From the Feuilletons


Die Tageszeitung, 13.04.2006

In the opinion pages, Marcia Pally tries to reassure Europeans by taking a look at the early days of the USA. Tensions, she claims, don't necessarily doom later success. "In the supposedly United States, three violent rebellions broke out in the first 15 years following the revolution. Artisans and farmers protested that their tax monies were flowing directly to Washington and that there was no democratic control of the tax officials. European's scepticism about their payments to Brussels is tame by comparison.The earliest rebellion, Shays' Rebellion, lead to a dissolution of the government and a new assembly which formed the basis of the constitution; the EU certainly didn't fall apart, even after the French and Dutch 'no'."

Considering the rapid succession at the helm of the Social Democratic Party (with Schröder, Müntefering, Platzeck and now Beck, four leaders in the last two years) Dirk Knipphals comments, "The first oddity about the German Social Democrats is that their leaders run away so fast. The second is that they're able to replace them so quickly. The old one is hardly gone, the new one's already there. Regret and celebration take place simultaneously (...) In normal life, things work differently. We know this from serial monogamy. Seamless transitions are rare and, when they do happen, generally unproductive. What's missing is the pause, the break, which is actually quite useful for contemplation and reflection."

Süddeutsche Zeitung, 13.04.2006

Christopher Schmidt visits the actor Bruno Ganz in the Schauspielhaus Bochum, where he is rehearsing the role of Titus Andronicus in Botho Strauss' "Disgrace". "Now that Ganz is wearing a uniform again, his posture has become military and stiff, his hair has been shaved short and his face looks as though he dried it every morning with sandpaper. He is so into his role that he seems to be rehearsing it off stage, even in his choice of words. His diction, sometimes rumbling, sometimes buzzing, sometimes like a distant flak storm, still recalls his Hitler."

"What an awesome overview," raves Merten Worthmann, at an exhibition of 900 years of Russian art at the Spanish Guggenheim Museum. "In Bilbao, there are a few old Stalinist chestnuts which have the effect of mighty kettle drum beats without a sounding board. They have been hung in a row in an overly bright room, which the curators have named 'The Hall of Fairytales.' Here one finds, unjustifiably, Alexander Deinekas 'Shot-down Airman' from 1943; more justifiably, Deinekas 'Defense of Sebastopol' (1942) and 'Airman of tomorrow' (1938), two fine images in the service of Soviet progress. Deineka, with five works, is, next to Malevich und Michail Wrubel (each with six), one of the best represented artists in the exhibition of 275 works."

Neue Zürcher Zeitung, 13.04.2006

Hanspeter Künzler witnesses a trend in pop music – from Muse to Coldplay to the Libertines - towards stringed instrumental schmalz. "Real stringed instruments radiate a warmth that's difficult to reproduce with the digital technology of the synthesiser. But the schmalz and elegance of the string sound are obviously in demand today – violins, violas and celli guarantee a cuddly security in the backward-looking pop scene. Their suggestive effect, which stems from the classical tradition, is developed as a kind of cosy but foreign sound body, in varied stylistic fields: from HipHop to techno, from jazz to rock."

Frankfurter Rundschau, 13.04.2006

Three years after the beginning of the Iraq war, Iraqi author Najem Wali (who wrote three days ago in the NZZ) expresses his deep disappointment at what the Americans have (not) accomplished. "Let's be honest: what have we won? Before, the Iraqis lived in a dictatorship, today in utter chaos. Murder and horror lurk at every street corner. That is the disgraceful summary of the last three years. And it's not getting better. To the contrary, it's only getting worse. The USA have made Iraq the main theatre of their war against their bitter enemies, Al Qaida and Iran, and the price they pay is in Iraqi corpses." - let's talk european