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.