From the Ladino

It is rare these days that a book the mailman brings on his early afternoon round gets read by evening. But just that did happen this week with Marcel Cohen’s In Search of a Lost Ladino — Letter to Antonio Saura, most ably translated by Raphael Rubinstein and published by Ibis Editions in Israel. True, the book is not very long — a bit over 30 pages of text … Read more From the Ladino

Publishers toss Booker winners into the reject pile

Eric Mottram used to say that if T.S. Eliot submitted “The Waste Land” to Faber & Faber or any other commercial British press today, the poem would be instantly rejected. The same seems to hold true of writing not necessarily as essential as Eliot’s poem, as the following journalistic ‘coup’ (& the piece does smell a bit of scandal-mongering) from the 1 January edition of the London Sunday Times … Read more Publishers toss Booker winners into the reject pile

On Europe

This morning the “Perlentaucher” (Pearldiver), my daily digest of cultural journalism culled from German newspapers, cites an article by two Swedish journalists — Richard Swartz and Rolf Gustavsson — published in the Süddeutsche Zeitung (though not available online), which seems to me to get to an important aspect of current debates about the EU: “Instead of cultivating utopias, the Europeans have to learn how to live with their union … Read more On Europe

Peter Lamborn Wilson on the Web

One of my very favorite writer/thinkers, Peter Lamborn Wilson, not only has a new book out called Gothick Institutions very worthwhile acquiring, but there is also an interview with János Sugár from ’95 that’s worthwhile checking again and that you can read in its entirety here. Below a short extract concerning the nature of the web: We can talk about the net as a military space and that is … Read more Peter Lamborn Wilson on the Web

Laâbi's New Year Poem

The following is the poem Abdellatif Laâbi sent to friends as a New Year’s greeting, saying it was the last one the old year had provided. Du droit de t’insurger Du droit de t’insurger tu userasquoi qu’il advienneDu devoir de discernerDévoilerLacérerchaque visage de l’abjectiontu t’acquitterasà visage découvertDe la graine de lumièredispensée à ton espècechue dans tes entraillestu te feras gardien et vestaleÀ ces conditions préalablestu mériteras ton vrai nomhomme … Read more Laâbi's New Year Poem

More Of Last Year's News That Will Mess With These Coming Years

2005 WAS A VERY GOOD YEAR FOR THE BIOTECH FOOD INDUSTRY By Peter Montague Felix Ballarin spent 15 years of his life developing a specialorganically-grown variety of red corn. It would bring a high price onthe market because local chicken farmers said the red color lent arosy hue to the meat and eggs from their corn-fed chickens. But whenthe corn emerged from the ground last year, yellow kernels were … Read more More Of Last Year's News That Will Mess With These Coming Years

Yearly Review, not by me

YEARLY REVIEW The number of people killed by the Indian Ocean tsunamirose to 230,000. A study showed that 310,000 Europeans diefrom air pollution each year, and the U.N. predicted that90 million Africans will have HIV by 2025. Aninternational task force of scientists, politicians, andbusiness leaders warned that the world has about 10 yearsbefore global warming becomes irreversible. TheU.S. Congress officially ratified President GeorgeW. Bush’s election victory after a two-hour … Read more Yearly Review, not by me

Back up, possibly running

Back at the end of August, just before leaving for Morocco, I bid good-bye for awhile — with the last post being from the Pyrenees. Well, it so happens that I am back in the Pyrenees just before returning to Albany to start teaching again after a sabbatical semester, so what better place to rekindle the log, I mean restart the blog. But no prom ises about daily postings … Read more Back up, possibly running