‘EU’ Category

  1. Search for clues by all means, just not in the courtroom

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    April 9, 2017 by AK

    The Guardian reported on the latest twist in the bizarre trial in Germany known as the NSU-Prozess: Nearly five years into the trial of a German neo-Nazi gang who went on a killing spree against immigrants, relatives of the victims have become so frustrated with the police’s inability to untangle the case they have turned to …
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  2. Buch, East Berlin

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    March 21, 2017 by AK

    The “sleepy German suburb” of Buch – a hotbed of rightwing nationalism according to the New York Times – reminds me of a middle-class Moscow residential area, only cleaner, greener, lower-rise and more orderly (note the neatly parked cars). I can understand why some residents fear that new tenants might be not so keen on …
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  3. Essential skills for dictators

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    March 20, 2017 by AK

    Thomas Mann wrote in his 1939 essay Brother Hitler: And then he — who had learned nothing, and in his dreamy, obstinate arrogance never would learn anything; who had neither technical nor physical discipline, could not sit a horse, or drive a car, or fly a plane, or do aught that men do, even to …
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  4. “Far right news sites entirely in Cyrillic script”

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    February 27, 2017 by AK

    About two weeks ago, Mark Townsend wrote in The Guardian: Another Briton said to have had an influential intervention in the US elections is 52-year-old Jim Dowson, a Scottish Calvinist who founded the far right, anti-Muslim party Britain First. Dowson, from a hub in Hungary, set up a network of US-focused websites and Facebook groups with …
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  5. Zhukovsky’s note from February 1821

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    February 22, 2017 by AK

    I’ve come across an English translation of Zhukovsky’s comment on his 1821 poem, Lalla Rookh – not a Russian version of Thomas Moore’s long work but a lyrical essay on beauty and imagination. The brief prose note complements the poem. The book is Russian Romantic Criticism: An Anthology compiled by Lauren G. Leighton, who taught Russian literature …
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  6. Adam Shatz’s violent fantasies

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    February 18, 2017 by AK

    Adam Shatz, a contributing editor at The London Review of Books, writes on his blog: Many, perhaps most of us who live in coastal cities have found ourselves having criminal thoughts and violent fantasies since 9 November. Some involve Trump and Steve Bannon… still others involve the fabled white working class that is supposed to have …
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  7. Viktor Orbán on the “greatest human value”

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    February 4, 2017 by AK

    “A is wrong, B is meaningless, C is unproven, E does not follow from D” is my typical reaction to a typical post on Crooked Timber, but I visit the blog every other day. I am rewarded with occasional pearls or a humbling experience, such as today’s. Discussing Ernest Gellner’s view of civil society, Henry Farrell wrote of …
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  8. What if they were perfect liberals in 1996?

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    January 12, 2017 by AK

    Seán Hanley of University College London and James Dawson of King’s College and Queen Mary University, London, published a long piece on Poland in Hungary in Foreign Policy (reprinted in the Chicago Tribune) earlier this month – an interesting article, definitely worth reading despite the unwarranted claims in its title and subtitle. The Tribune‘s title …
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  9. “The spirit of pure beauty does not live with us…”

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    January 3, 2017 by AK

    I doubt that Zhukovsky was deeply taken in by Thomas Moore’s oriental romance, with the likely exception of the Peri poem. But the “Lalla Rookh” fête in Berlin undoubtedly made a lasting impression on him, as if a furtive draft from some ethereal world had followed Princess Alexandra into this – as if, briefly reincarnated as an …
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  10. Lalla Rookh in Berlin, January 1821

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    December 28, 2016 by AK

    Schumann’s second oratorio, Der Rose Pilgerfahrt (The Pilgrimage of the Rose, 1851) is firmly set on European soil: it begins with elves in a round dance on Midsummer hearing a quite, plaintive voice, the voice of the Rose. In contrast, Das Paradies und die Peri (1843) is errantly Oriental, flying the listener from India to …
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