Article of the month: A new musical cosmos

To mark the hundredth anniversary of Polish composer Witold Lutoslawski's birth, Osteuropa editor Manfred Sapper speaks to the world-famous violin virtuoso Anne-Sophie Mutter. She explains how Lutoslawski helped her discover the language of contemporary classical music and new freedom as a performer. As such, Mutter's first world premiere was something of a rite of passage -- the piece being none other than Witold Lutoslawski's Chain II.

Mutter's reflections on being a performing artist also prompt some constructive criticism of modern approaches to the classical repertoire:

"It's as though they are looking for a formula: if it's worked once before, and it was a success, then it must be the right way to do it. That's a fatal philosophy for performing artists. You can clear all such thoughts from your head as soon as you talk to a composer. And by the way, this opens up some very interesting interpretations of the musical past. [...] Even in the eighteenth century, we can read how wildly and passionately Mozart performed from his own scores, or Bach even earlier, and how different the music sounded every time."

Before she reveals her plans for marking the centenary at the end of the interview, Mutter offers some guiding comments for the future reception of Lutoslawski's music:

"I hope that when orchestras approach this repertoire, they develop much greater sensitivity for tonality, just as they always need when they play Mozart and Haydn. Lutoslawski's music demands a great deal of sensitivity and an understanding of multiple aspects of the work, it needs fine phrasing and a specific inner balance in an orchestra. We should be ready to hear music that unfolds from silence. We really need such music, since the world is very loud indeed. At the moment the dominant repertoire consists of crowd-pleasing, loud pieces."

Anne-Sophie Mutter, Manfred Sapper
A new musical cosmos

This article is available in English and German

Focal point: Arrivals/Departures

The articles for the focal point that accompanied the 2012 Eurozine conference in Hamburg on European harbour cities as places of migration were compiled with a view to discussing harbour cities as sites of cultural-historical memory and measures of contemporary social-economic transformation. In March, Arrivals/Departures concluded with the publication of two articles covering both aspects, as well as contributing to the local and global threads that weave in and out of the focal point as a whole.

Social scientist and migration expert Manuel Assner provides local insight in an article based on his tour of the Port of Hamburg during the conference. The migration history he outlines begins at the city's gates and concludes with the advent of mass tourism on a global scale. Saskia Sassen's article on ports, mines and plantations is based on her key note speech and reveals how "urban space today registers the profitability of non-urban economies".

Read all articles in the focal point Arrivals/Departures

Support Eurozine!

Unfortunately, Eurozine is not immune to the effects of the economic crisis. More than ever, we rely on you, the readers who use Eurozine as a source of information and ideas. We are a small, lean operation, but quality costs. If you appreciate our work -- and we know that you do -- we ask you to help keep Eurozine free and independent. You can easily and securely donate online or transfer your donation to Eurozine's donations account.

With your help we will continue to provide a Europe-wide overview of current themes and discussions in 2013, presenting the best articles from our partners in translation, as well as original texts, on all aspects of culture and politics.

Make a one-off donation or set up a standing order

New articles

Osman Deniztekin
Financing cultural journals: The Turkish case
Osman Deniztekin introduces a survey of Turkish journals that "Varlik" conducted in autumn 2012. Like their European counterparts, Turkish journals need public support. However, they are far more wary of risking their independence by receiving government funding.

This article is available in English

Mustafa Aydogan
"It's best if all journals are self-sufficient"
Edebiyat Ortami, Turkey
Mustafa Aydogan, editor of "Edebiyat Ortami", explains why he thinks the moral support of governments is healthier than their financial support where journals are concerned. As for the quality of journals, diversity of content is crucial. Thus, every journal creates its own readership.

This article is available in English

Elif Bereketli
"Journals should inspire and learn from each other"
SabitFikir, Turkey
"SabitFikir" editor Elif Bereketli contends that digital forms are not yet capable of replacing literary journals, at the same time as setting her sights set on a project based exclusively on social media. In a harsh climate for many forms of writing and publishing, innovation is key.

This article is available in English

Zarife Biliz
"When ethics and quality come together"
Iyi Kitap, Turkey
Zarife Biliz of "Iyi Kitap", which specializes in children's and youth literature, challenges journals to stop printing unimpressive pieces by renowned authors and instead give voice to a variety of authors selected with more editorial attention, and be more inclusive.

This article is available in English

Ali Çakmak
"As the time between thought and expression is shortened..."
Duvar, Turkey
Ali Çakmak of "Duvar" believes there should be public funding not just for journals, but the publishing industry in general. The abstract concept of freedom of expression would then become a reality. Meanwhile, the impact of digital media is hugely significant but difficult to gauge.

This article is available in English

Turgay Fisekçi
"...why would anyone need different journals?"
Sözcükler, Turkey
If millions of students in Turkey were offered cultural journals, it could transform the sector. But culture is threatened, not least by a crude desire to secure popularity, argues Turgay Fisekçi of "Sözcükler". The result: sclerosis and, in the end, the same writers appearing in the same journals.

This article is available in English

Turgay Özçelik
"Print and digital media should support each other"
Kültür Mafyasi, Turkey
Even if journals are interested in current affairs, they should go to the root of the matter and present alternatives, writes Turgay Özçelik of "Kültür Mafyasi" -- a journal that began online and just launched a print version: "We need to shed light on what mainstream media choose not to see".

This article is available in English

Hakan Sarkdemir
"We don't want public support; we want readers"
Karagöz, Turkey
Hakan Sarkdemir cites the lack of a professional distribution network as the biggest problem for Turkish journals. That said, being visible and selling well; selling well and being read well; being read well and having many readers: social media aside, these are not the same thing.

This article is available in English

Murat Yalçin
"The journal reader is the minority everywhere in the world"
Kitap-lik, Turkey
Murat Yalçin of "Kitap-lik" asserts that culture and the arts thrive on individual awareness and thought, not collective sensibilities. Thus every journal has learn to cherish its knowledgeable readers -- for which there are no simple formulas based on "responsibility", "mission" or service.

This article is available in English

Stefan Jonsson
The contained
The container is the universal unit of the global commodity society, facilitating the swift exchange of all kinds of product. Precarity, likewise, connotes a basic form of labour that submissively and flexibly adjusts to any form of employment and system of production.

This article is now available in English, Swedish and Ukranian

Robert Hodonyi, Helga Trüpel
Together against Orbán: Hungary's new opposition
Amid international concern over government reforms that endanger democracy in Hungary, Hodonyi and Trüpel discover a political renaissance in Hungarian civil society. Ahead of elections in Spring 2014, this may well be an antidote to the EU's "political half-heartedness".

This article is available in English and German

Dimitar Bechev
Bulgaria's anger: The real source
As the Bulgarian post-communist transition faces its moment of crisis and the government resigns, the political class and the economic model it oversaw are the subject of deep dissatisfaction. Dimitar Bechev outlines what went wrong, and what can be expected of Bulgaria's spring of anger.

This article is available in English

Christa Hämmerle
A new perspective on gender studies?
On the new masculi(ni)sm
The conservative backlash has reached the core of the gender debate: antifeminist theory and pro-masculinity approaches paying special attention to the figure of the simplified male victim have arrived. This prompts numerous questions for co-editor of "L'homme" Christa Hämmerle.

This article is available in German

Timothy Garton Ash
The Southern Weekly affair
No closer to the Chinese dream?
The first week of 2013 saw a standoff between editors of the Chinese newspaper "Southern Weekly" and state propaganda authorities over a drastically rewritten new year's editorial. Timothy Garton Ash introduces English translations of the original and published versions.

This article is available in English

Alina Polyakova
Let's stop blaming the economy
Radical right parties in central eastern Europe
Alina Polyakova questions the assumption that the rise of the radical right in central and eastern Europe is rooted in economic conditions. Looking at the consequences of post-socialist civil society for liberal democracy will render a more realistic picture, she writes.

This article is now available in English and Ukranian

Saskia Sassen
Urbanizing non-urban economies
Ports, mines, plantations
In this article based on Sassen's speech at the Eurozine conference in 2012, the sociologist explains why and how it is that, far more than in the past, urban space today registers the profitability of non-urban economies. The key is to be found in the rise of intermediate services for firms.

This article is available in English
Manuel Assner
Colonial roots and current routes
Migration in the harbour city of Hamburg
Manuel Assner conducted a tour of the Port of Hamburg at the Eurozine conference in 2012, providing a history of migration in the multi-ethnic harbour and surrounding districts. In this article based on the tour, he shows how colonial roots remain intertwined with colonial routes.

This article is available in English

Paolo Macry
And never the twain shall meet
Dispatching with prejudices about the Mezzogiorno, Paolo Macry re-examines the history of the North-South divide, revealing the importance of the South for the country's political stability. However, settling the accounts between the regions will likely remain a distant prospect.

This article is available in Italian

Sazana Capriqi
Gender and sacrifice
Gender divisions, deeply rooted in myth and in society, have spelled more violence and suffering for the Balkans than any concrete benefit. This is a state of affairs about which Capriqi is unequivocal. Whether it can be changed remains an open question.

This article is available in English and Bosnian

Anne-Sophie Mutter, Manfred Sapper
A new musical cosmos
Anne-Sophie Mutter on Witold Lutoslawski
On the eve of the hundredth anniversary of Polish composer Witold Lutoslawski's birth, "Osteuropa" editor Manfred Sapper speaks to world-famous violin virtuoso Anne-Sophie Mutter about first meeting Lutoslawski, and the effect that he had on her musical career thereafter.

This article is available in English and German

Johanna Sjöstedt
The vertigo of scepticism
Introduction to a conversation with Nancy Bauer
Johanna Sjöstedt introduces her conversation with Nancy Bauer by explaining why Bauer is interested both in exploring the potential of a genuinely philosophical feminism and paving the way for a feminist critique of the philosophical tradition.

This article is available in English and Swedish

Nancy Bauer, Johanna Sjöstedt
What is feminist philosophy?
Nancy Bauer talks about what attracted her to the field of philosophy and what made her remain there. Sjöstedt and Bauer also discuss Simone de Beauvoir, the role of scepticism in modern feminism and the thin line between world-changing philosophy and dogmatism.

This article is available in English and Swedish

William E Scheuerman
Barack Obama's "war on terror"
William E Scheuerman explains why Obama's mediocre humanitarian record in the "war on terror" deserves our critical scrutiny. And how US presidential government's latent monarchist attributes have generated far-reaching policy and legal continuities between Bush and Obama.

This article is available in English and German

Helmut König
In praise of dissidence
There is much to celebrate in the history of Cold War dissidence, writes Helmut König. Which is why it is crucial to recall just how the Peaceful Revolution delivered its heritage of freedom, from the thinkers and the underground printing presses to the impromptu protests.

This article is available in German

If you have questions or comments, please write to us:

To unsubscribe, follow this link.

Eurozine Imprint
Phone: +43-1-334 29 80
Fax: +43-1-334 29 80-20
Postal address: Dürergasse 14-16/8, A-1060 Vienna, Austria

Eurozine Newsletter: 04/2013