Sunday, November 22, 2015

The Act of Knowing What to be Against: 'Wet Kiss"

The French intellectual André Glucksmann enjoyed telling listeners, “I cannot tell you what to be for. But I know what to be against.”

Offshore landownership frustrates police investigation  

Elizabeth Warren Calls Corporate-Profits Proposals a 'Wet Kiss' to TaxAvoiders  

Warren: Large corporations have too many ways to avoid paying taxes 

Riad Sattouf, The Arab of the Future: A Childhood in the Middle East, 1978-1984.  A graphic novel set in Libya, Syria, and France, Riad read Catholic Cold River that covered the same vintages ;-)

Czech out The new Umberto Eco novel, Numero Zero

Walter Benjamin loved to trade ideas with the world, especially if he could avoid physically interacting with anyone in it ... 

French Windows Around Pech Merle
“You don’t find the books that change your life by accident; nor by design. One finds them the way a ragpicker finds something useful in the garbage, or the way a hunter accidentally encounters his prey. The enterprise demands vigilance, says the philosopher Walter Benjamin: it takes practice to lose one’s way in a city in order to discover something important about it.” It takes practice to lose ones way

“Dostoevsky was writing about losers. The main character of The Iliad, Hector, is a loser. … Madame Bovary is a loser. Julien Sorel is a loser. I am doing only the same job. Losers are more fascinating. Winners are stupid … because usually they win by chance.” The Guardian 

Dana Stevens: “If by ‘we’ you mean ‘I,’ then yes, probably. … When we mourn the early death of a writer who was just beginning to find his or her true voice, we’re also mourning, by implication, every work that author never finished, or never started.”
Benjamin Moser: “A dead young writer is, above all, a dead human being. … And the fine line that separates romance from treacle is the same that divides mourning from kitsch; to cross it is to glorify a heart-rending death instead of remembering the achievements of a life.” 
New York Times Book Review

There is “a new generation of young, digitally astute poets whose loyal online followings have helped catapult them onto the best-seller lists, where poetry books are scarce. These amateur poets are not winning literary awards, and most have never been in a graduate writing workshop.” The New York Times 

Canberra bad case of amnesia: Henry, Jacob Greber, Australian Financial Review,p.5-6. Decades of government outsourcing and waves of senior redundancies have left much of the nation's public service unable to provide proper and effective advice to politicians and their voters, say two former Treasury bosses. In a damning assessment of the state of the public service after years of political turmoil in Canberra, Ken Henry and Martin Parkinson have warned that both the abilities and corporate memory of the bureaucracy have been dangerously degraded Corporate Amnesia
The Green Gate Opposite the Blue Gate of Pech Merle
The human impulse to construct narratives is a gift of imagination. But beware the seductive allure of plot and the delusion of comprehension ...