‘EU’ Category

  1. Leavers: 38% in Catalonia, 37% in UK (and 38% in Scotland)

    3

    October 2, 2017 by AK

    A little fewer than 38% of the eligible voters answered “yes” in the Catalonian independence referendum yesterday. That is, 42% turned out to vote and 89% of them voted “yes” to independence. Or, to count directly, 2.02 million out of the 5.34 registered voters chose independence. In last year’s Brexit referendum, over 37% of the …
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  2. Houellebecq and the Karamazov family

    0

    September 14, 2017 by AK

    In a review of Michel Houellebecq’s H. P. Lovecraft: Against the World, Against Life, Lee Rourke quoted the opening lines of the French author’s 2001 novel Platform: Father died last year. I don’t subscribe to the theory by which we only become truly adult when our parents die; we never become truly adult… As I stood before …
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  3. A parody of the Flying Dutchman finale

    0

    September 10, 2017 by AK

    I’ve been trying to find a YouTube comment that I enjoyed greatly after first reading it, years ago. Only a few months back, I could easily find it but now, no luck. I hope my retelling does justice to the commenter. The clip was a scene from Wagner’s first mature opera, The Flying Dutchman, or …
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  4. Racine and other familiar names

    0

    September 2, 2017 by AK

    Another excerpt from Charles Rosen’s 1997 NYRB article on La Fontaine and French prosody: Most American and English students have a hard time understanding why Alfred de Musset literally fainted with ecstasy at the Comédie Française when he heard the line in Racine’s Phèdre: La fille de Minos et de Pasiphaé. No doubt, the idea …
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  5. “The movement of concepts is the center of interest”

    6

    August 30, 2017 by AK

    Looking for an annotated text of La Fontaine’s The Wolf and the Lamb for my previous post, I found this 1997 NYRB article by the pianist and polymath Charles Rosen (1927-2012) and could not put it down. I’ve since been coming back to it. What many French children like about the Fables is exactly what …
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  6. The court found their arguments irresistible

    1

    August 26, 2017 by AK

    The New York Times – Andrew Kramer, to be precise – reports from Moscow: A court ordered Russia’s largest privately owned business conglomerate [Sistema] on Wednesday to pay $2.3 billion to the country’s state oil company [Rosneft]… The conflict pits two of Russia’s largest companies. As the overall economy stagnates amid sanctions and low oil prices, …
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  7. A room and a half or even less

    2

    August 20, 2017 by AK

    Going back to Kirsten Ghodsee’s New York Times article, Why Women Had Better Sex Under Socialism. It was probably a Times editor who came up with the title. As I’ve tried to explain, it’s a complicated subject that cannot be summed up in two words and requires differentiating by country, province and socioeconomic class (which did …
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  8. How about propaganda-free anthropology? 

    1

    August 16, 2017 by AK

    This article is not as silly as it may sound. A few suggestions for better credibility: Don’t mix propaganda and anthropology. Forget The Female Body under Socialism and focus on the field studies. Take down that Soviet poster and the hammer and sickle. Also, don’t claim the Bolsheviks gave Russian women suffrage: the term is meaningless …
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  9. Pretty sheets of paper

    0

    August 6, 2017 by AK

    Sir JCass has reminded me that Jean-Jacques Rousseau, in all likelihood, suffered from a paranoid disorder. One can pick out distant echoes of mental distress from this episode, as told by Mme de Genlis in her memoirs: He [JJR] often talked to us of the manner in which he had composed the Nouvelle Héloïse. He …
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  10. Tortured with Les Annales de la vertu

    2

    July 5, 2017 by AK

    Erik McDonald is translating a novella by Sophie (Sof’ia) Engelhardt (Engel’gardt), nėe Novosil’tseva (1828-1894), a Russian author who published her fiction under the pen name Ol’ga N. In 2016, Erik translated another long story by Ol’ga N., The Old Man, now available as a free .mobi e-book. The female narrator in Engelhardt’s story, published in 1867, grew up under the strict …
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