Tuesday, 20 May 2008

The Most Influential German-Speaking Woman...

...according to Cicero magazine, is the literary critic and writer Elke Heidenreich. The magazine apparently evaluated women according to their mentions in the "most important" German-language newspapers and magazines since 1998, plus internet hits and archive inclusions. Heidenreich presents a very influential TV literary magazine called Lesen! (don't you just love that commanding tone?) and has had an incredibly varied career in the public eye.

She is followed in the top ten by the feminist Alice Schwarzer, Nobel literature laureate Elfriede Jelinek, the writer and director Doris Dörrie, the writers Christa Wolf and Cornelia Funke, university boss and possible presidential candidate Gesine Schwan, the literary critic Iris Radisch, Bishop Margot Käßmann and Jutta Limbach, the former head of the Goethe Institut.

Note that Angela Merkel doesn't seem to be included. I'd have thought she actually has more influence over life in Germany than Cornelia Funke. It seems they're actually talking about women who influence German-language culture - and there are plenty of heavyweights in that department. But if you look at the top women, you can make out that we're more influential in literature (creating and critiquing it) than in any other field of culture. After all, we've been at it long enough and we can do it from home while bouncing babies on our knees - not like film or theatre or music.

So hooray for German-speaking women. Long may they influence us!

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