August 4, 2021

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Hubert Winkels raises in Klagenfurt: What kind of cultural criticism do we want?

Hubert Winkels raises in Klagenfurt: What kind of cultural criticism do we want?

eThere were indeed more easily understood speeches on literature in Klagenfurt than those of former jury chief Hubert Winkels – but the fact that the speech he gave now relied sometimes on specialized vocabulary (pre-predictive, atropic), Habermas’ interpretations and professorial gestures. Maybe exactly her punch line and her legacy. For at its center was a term that was finally brought back from the corner of the room to the center of the room in debates about the shortening and reduction of cultural programs in public broadcasting: those of the educated bourgeoisie.

For some, that’s a dirty word, and there’s the hare in the pepper situation when managers and program managers apply the company’s consultant vocabulary, which has always been the same, to culture in order to disguise lower levels. Winkels countered this by making a very strong case for criticism as a separate art form that differs categorically from the rest of the press. In a best-case scenario, narrative criticism in particular introduces the “semiology of the earthly enlightenment.”

Andre Rio and concept art

The jury of the Bachmann Prize competition has so far joked that extravagant, sometimes highly academic interpretations of literary texts, not just those by Winkels, were captured by various critical, argumentative, or balanced temperaments in a seven-voice round. However, in his speech Winkels addressed such unmistakable polemical elements. The “inspiring operators” of criticism now sit “at the table of the cultural audience” questioning them from the big blackboard, and there, inspired by the logic of the number of clicks, they develop the “concept” of the “expansion of art to include André Rio”.

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The response to Winkels’ speech on social media was in part one spirit can show: dismissed as elitist, even with the voluntary parrot of the official’s discourse: (literary) criticism should remove barriers and capture everyone, today we need forms other than revision, etc. When criticizing attributes in social media, and especially on platforms, those who want to be a distinct section themselves, but constantly refuse to do so with a big nod, one today often has the impression of being ashamed of the experience.