From the Feuilletons


Süddeutsche Zeitung, 08.09.2006

British historian Tony Judt has diagnosed a collapse of liberal self-confidence in the USA. "Liberalism is a political sin in the United States today, whose name one dare not speak, and those who call themselves 'liberal intellectuals' are busy with other things. In the meantime their place has been taken by a cohort of admirable investigative journalists, Seymour Hersh above all, as well as Michael Massing and Mark Danner, who write for The New Yorker and the New York Review of Books – as befits a new Gilded Age, a time of external prosperity but internal corruption and poverty."

Swedish publisher Svante Weyler asks why the Swedes should even vote at all. "All Swedes are social democrats, the old saying goes, and it's true. Only that every four years some of the social democrats vote conservative, liberal or some other way. So if the opposition wins, which can't be ruled out altogether (it's happened twice in seventy years), everything still stays exactly as it was. Prime Minister Göran Persson summed it up perfectly: We want to pay higher taxes!"

Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung, 08.09.2006

New York Times columnist Thomas L. Friedman explains in an interview why the world has become flat again, with the fall of the Berlin Wall and the advent of the Internet. Europe, he writes, should finally realise this fact. "I love travelling to Europe! I love the museums, yes, Europe is a living museum, and I hope it'll go on being one. There's so much I admire about Europe, for example the six weeks of holiday, the public transportation, the environmental consciousness. I'm serious, and if Europe knows the magic formula for holding on to these accomplishments without being forced to adapt to the flat world, so much the better… You know what's great about America? How easy it is to fire someone. Because if it's that easy to fire people, it's just as easy to hire them."

Neue Zürcher Zeitung, 08.09.2006

Iraq correspondent Inga Rogg describes the difficulties of working in Iraq, where terror is everywhere. "It's led to a huge decline in the quality of reporting. The journalists who've remained either can't leave their compounds at all, or only accompanied by bodyguards. 'Hotel journalism' is what our detractors call it, saying the only reason the reporters stay in Baghdad is because it looks better in the by-line. That's a far cry from the reality, but there is a grain of truth in it. The major American papers have reacted to restrictions by training Iraqi journalists. Today they're the ones who go out and collect most of the information that gets reported."

Die Welt, 08.09.2006

Manuel Brug celebrates as an "unexpected sensation" the restoration of the silent movie "Der Rosenkavalier" (The Knight of the Rose) which was supervised by Richard Strauss himself. "After the premiere of 'Der Rosenkavalier' in Dresden in 1911, it was intially thought a film might help promote the opera, but then the idea was abandoned.... After war and inflation had more or less eaten up the fortune of Strauss and Hugo von Hofmannsthal, they returned in the twenties to the old film idea. The poet, who had always been a touch unworldly, concocted a cinematic prequel to the story of Marschallin, Baron Ochs & Co., a sort of gigantic advertisement for the opera, that was 'more propaganda than competition'. And Strauss believed that after enjoying the film, the masses would flock to the opera." - let's talk european