strongest intellect or most original thinker seems passé. Serious discussion on these questions, which can neither be quantified nor operationalised, is taking place less and less frequently. A colleague of mine recently told me about a search to fill a post at Harvard University, where a profound expert on the subject, with a large number of relevant publications in leading journals, didn't make it onto the shortlist. The reason: he wasn't what you could call 'a powerful mind'. That's the kind of question we should be asking ourselves as well." - let's talk european