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Freiheit (Constantin von Mitschke-Collande, 1919)















                  What's New
AKTION! At the Los Angeles County Museum of Art, see how German artists got political in the revolutionary years of 1918-19.  (The New York Times, 7/22/15; Crave, 8/25/15) "We want to have the knowledge, as if it were a static object, but we don’t want to do the work of claiming it," laments Maria Popova. Here's a taste of what G.W.F. Hegel has to say about our impatience, from The Phenomenology of Mind.  (Brain Pickings, 8/27/15) Yes, "there is more to German food than sausage, sauerkraut and schnitzel." Get a copy of New German Cooking and enjoy!  (The Washington Post, 2/17/15; The Splendid Table, 4/10/15)


                  Summer 2015: Love Berlin's museums, or love them not
Could a new museum of modern art transform Berlin's Kulturforum into a more cohesive whole?  (The New York Times, 8/13/15) So many cultural treasures, so poorly exhibited. It's as though Berlin's museums "go out of their way to keep people from visiting."  (Spiegel Online - International, 7/16/15) Radically modern architectural designs of the 1960s! See them now through October 26, at the Berlinische Galerie.  (Deutsche Welle, 6/24/15)


                   Music
Just in case you're not sure Christian Thielemann was the right man for that new job opening in Bayreuth—read My Life With Wagner.  (The Independent, 8/13/15; The Economist, 8/15/15; The Spectator, 8/15/15) Heiner Goebbels and the Ensemble Musikfabrik would like to introduce you to the alternate musical universe of Harry Partch, onstage at Lincoln Center.  (The New York Times, 7/21/15; New York Classical Review, 7/24/15; The New York Times, 7/24/15) In memoriam: Dieter Moebius (1944-2015), experimental music pioneer, co-founder of Cluster and Harmonia.  (The Guardian, 7/21/15; The Guardian, 7/22/15)


                  Art & Design
AKTION! At the Los Angeles County Museum of Art, see how German artists got political in the revolutionary years of 1918-19.  (The New York Times, 7/22/15; Crave, 8/25/15) In Landsleute 1977-1987: Two Germanys, photographer Rudi Meisel captures ten years in the life of a divided country.  (The New York Times, 8/21/15; Deutsche Welle, 8/24/15) This might just be the most baffling bit of Kultur I've seen. Enjoy!  (The Guardian, 7/19/15; PRI, 8/27/15)


                  Books & Ideas
"We want to have the knowledge, as if it were a static object, but we don’t want to do the work of claiming it," laments Maria Popova. Here's a taste of what G.W.F. Hegel has to say about our impatience, from The Phenomenology of Mind.  (Brain Pickings, 8/27/15) "It is basically a scandal that the world’s most widely distributed book, with a print run of an astounding 220 million copies, has never been properly reviewed." Hellmuth Karasek critiques the 2016 Ikea catalog.  (German Pulse, 8/24/15) No "frowning white men in suits" here! The latest issue of Words Without Borders is dedicated to the emerging German writers of 2015.  (Words Without Borders, July 2015)


                  Film
Nina Hoss and Christian Petzold: "the greatest actor-director duo today"?  (The Daily Beast, 7/25/15) Christian Petzold's "post-Second World War film noir Phoenix is surely in contention to be in any top five list of the best Hitchcockian thrillers ever made."  (The Independent, 5/7/15; The Telegraph, 5/8/15; The New York Times, 7/23/15) New on DVD: vintage Cold War dramas from 1962/63, produced on opposite sides of the Berlin Wall.  (The New York Times, 6/26/15)


                  Theater
"It’s that time of year again: the balmy nights of late spring are the augurs of the annual ritual of blood-letting in northern Bavaria, when the remaining Wagners do their best to tear each other apart in public on the eve of the Bayreuth festival."  (The Guardian, 6/11/15; Slipped Disc, 6/12/15) Q: What do you get when Robert Wilson and Herbert Grönemeyer stage Faust at the Berliner Ensemble?  A: "A frenetic fever dream, a funhouse rock opera that’s more Rocky Horror than reverent recapitulation of Goethe’s tragic masterpiece, with a Mephistopheles who’s beyond irresistible."  (Exberliner, 5/5/15; Deutsche Welle, 5/30/15) "A graphic story that kicks off with sex, progresses to a full-blown orgy and then torture, and ends with a gruesome mass slaughter replete with horrifying detail"—I'm guessing Die 120 Tage von Sodom won't be heading to Broadway anytime soon.  (Deutsche Welle, 5/28/15)


                  History
Richard J. Evans reviews six new historical studies of Nazi concentration camps and the post-WWII trials of Nazi perpetrators.  (The New York Review of Books, 7/9/15) In memoriam: Egon Bahr (1922-2015), architect of West Germany's Ostpolitik. He laid the groundwork for German reunification and gave us the phrase Wandel durch Annäherung.  (Deutsche Welle, 8/20/15; The New York Times, 8/20/15; The Guardian, 8/27/15) I'm not sure if it ever left, but yes, the German Question is back. (The New York Times, 7/13/15; The Economist, 8/8/15)


                  Et Cetera
Yes, "there is more to German food than sausage, sauerkraut and schnitzel." Get a copy of New German Cooking and enjoy!  (The Washington Post, 2/17/15; The Splendid Table, 4/10/15) How are editorialists unhappy with Germany's handling of the Greek crisis? Let us count the ways.  (Spiegel Online - International, 7/3/15; The New York Times, 7/9/15; The New York Times, 7/12/15; The Conversation, 7/14/15; The New York Times, 7/15/15; The Guardian, 7/16/15; The Washington Post, 7/16/15; The World Post, 7/24/15; The Guardian, 7/27/15) "Ich erinnere das nicht" and "Ich rufe Sie zurück"signs that the impact of English on the German language might be even deeper than you thought.  (The Economist, 7/16/15)