writer, journalist & scholar

Author: michael kreutz Page 1 of 12

Writer, speaker, traveler.

Friedells “Kulturgeschichte” über Darwins Lehre

Wer Darwins Evolutionstheorie in anzweifelt, ist nicht unbedingt Anhänger eines christlich begründeten “intelligent design”.Der österreichische Schriftsteller Egon Friedell (1878-1939) hat versucht, die Entstehung der Arten gegen Darwin zu erklären, ohne sicb auf die Religion zu berufen.

Istanbul like you’ve never seen it before

Watch this. Syrian-German filmmaker Waref Abu Quba Rund has assembled around 2,900 photographs of Istanbul into a kaleidoscope of sensuality, “a mesmerizing journey into the past, paying homage to Islamic, Ottoman, Greek, and Byzantine art forms.”

Israel belongs where it is

75 years after its declaration of independence, Israel is still widely misunderstood

The origin of modern Israel is usually told as follows: Pogroms since the 19th century, culminating in the Holocaust, prompted Jews to emigrate to Palestine, where they enlisted British aid to revitalize their ancient state while marginalizing the native Arab population, creating a conflict that simmers to this day. From this perspective, the Jewish state is a historical anomaly and a persistent alien to the region, born of events on another continent.

Alexander the Great’s literary quest

More than ten years ago I published an article on Alexander the Great in the political discourse of the 19th century Levantine national movements when he struck a chord with the masses and was the perfect historical poster child for all manner of independence efforts from the Ottoman Empire.

The lost books of Gaomi

Western colonialism has many devastating stories to tell that still are not part of the public memory. One such story is the destruction of a center of Chinese learning in the 19th century under German occupation that dates back to the year of 1898, when the Germans occupied a bay in Shandong province.

Wenn das zweibeinige Morgenlicht einen traurigen Schatten wirft

Schon in der ersten Zeile des Romans geht es los:

Geräusche hinter der Wand, als würde ein Lastwagen immer wieder versuchen, durch die Wände durchzukommen.

Diese zweifache Redundanz (“Wand/ Wände” und “durch … durchzukommen“) ist Teil einer ganzen Reihe unglücklicher Formulierungen und ungereimter Gedanken, die dem Leser allein auf den ersten Seiten des Romans “Ein von Schatten begrenzter Raum” von Emine Sevgi Özdamar (Berlin: Suhrkamp, 2021) begegnen.

Protests and bullets

Elias Canetti in his memoir recalls an event as of July 15, 1927 that even many years afterwards was clearly photographed on his brain. At that time, workers were shot in Burgenland, Austria, but the murderers were acquitted. That caused an uproar in Vienna.

In Picasso’s Temple

Picasso’s studio was a “temple of a kind of Picasso religion”, according to his late lover Françoise Gilot. Among its regular visitors was the photographer Brassai who was known for his clumsiness and Picasso took pleasure in taunting him with the words, “Well, what are you going to destroy today?”

Boas on Russia, 1914

„Thus Russia has only one goal, to become the largest power as leader of all Slavic peoples. That would mean about the same as if England or the United States or Germany wanted to be the leader of these three nations plus Denmark, Sweden, and Norway, as well as Holland and Belgium because these languages are related.“

(Franz Boas, German-American anthropologist, in a personal letter to his son, British Columbia, August 15, 1914, in: The Ethnography of Franz Boas: Letters and Diaries of Franz Boas Written on the Northwest Coast from 1886 to 1931, compiled and ed. by Ronald P. Rohner, Chicago and London: The University of Chicago Press, 1969, p. 273.)

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