Sunday, January 29, 2006

Sunday Reading

If you are serious about French history and politics, the Klarsfeld Report ("Law, History and the Obligation of Memory") is essential. Arno Klarsfeld reviews how democracies have legislated memory, not just laws concerning denial and recognition of attrocities, but commemorations as well. His conclusions may prove hard to swallow: it is impossible to do a fair, critical history of colonization without mentioning its positive aspects. The report is in French, but I should have some translated excerpts in a few hours at Cliopatria have translated several passages at Cliopatria.

At Air Pollution, AIR compares Brokeback Mountain to EM Forster's Maurice, a book that placed homosexuality in the British university. The question: why does the narrative structure of the former necessarily end in tragedy, while the latter requires a happy ending? [Edited]

The ascension of Evo Morales to the Bolivian presidency has sparked interest in Tiwanaku, a pre-Incan city (Global Voices Online has several links here.) The notion of trans-Andean civilization (Aymara) has certainly come of age.

For those of you wondering how government works, just read Fafblog:
Q. How does a War Bill become a War Law?
A. It all begins with the president, who submits a bill to the president. If a majority of both the president and the president approve the bill, then it passes on to the president, who may veto it or sign it into law. And even then the president can override himself with a two-thirds vote.
"Your scare quote, they are really scaring me": Matt Christie is blogging about usage. It's the year of Levinas in the French press (start here.) Medievalist John Baldwin in interviewed in Le Fig about Marc Bloch. At Salon, Oprah's vindictive interrogation of James Frey (let's hope next Oprah vicitm, Elie Wiesel, gets better treatment.) At Fantastic Metropolis, Kazu Ishiguro's use of time and space.


At 3:07 PM, Blogger Brdgt said...

Have you read "Brokeback Mountain?" I haven't seen the film yet, but the short story is a story about two people in love who can't find a way to be together - not about homosexuality. I think it's tragic ending is just that - Annie Proulx likes tragedies - I don't think it's a statement about homosexuality.


At 4:34 PM, Blogger Nathanael said...

Neither AIR nor I suggest that homosexuality is 'tragic.' What is at issue is how narrative frameworks regarding homosexual relations have changed in 100 years and speculation as to why that might be.

At 1:21 AM, Blogger air said...

Ditto what Nathanael said. And I haven't read the short story, so my comments are regulated to the film.

Thanks for the plug, by the way. And that report looks fascinating, but my god it's long.


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