Das Literarische Quartett
is one of the most enjoyable "shows" ( if you can even call it that )in German television in the age of "Big Brother"
etc. DLQ is one of the most-old fashioned programmes I know. This is a show about books
, it´s all about the latest novels that have been published in Germany in the last 2 months. The host is Marcel Reich-Ranicki
, a very fascinating man, having survived the Holocaust in the Warschauer Ghetto
, he is today one of the most influential and important Jews
in German society. He wrote his biography "Mein Leben
" ( My Life ) two years ago, a biography I can strongly recommend, not only because he led an interesting life, but also because it depicts German history
and society covering nearly 70 years.
The other members are Iris Radisch, a journalist and Helmut Karasek, he is a journalist too. Before Iris Radisch, Sigrid Löffler had been a member, but there was a scandal, because Reich-Ranicki ( who likes to comment on the sex and love scenes ) accused her of being an old bitter women without any sexual life, basically. The book that finally lead to the break-up of the Group who had been together since 1988, was Murakami's “Norwegian Wood”.
She left the Quartett and was replaced by Iris Radisch, who is now the youngest member ( 30 ish ) and in my opinion doing a good job, as it is quite difficult to stand up to Reich-Ranicki, who always likes to listen first about what all the other think about the book before giving his "final" judgement.
To complete the Quartett, one guest ( a writer, a publisher, a journalist ) is always invited.
Every one of them introduces a book and it is discussed afterwards by all of them later on for 10-15 minutes.
It takes place with a small audience seated around the stage. They meet up every 2 months. It is a show done by intellectuals for intellectuals which sadly seem to decrease these days. Reich-Ranicki and Karasek are men of another generation, a generation that seems to have read more, discussed more, thought more.
I see the show with very mixed emotions, because on one hand I am glad that men like them still exist, but on the other hand I am filled with sadness because when they will be gone, something will die forever. This is just a feeling of mine, I hope I will be proven wrong.