‘EU’ Category

  1. Racine and other familiar names

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    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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  2. “The movement of concepts is the center of interest”

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    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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  3. The court found their arguments irresistible

    2

    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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  4. 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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  5. 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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  6. Pretty sheets of paper

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    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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  7. Tortured with Les Annales de la vertu

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    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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  8. Children’s games

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    June 30, 2017 by AK

    This game does not seem to appear on Bruegel’s visual catalog, Children’s Games (1560). It so happened that I saw two kids playing “headband hoop” in the Ducal Court of the Sforza Castle in Milan one day after seeing Children’s Games at the Museum of Arts History (Kunsthistorisches Museum) in Vienna. I must admit I had spent some time deducing …
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  9. Franco in the 1960s: the case of Grimau

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    June 26, 2017 by AK

    Putin was born 60 years after Franco (October 1952, December 1892) and was appointed prime minister 60 years after Franco was installed in Madrid (August 1999, March 1939). Chronologically, Franco’s 1959, the year of the Stabilization and Liberalization Plan, which led to fifteen years of economic growth, roughly corresponds to Putin’s 2019 or 2020. But …
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  10. Neither Latin nor Arabic?

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    June 20, 2017 by AK

    In his 1886 etymological dictionary of Slavic languages, Franz von Miklosich (Franc Miklošič) derives šapka (czapka) from Medieval Latin cappa but also mentions “Turkish šabka.” Miklošič was one of Max Vasmer’s sources for the etymology of шапка. Four decades later, Alexander Brückner claimed in his etymological dictionary of the Polish language that czapka/šapka was a native, proto-Slavic …
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