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Spinnen, Burkhard

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3 articles of this author have been cited in the European Press Review so far.

Die Welt - Germany | 31/10/2006

Burkhard Spinnen on political literature

Following a meeting with Günter Grass and other colleagues, the novelist Burkhard Spinnen expresses his opinions on political literature. "In the post-ideology era, political competence can only be gained with and within those devices which are the domain of writers: in other words with and within literary texts. As an author I must distance myself from day-to-day discussions and not get involved in opinion surveys. I don't base my arguments on an abstract literary reputation but on the context of my work! ... The pivotal element is always language. The task of literature does not consist in solving the problems of heads of government; rather, it is here that what they say is put to the test. ... Now, as in the past, aesthetic endeavour neither stands in opposition to political endeavour nor is it simply a supplement to the latter. It is a necessary pre-requisite for the success of literature, including political literature. This is because literature doesn't give concrete instructions nor does it construct abstract systems; it provides concrete examples – by telling people about them."

Die Welt - Germany | 14/08/2006

Günter Grass was in the Waffen-SS

Novelist Burkhard Spinnen, born in 1956, calls for a "gentle" reaction to Grass's admission and notes that Günter Grass learned from his mistake in a way that many others haven't. "There was a time when my father used to receive invitations from the various veteran soldiers' clubs. My mother remembers him saying: 'You can throw them away!' Günter Grass is one of the few among his generation who has shown ways of thinking and appeals for action that go beyond forbidding contact with mass hysteria and criminal ideologies. This 'flaw' in his biography has not only been a source of self-discipline and self-criticism but has also motivated his lifelong struggle to improve the general situation. Therefore we sons and daughters of such fathers should be as 'gentle' as we can in our reaction to this confession."

Die Welt - Germany | 10/04/2006

The end of the goalkeeper aura

Author Burkhard Spinnen comments on the replacement of Oliver Kahn as goalkeeper for the German national soccer team: "That's how things are done nowadays! History, legends and aura are expelled from the economy and from everyday life. Like so often, this expulsion appears to us through a distorting mirror and we fail to see it for what it is. Team coach Jürgen Klinsmann has done the unheard of, the taboo: he's unseated a legend, he's struck a position and a biography from the list like a product from the portfolio. With Kahn's demotion, which you can debate both sides of from a purely sporting point of view, Klinsmann has liquidated one of the last remnants of the old team myth. From now on the German national eleven is a temporary thing, just like any other global team, a task-force unit with clearly defined objectives (benchmarking) but not the slightest hint of a myth or legend."

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