“The Right to Indifference”?

“The Right to indifference” — is how the French daily Libération‘s editor Laurent Joffrin interprets the results of a recent poll which, he says, proves wrong both the far-right (& their spectre of imminent holy war between Muslims & Christians decimating Europe) and the communitarian Left, (who claim that because of the past — & present? — colonial attitudes of Europeans, Muslims feel very unwelcome and ill at ease … Read more “The Right to Indifference”?

Tariq Ali on Greece

Diary Tariq Ali LRB July 2015 In the early hours of 16 July, the Greek parliament voted overwhelmingly to give up its sovereignty and become a semi-colonial appendage of the EU. A majority of the Syriza Central Committee had already come out against the capitulation. There had been a partial general strike. Tsipras had threatened to resign if fifty of his MPs voted against him. In the event six … Read more Tariq Ali on Greece

Piketty: “Germany Has Never Repaid Its Debts…

…It Has No Standing To Lecture Other Nations” In a forceful interview with German newspaper Die Zeit, the star economist Thomas Piketty calls for a major conference on debt. Germany, in particular, should not withhold help from Greece. This interview has been translated from the original German. Since his successful book, “Capital in the Twenty-First Century,” the Frenchman Thomas Piketty has been considered one of the most influential economists in … Read more Piketty: “Germany Has Never Repaid Its Debts…

Europe, A Poem?

Just back from Europe — where the elections for the European Parliament are heating up  — though “heat” may be the wrong image to conjure, or seems only appropriate for the most rightwing fascoid parties who see in these elections their chance to throw their weight around paradoxically exactly on that platform their hyper-nationalistic ideology wants to abolish: the post-nationalist EEC institutions in Strasbourg & Bruxelles. Finally Hungarian, French, English, Italian … Read more Europe, A Poem?

Happy Hundredth Hrabal!

Today is the 100th B-day of the great Czech writer Bohumil Hrabal (1914-1997) &, by a quirk Hrabal would have approved of, yesterday the post man brought Hrabal’s Harlequin’s Millions, translated by Stacey Knecht & published by that ever excellent press, Archipelago Books. One of the most subversive figures of Czech — actually of East European, & even plainly of European mi-century literature — Hrabal is the ultimate gabber, … Read more Happy Hundredth Hrabal!

The Great European Digital FreakOut

Ever since past summer’s revelations by the man-who-should-get-the-Nobel-Peace-Prize of the NSA’s global digital snooping, the Europeans have been freaking out. This morning my beloved France Culture had an hour long program discussing or rather explaining basics of digital communication, for example the difference between email & the web — the difficulty may have lain in the fact that they used a good half-dozen English words (such as “le broadcasting,” … Read more The Great European Digital FreakOut

Jacob Grimm — Tales &/of Words

The great German philologist Jacob Grimm died 150 years ago today. If you like dictionaries, you should check out what is still he greatest German language Wörterbuch — now online & available for free, here. My work on translating Paul Celan was made immeasurably easier by that dictionary, especially as it was Celan’s own favorite source for uncontaminated German & for etymologies & local dialectical variations. Jacob Grimm  described … Read more Jacob Grimm — Tales &/of Words

Today In NYC! Come & Hear! BURNING CITY!

Mar 14, 2013, 6:30pm | English Lounge (Room 4406) Burning City: Poems of Metropolitan Modernity Jed Rasula, Josh Schneiderman “The fascination of cities,” wrote Langston Hughes, “seizes me, burning like a fever in the blood.” In their new anthology Burning City: Poems of Metropolitan Modernity (2012), Jed Rasula and Tim Conley reshape the poetic landscape of modernism, collecting poems inspired by Paris, Cracow, Buenos Aires and many other urban … Read more Today In NYC! Come & Hear! BURNING CITY!

Euro-Mediterranean Translation: a Mapping

Arab Literature (in English) brought my attention to this study of translation: Mapping Translation: Into and Out of Arabic by mlynxqualey The big study that resulted from a number of translation reports — into and out of Arabic, Turkish, and Hebrew — is now available on the Anna Lindh Foundation’s website: “A Mapping of Translation in the Euro-Mediterranean Region.” Anna Lindh folks note in the release: “The study takes into account the … Read more Euro-Mediterranean Translation: a Mapping