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Portrait of a Woman of the Hofer Family  (about 1470)















                  What's New
Business is picking up at the Berlin Brandenburg airport!...Sort of.  (The New York Times, 4/9/14) "'August' is a story about August, the boy as he was and the man as Christa Wolf imagined him; it's a story about childhood and aging and a calm kind of love that lasts a long time." -- Katy Derbyshire on the translation of one of Christa Wolf's final stories.  (The Quarterly Conversation, 3/10/14) Strange beauty: It's taken awhile, but German Renaissance art gets its due at London's National Gallery.  (The Guardian, 2/18/14; Financial Times, 2/21/14; The Observer, 2/22/14; The Arts Desk, 2/26/14; The Spectator, 3/22/14)


                  Heil Heidegger? A new round of debate on the philosopher and his politics
We hardly need the Black Notebooks to tell us that Heidegger was anti-Semitic, says Jonathan Rée. But, "like the best of what Heidegger wrote -- indeed the best of philosophy in general -- they are full of sharp observations: observations that we should respond to not as opinions we might like to fall in with, but as incentives to think again, and to think more thoughtfully."  (Prospect, 3/12/14; The Guardian, 3/19/14) "The upcoming publication of the Black Notebooks -- three never-before-seen volumes by the legendary German philosopher Martin Heidegger -- may reveal a direct link between Heidegger's lengthy dalliance with Nazism and his landmark treatise Being and Time."  (Prospect, 1/28/14; The Chronicle of Higher Education, 2/24/14; Slate, 3/10/14; The New York Times, 3/30/14) Martin Heidegger: greatest philosopher of the 20th century, or irredeemable fascist? Patricia Cohen and Heather Horn provide an overview of the recent debate.  (The New York Times, 11/9/09; The Atlantic Wire, 11/11/09)


                   Music
They paved the site of Bach's house in Weimar and put up a parking lot. With the Hotel Elephant.  (Spiegel Online - International, 4/3/14) Composer Richard Strauss was born 150 years ago, in 1864. As a senior citizen, he "was wooed, rejected and then hounded by the Nazis." How should we regard his musical and political choices today?  (New Statesman, 1/23/14; Standpoint, 4/2014) In memoriam: Gert "Kralle" Krawinkel (1947-2014), Trio's guitarist and songwriter, composer of "Da Da Da".  (The Independent, 3/9/14)


                  Art / Architecture
"Rolf Sachs' mother is French, his father is German, his wife is Iranian, and he lives in England." Typisch deutsch? Und wie! Savor the stereotypes at the Museum of Applied Art in Cologne, now through June 9.  (Monocle, Jan. 2014; Financial Times, 1/15/14; Deutsche Welle, 3/24/14) "Art flourishes in 21st-century Berlin, but does it matter as much as it did when the city was a cold-war danger zone? Thierry Noir reminds us of Berlin's faded lipstick traces of dissent."  (The Guardian, 4/3/14; The Guardian, 4/3/14) Beautiful -- the photographs in Kilian Schönberger's series Brothers Grimm Homeland "look like they were smuggled out of a dream."  (Wired, 2/5/14)


                  Books / Literature
"'August' is a story about August, the boy as he was and the man as Christa Wolf imagined him; it's a story about childhood and aging and a calm kind of love that lasts a long time." -- Katy Derbyshire on the translation of one of Christa Wolf's final stories.  (The Quarterly Conversation, 3/10/14) "Admirers of the late WG Sebald's inimitable blend of essay, memoir, novel and found images...will be grateful for A Place in the Country," a collection of six essays on artists whom Sebald himself admired.  (The Guardian, 4/20/13; Financial Times, 4/26/13; The Guardian, 4/27/13; Slate, 2/5/14; The Quarterly Conversation, 3/10/14; The New York Times, 3/21/14; Bookforum, Apr/May 2014) "We don't do proofreading." Meet VDM Publishing Group, which would be happy to publish your academic thesis, blog, Wikipedia article, or anything else. (Slate, 3/23/14)


                  Film
In Christian Petzold's "Ghosts" trilogy, money "is the fuel that keeps the narrative of the engine running and the obstruction that makes it stall, an object that corrupts those who have it and cripples those who don't."  (Film Comment, 2/25/14) Writer-director Feo Aladag takes on the German military in Afghanistan in Inbetween Worlds.  (Variety, 2/11/14; ScreenDaily.com, 2/12/14; The Economist, 2/21/14) In memoriam: Maximilian Schell (1930-2014). "Austrian by birth, Swiss by circumstance and international by reputation...a distinguished actor, director, writer and producer."  (The New York Times, 2/1/14; The Guardian, 2/2/14; The Smart Set, 3/15/14)


                  Theater
1980 is the talk of 2014: "Pina Bausch's classic collage of dance, spoken monologue and theatrical vignette is shot through with sadness, but also delicious comedy."  (The Guardian, 2/7/14; The Arts Desk, 2/9/14; The Guardian, 2/9/14; The New York Times, 2/17/14) Marianna Salzmann's Muttersprache Mameloschn impressed audiences at the 2013 Mülheimer Theatertage.  Now the tale of three generations of Jewish women in contemporary Germany has crossed the Atlantic.  (PRI, 12/23/13) Forget A Christmas Carol and The Nutcracker -- take the kids to see Emil and the Detectives instead!  Onstage now at the National Theatre. (The Guardian, 12/4/13; The Arts Desk, 12/5/13; Financial Times, 12/5/13)


                  History
In January 1945, German prisoners of war constructed a brick chimney in Charleston, South Carolina. Should it be preserved or torn down?  (The New York Times, 4/1/14) Sixteen years after her death, Untergetaucht tells the remarkable story of Marie Jalowicz Simon, who survived as a "U-boat" in Nazi Berlin.  (The Observer, 3/15/14) What's the most apt historic parallel to today's crisis in Ukraine? Alec MacGillis explains why "Germany looks at Russia and Ukraine and sees 1914."  (New Republic, 3/13/14)


                  Et Cetera
Business is picking up at the Berlin Brandenburg airport!...Sort of.  (The New York Times, 4/9/14) Alas, poor "Wetten, dass...?"! If you've watched German TV in the last 33 years, you knew it well.  (The Local, 4/7/14) "How do you know when to go naked in Germany?" Nathan Englander poses a timeless question.  (The New York Times, 3/28/14)