From the Feuilletons


Die Zeit, 20.04.2006

Heike Faller asks if young women have messed up emancipation. The thought occurred to her as she got her sixth male boss in a row. "It was the year in which my friend, an investment banker who was earning very well came back from an office party in tears because a colleague had said to her, 'I'd like to humiliate you,' and the next day was not fired by his boss, not even given a talking to, although he was still under probation... It was the year in which a program called 'Desperate Housewives' became a television hit."

Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung, 20.04.2006

Michael Martens reports on the how Jasmila Zbanic's film "Grbavica" (more here and here), winner at the Berlinale film festival, is being received in Bosnia and Serbia. The film deals with the systematic rape of Bosnian women in Grbavica, a neighbourhood in Sarajevo: "The film was met with a storm of applause after the nervously awaited premiere in the Serbian capital. Granted, from a liberal Belgrade audience which did not first have to be convinced that Serbia was not the sole victim in the Bosnian War. The film's opponents, who consider it anti-Serbian propaganda, stayed away from the premiere – with the exception of a couple of nationalist hecklers who were booed down right at the beginning or led away by plain-clothed policemen sitting among the audience." In Banja Luka, capital of the Republika Srpska in Bosnia, the film has not yet been shown.

Frankfurter Rundschau, 20.04.2006

German Iranian sociologist Farideh Akashe-Böhme reflects on the limits of tolerance that Europe and Islam must learn to respect. "Islam is being tolerated in Europe without being understood, and Islam demands public tolerance without embracing these principals – laity, non-violence – itself or responding to critical discussion." A reformed Islam, which is in its infancy, must admit "critique of its texts and interpretations of the Koran. (...) Only on the basis of a discursive opening-up, would Islam's critique of Western lifestyle be taken seriously. Islam would thus be on an equal footing to take part in a general discourse on how to live correctly."

Elke Buhr wanders through the Freud exhibition in Berlin's Jewish Museum and concludes that it was actually conceived for young visitors. "The terminology is explained with little installations which visitors can fumble around with to their heart's content. In the little house, for example, one can lead the horse into the stall and then out again (sexual intercourse!) and when Dora – under the heading: transference – dreams of Freud's cigar smoke, visitors can stick their heads in a little smoky chamber."

Die Welt, 20.04.2006

The festival Dance Congress Germany begins in Berlin today. On the occasion, the much acclaimed contemporary choreographer Sasha Waltz will work together for the first time with Vladimir Malakhov, the equally acclaimed dancer and director of Berlin's Staatsballet. "This is all not as political as it looks," says Waltz in an interview with Malakhov and Manuel Brug. "Until now, contemporary, free dance and institutionalised ballet have hardly taken any notice of each other at all. Perhaps there have been biases. But because today the entire dance scene is being closely scrutinised and re-evaluated, and now that free dance has enhanced its profile and developed its own language, it's a lot easer to get together and exchange ideas."

Süddeutsche Zeitung, 20.04.2006

"The electoral victory of Hamas is going to join a long series of victories that in retrospect look a lot more like defeats," writes the Palestinian literature critic Hassan Khader. Khader publishes the literary magazine Alkarmel, whose editor in chief is Mahmoud Darwish. Following the most recent suicide attack in Tel Aviv which the Hamas government refused to condemn, Khader writes, "Normally, history takes some time to tear the mask of victory off the face of defeat. In the case of Hamas, things seem to be moving faster – because Hamas was not prepared to take over power and because its leaders are not intellectually equipped to adapt to the changed situation."

"The ball-point pen is an underestimated but extremely precise construction in which a rolling ball made of wolfram carbide, an extremely hard metal, spreads an ink substance over paper," writes "zig" in defence of the writing instrument on the 40th anniversary of the "world's most beautiful and timeless ball-point pen," the Lamy 2000. "Yet when the ball is stationary it blocks the flow of ink. So simple – and yet so complicated, because the ball is comprised of around 50,000 flattened partial surfaces similar to the dimples in a golf ball, giving it certain physical advantages. It's also no accident that Galileo completed sketches showing a sort of precursor of the ball-point, a tool which now belongs among the ingenious sciences of the past." - let's talk european