From the Feuilletons


Neue Zürcher Zeitung, 24.03.2006

Things can get pretty hot and heavy in Hungarian film, as Susi Koltari discovered at the Hungarian Film Week (winners) in Budapest. The winner was György Palfi with his second feature film, "Taxidermia". "The film shows three generations that stand for the three bodily fluids: sperm, saliva and blood. Soldier Vendel Morosgovanyi is abused by his commanding officer, and mounts everything that crosses his path, whether it's a partitioning board with a hole in it (which he carefully covers with a cloth and glycerine), a freshly slaughtered pig or even the unappetising, nagging wife of his commander. This liaison leads to the birth of a red-haired baby with a piggy tail, which the commander snips off at birth. A generation later, the second episode tells the story of the red-haired man and his training in gluttony during the socialist era."

Süddeutsche Zeitung, 24.03.2006

Richard Swartz senses why so many Serbs cling so doggedly to the idea that Milosevic was poisoned. "The people standing around the coffin were not mourning Milosevic; it made no difference who was in it. They were taking part in a collective mythic ritual. These people were mourning their own state, they were paying homage to themselves as victims while at the same time defying the entire world. Slobodan Milosevic, one of them, was locked away, poisoned and then died. And this pain reminds the Serbs of their own sufferings, which are even harder to bear. This mythic ritual has no place for the notion that Milosevic of all people bears considerable responsibility for their suffering. Because myth and ideology are birds of a feather. But myth shies away from knowledge."

Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung, 24.03.2006

Reinhard Veser portrays Andrej Dynko, the Belarussian opposition member and editor in chief of the cultural magazine Nascha Niwa who was sentenced to ten days imprisonment on Wednesday. Of the magazine he writes, "As the most important organ of Belarussian culture, it automatically became a nest of resistance against Lukashenko. The fact that he was able to enforce by referendum in 1995 that Russian – which had lost its status as official language following the end of the Soviet Union - be rehabilitated was due primarily to the intolerance of the Belarussian nationalists, who tried to force the re-introduction of their language in public life. This bigotry was foreign to the 32 year old Dynko, who has directed Nascha Niwa since 2000. His insistence on the survival of the Belarussian language is not an expression of nationalism but of European orientation. The Ukrainian author Juri Andruchowytsch called yesterday for protests, "because the number of arrests is increasing  and there is a widespread effort to prevent people from reaching  the 'Belarussian Maidan'." (An article in English by Andrej Dynko on the situation in Belarus can be read in Eurozine).

Thomas Wagner talks with the painter Jörg Immendorff about his project for a Bible illustrated with his paintings, and about the painting technique imposed by his illness. "How does one paint with sleeping hands? There are many similarities to musical scores that are performed in groups. I think of my production of pictures today in a similar light. Every day we have a little chamber concert here. That means that I am a composer, I concoct something. It is played through and then realised with helpers. Then I drive out the individual signature of my helpers, which costs me more effort than tackling my own." (See our feature on Immendorf here.)

Frankfurter Rundschau, 24.03.2006

Hans-Klaus Jungheinrich tells of a journey to the Polish cities of Bydgoszcz and Lodz, where pianinst Arthur Rubinstein spent his childhood. "When travelling from Masuria to Bydgoszcz, I was overjoyed to discover the hotel 'Pod Orlem' (the eagle), and to hear that it had a 'Rubinstein Suite' where 'the master' often stayed and where members of his family still come. Two people can stay here for 115 euros a night (weekend price), and spend a weekend feeling like the master himself – hammering away at the white Bechstein grand piano to the best of their ability when the mood strikes them. The piano dominates the splendid 60 square-metre parlour (with a beautiful bay window and conference table with eight seats), bordered by the small sleeping quarters complete with bathroom unit."

Die Welt, 24.03.2006

Google Earth marks a rebirth of geography, claim Ulrich Baron and Iris Alanyali. But most users are less interested in discovering the world than filling in the blanks in their own neighbourhood. "The Google Earth Community has created innumerable maps, and like professional cartographic services it produces databases for any and every purpose, which can be linked together with satellite images to form maps displaying all the coffee shops in Miami or all of Manhattan's restaurants – with a link to the menu – or all the houses for sale in Tucson, Arizona. Of course the focus is on the USA, and Germany has a lot to catch up on. But with the help of all kinds of different tools, basically anybody can put a map online showing his locality, favourite pizza joint, his best friends' homes and recommended jogging routes. And a lot of people are getting their kicks out of doing just that." - let's talk european