‘EU’ Category

  1. Bad journalism at its best

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    May 27, 2017 by AK

    Anne Applebaum wrote in her Washington Post column, right up in its title: There is no one right way to react to terror. There is a wrong way. I’m not sure who died and bequeathed the arbiter morum job to Anne Applebaum, but there you are: Even before the biography of the killer was known or his …
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  2. Macrón

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    May 12, 2017 by AK

    The name of the praetorian prefect Macro, who (according to Tacitus and Cassius Dio) was driven to suicide by Caligula in 38 AD, is rendered as Macron in French. Thus, it fully coincides with the name of the new president of the French republic. This -n pattern also applies to Polish and Russian, which apparently …
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  3. Ireland’s fine timber

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    May 10, 2017 by AK

    Prompted by Language Hat’s latest post on Ivan Goncharov’s Oblomov, I wondered if its protagonist could be described as “fine-souled” and ran a Google search for the expression. The second link on the results page brought me this: Here the sensitive and fine-souled author of “Psyche” died. I thought of Keats (Ode to Psyche) but he died …
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  4. 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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  5. 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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  6. 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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  7. “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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  8. 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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  9. 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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  10. 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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