Category: European History

  • Uri Avnery on the Polish Question

    February 3, 2018  “Not Enough!” MANY YEARS ago, right after the fall of communism in Eastern Europe, I was asked to write a book about the events. Rachel took the photos, I wrote the text. The book, which appeared only in Hebrew, was called “Lenin Does Not Live Here Anymore”. When we visited Warsaw, we […]

  • Dada to Daesh: 100 Years Ago Today…

    … on February 2nd 1916 in Zurich, Switzerland, the following announcement, written by Hugo Ball appeared in the local press: “The Cabaret Voltaire. Under this name a group of young artists and writers has formed with the object of becoming a center for artistic entertainment. In principle, the Cabaret will be run by artists, permanent […]

  • 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 […]

  • “Ulysses already wanted to go to Europe:”

    Raoul Schrott on the Mediterranean An excellent poet, translator (of the Odyssey & the Iliad, among others), essayist, travel writer, born in Germany and living today in Austria, Raoul Schrott, whom I have been reading for some 20 years now, is virtually unknown, because untranslated, in this country — which is a crying shame! In the […]

  • PEN Gala: Political Correctness Gone Viral

    That a half-dozen writers would counter the PEN proposal to correctly honor Charlie Hebdo with the Toni & James Goodale Freedom of Expression Courage Award & absent themselves from the Gala is explainable. As indeed Salman Rusdhie did explain their actions, despite the use of one inaccurate word. That nearly two hundred more (PEN-members? writers? fellow-travelers […]

  • Alfred Andersch @ 100

    The German novelist Alfred Andersch would be 100 today. The son of a conservative East Prussian army officer, he was born in Munich, Germany and died in Berzona, Ticino, Switzerland. His school master was Joseph Gebhard Himmler, the father of Heinrich Himmler. He wrote about this in The Father of a Murderer. In 1930, after an apprenticeship as a bookseller, Andersch became a […]

  • 75 Years Ago Osip Mandelstam died

    Osip Emilyevich Mandelstam — О́сип Эми́льевич Мандельшта́м — was born January 15  1891 & died 75 years ago today on December 27, 1938 in Siberia at a transit camp to the Gulag where Stalin had sent him for writing poems that insulted the dictator. Probably the greatest Russian lyric poet & essayist of the first part of the 20C. […]

  • 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 […]

  • From Sète to the Béarn

    After a week at the Poetry Festival in Sète (videos to come in a few days) where Nicole read/performed at least once a day but where the internet connection, if I may call it that, didn’t allow me to publish anything to this blog, we drove today to a village in the Béarn near Pau […]

  • European Enlightenment Possibilities?

    Today the FAZ (Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung) brings a conversation between Dietmar Dath, Slavoj Žižek and Daniel Cohn-Bendit. The conversation is entitled “We Europeans have the resource of Enlightenment. [Wir Europäer haben die Ressource der Aufklärung”.] I enjoy the possibility of three intellectuals from different fields (Dath is a novelist, essayist & art editor at the FAZ; […]