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Alles nach Plan  





"Alles nach Plan? Formgestaltung in der DDR," now at the Kulturbrauerei in Berlin


                  What's New
What is (organic) German? The migration crisis has intensified an age-old debate.  (The New York Times, 5/26/16; The Economist, 5/28/16) Consider the short but fruitful history of Black Mountain College, where Bildung met Erziehung in rural North Carolina.  (Los Angeles Review of Books, 5/16/16) GDR design groupies, the Kulturbrauerei has an exhibition for you!  (Deutsche Welle, 4/12/16)


                  Böhmermann, Erdogan, and the politics of satire
Jan Böhmermann chats with the editorial board of The New York Times.  (The New York Times, 5/4/16) "Instead of holding up a mirror to the country, which is allegedly the function of cabaret, Böhmermann has sent the country into a hall of mirrors and has provoked all kinds of strange reactions."  (Spiegel Online - International, 4/15/16) Oh, the power of poetry: Jan Böhmermann sparks debate about the legal boundaries of freedom of expression, confirms Recep Tayyip Erdogan's inability to take a joke, and creates a major diplomatic headache for Angela Merkel. (Deutsche Welle, 4/8/16; Deutsche Welle, 4/11/16; Exberliner, 4/11/16; The Guardian, 4/11/16; The Washington Post, 4/12/16; Spiegel Online - International, 4/12/16)


                   Music
"Tonight at six I will listen to the Furtwängler concert on the radio," Hermann da Fonseca-Wollheim wrote to his wife Käthe, while imprisoned at Buchenwald. "Why don't you, too, turn on the radio on Sundays, so we can think of each other fervently."  (The New York Times, 5/4/16) "Once again, if you have a little time for Nena, she’ll sing a song for you." Genau jetzt!  (Slate, 4/13/16) In memoriam: Roger Cicero (1970-2016), popular jazz vocalist who represented Germany in the 2007 Eurovision Song Contest.  (Deutsche Welle, 3/29/16)


                  Art & Design
Consider the short but fruitful history of Black Mountain College, where Bildung met Erziehung in rural North Carolina.  (Los Angeles Review of Books, 5/16/16) Here's an inspired way of dealing with the "disgraced statues" of Germany's political past.  (Deutsche Welle, 7/9/15; The Local Germany, 7/23/15; Deutsche Welle, 9/10/15; Deutsche Welle, 4/28/16; The Art Newspaper, 5/5/16) Anke Feuchtenberger "pushed German comics into a new realm, redefining the medium in cultural, political, and aesthetic terms."  (World Literature Today, 3/2016)


                  Books & Ideas
Author Thomas Bernhard "is a gleeful butcher who makes the best charcuterie from the most forlorn and desiccated roadkill." Read Goethe Dies (translated by James Reidel) and find out more.  (The Nation, 5/5/16) Vicki Baum's bestselling Grand Hotel (originally published as Menschen im Hotel in 1929) "spoke to the anxieties of Weimar society—and of the world at large—about modern life."  (The New York Review of Books, 5/9/16) "Now, in the era of unabashed and unprecedented mass surveillance, is the time to read East German literature." English readers, meet Wolfgang Hilbig.  (Exberliner, 10/15/15; Boston Review, 3/15/16; Los Angeles Review of Books, 4/11/16)


                  Film
Maren Ade captivated Cannes with her new film, Toni Erdmann, "the world’s first genuinely funny, 162-minute German comedy of embarrassment."  (The Hollywood Reporter, 5/13/16; The New Yorrk Times, 5/22/16) Look Who's Back (Er ist wieder da): "yes, this movie exists, and despite (or perhaps because of) its genre-defying weirdness, you won’t be able to look away."  (Slate, 5/13/16) Christian Braad Thomsen brings us a "confused, partial, awkwardly constructed tribute" to the ever-fascinating Rainer Werner Fassbinder.  (Artforum, 4/25/16; Film Comment, 4/27/16; The New York Times, 4/28/16)


                  Theater
From the land of "long entertainment," Wagner's Ring Cycle is the original binge-watching experience.  (The Washington Post, 4/14/16) See a recreation of the Lichtburg rehearsal space and much more, in a Bonn exhibition devoted to the work of Pina Bausch.  (Deutsche Welle, 3/4/16) See and hear how Wagner's "Ring" was forged, in a new exhibition at NYC's Morgan Library & Museum.  (The New York Times, 1/28/16; The New York Review of Books, 2/25/16)


                  History
Alfred Rosenberg's diary was lost for nearly six decades—and then it reemerged in a small publishing house in upstate New York.  (The New York Times, 3/30/16; The Guardian, 5/5/16) In memoriam: Fritz Stern (1926-2016): historian of modern Germany, long-serving professor at Columbia University, trusted advisor to policymakers on both sides of the Atlantic.  (The New York Times, 5/18/16; Deutsche Welle, 5/19/16; The Guardian, 5/23/16; The Economist, 5/25/16) "Altenwerder had to die so that Hamburg could live": how a historic fishing village became an automatic container port.  (The Guardian, 5/11/16)


                  Et Cetera
What is (organic) German? The migration crisis has intensified an age-old debate.  (The New York Times, 5/26/16; The Economist, 5/28/16) Q: What do Christopher Clark, Timothy Garton Ash, and Neil MacGregor have in common? A: Anglosplaining for Germans.  (1843, 5/3/16) "It isn't easy to be creative and imaginative with a product that contains four ingredients..." Is 500 years enough for the Reinheitsgebot (Spiegel Online - International, 4/21/16; The Economist, 4/23/16)