‘EU’ Category

  1. 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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  2. “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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  3. 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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  4. Vlad: the Omnipotent Cat

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    December 17, 2016 by AK

    Ivan Krylov published The Mouse and the Rat in 1816. My rough translation follows, without the last quatrain, or the “moral” of the fable. “Dear neighbor, have your heard the good rumors?” Said Mouse to Rat, running in. “They say the cat has fallen into the lion’s claws? It’s time for us to have some rest.” “Don’t rejoice, …
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  5. The Gulf of Mongolia

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    December 14, 2016 by AK

    Alex Ross, the author of The Rest Is Noise and the musical critic of The New Yorker, wrote in his 2007 article on Jean Sibelius: Finns are strangers to the European family. Descendants of an errant Mongolian tribe, they speak a language unrelated to the Indo-European linguistic group. “Descendants of an errant Mongolian tribe”? I imagine …
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  6. Italians have protested against the status quo…

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    December 7, 2016 by AK

    …by voting down proposed changes to that status quo. Italy’s system of government needs to be reformed and everybody seems to know that, within and without the country. Instead of doing something to that end, the referendum turned out a vote of confidence in the government, the EU, and the euro. When Berlusconi tried to …
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  7. Don’t forget Grillo

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    November 26, 2016 by AK

    Professor Jan-Werner Müller from Princeton claims in the London Review of Books: But the peculiarity of Trump is that he seems the equivalent of Grillo and Silvio Berlusconi merged into one person. I don’t think he is, but Müller’s view is an enormous improvement on the Trump as Berlusconi trope. If one is keen on …
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  8. A little too late

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    November 24, 2016 by AK

    They should have done it in 2014: Lawmakers [MEPs] voted on November 23 in favor of a motion condemning Russian state media outlets like the television channel RT and the news agency Sputnik for disseminating “absolutely fake” news. They said the Kremlin was using “a wide range of tools and instruments”, including think tanks, multilingual …
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  9. Madlands

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    November 21, 2016 by AK

    Via Arts and Letters Daily, here’s Timothy Snyder’s little pamphlet in Slate, a brief synopsis of Hitler’s progress hinting at Trump’s possible trajectory. A parallel here, an analogy there, et voilà, here’s a case for Bush Trump as Hitler. Yes, I’m aware most of it is literally about Hitler in 1932-45. “[H]is affection for a foreign tyrant” is …
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  10. Khrushchev and British brutalism

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    November 15, 2016 by AK

    Owen Hatherley writes of British architects active in the first post-WWII decade: In the first ten years after 1945, the pure white style of Bruno Ahrends’s Berlin had been Anglicised, but not in the direction of the monumental dissonance of Brutalism. Instead, it became a friendly, rather cutesy amalgam of Scandinavian design and the English …
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