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Alles nach Plan  





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


                  What's New
"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) "The most German of traits, he said, is this need to correct people, no matter how trivial the point."  (1843, 5/3/16) GDR design groupies, the Kulturbrauerei has an exhibition for you!  (Deutsche Welle, 4/12/16)


                  Böhmermann, Erdogan, and the politics of satire
"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) "Achtung! Germans on the rise, but this time we are fucking nice!"  (The Local, 4/1/16)


                   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
Anke Feuchtenberger "pushed German comics into a new realm, redefining the medium in cultural, political, and aesthetic terms."  (World Literature Today, 3/2016) "Does my family own a painting looted by Nazis?" Despite researchers' best efforts, it's often impossible to say for sure.  (The New York Times, 4/5/16) Looking for Berlin's best street? Hans Kollhof makes the case for Karl-Marx-Allee, "the only example of German urban planning and architecture that continues the great tradition of the 19th century."  (CityLab, 3/31/16)


                  Books & Ideas
Klaus Mann—"writer, lecturer, provocateur, world traveler, anti-Nazi militant"—is the subject of a new biography by Frederic Spotts.  (The Guardian, 3/6/16; The Weekly Standard, 3/28/16; The Irish Times, 4/16/16) 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) For the protagonist of Darryl Pinckney's novel Black Deutschland, "Berlin meant white boys who wanted to atone for Germany’s crimes by loving a black boy like me.”  (The New York Times, 1/28/16; The New York Times, 2/5/16; The Atlantic, 2/15/16)


                  Film
"In Germany, The Jungle Book (1967) is the biggest movie of all time."  (The Hollywood Reporter, 4/22/16) Deutschland 83 wasn't a hit at home, but its success abroad is nonetheless opening "the floodgate for a German TV renaissance."  (The Guardian, 2/23/16) No hiking the Pacific Crest Trail here: Nicolette Krebitz's Wild "tells a visceral tale of a young urban woman drawn to nature in a way that will shock mere tree-huggers."  (The Hollywood Reporter, 1/23/16)


                  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
"But is it really vital for the understanding of the darkest chapter of German history to know what Hitler had for lunch before shooting himself in the head in the Führerbunker with his Walther PPK pistol in 1945 (spaghetti with a light tomato sauce)? Probably not."  (The Washington Post, 4/27/16) "The thing I continue to find striking," says Neil MacGregor, "is that in the centre of Berlin you keep coming across monuments to national shame. I think that is unique in the world."  (The Guardian, 4/17/16) In memoriam: Hans-Dietrich Genscher (1927-2016), long-serving foreign minister, architect of German reunification, respected elder statesman.  (Deutsche Welle, 4/1/16; Financial Times, 4/1/16; The New York Times, 4/1/16; The Washington Post, 4/1/16; AICGS, 4/8/16)


                  Et Cetera
"The most German of traits, he said, is this need to correct people, no matter how trivial the point."  (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) In Dresden, "one of Germany’s most rarefied art and cultural scenes" coexists uncomfortably with the country's "most notorious populist movement."  (The Wall Street Journal, 4/20/16)