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Docs In Sight
In the so-called post-9/11 world, the stability of India and especially Pakistan have become of paramount geopolitical importance. Yet the vast history of this regionand especially the creation of the Pakistan-India borderis a subject woefully underexamined in American media.
Many years ago, a prominent Adelaide family invited me for dinner at the Adelaide club. It was like one of those exclusive, private London clubs for the powerful and rich.
"The search for truth can never stop. It cannot be adjourned, it cannot be postponed. It has to be faced, right there, on the spot.Harold Pinter in his Nobel Lecture
The last few years have seen such rhapsodic support for Indias touted entrée into the economic big leagues, from Thomas L. Friedmans paean to Bangalore in The World is Flat to the Obama administrations unconditional patronage of the worlds biggest democracy, that one might feel a bit disoriented upon opening Arundhati Roys unsparing indictment of the rise of fascism in modern-day India in Field Notes on Democracy.
The quality of a travelers observations often depend on his pace, so Nicolas Bouvier never denied himself the luxury of going slow. In June 1953, 24 years-old and just out of school, he left his native Geneva in a small Fiat Topolino to join his friend Thierry Vernet in Yugoslavia; from Belgrade, with the top down, the accelerator only just pulled out, perching on the backs of our seats and guiding the steering wheel with our feet, they headed east for India at twelve miles an hour.
The 2004 Presidential election was an emotional racecertainly the most emotional one that Ive lived through. In the aftermath of the 2000 Florida debacle, September 11th and the invasion of Iraq, there seemed to be a lot on the line.
For someone who so ferociously champions the onward rush of change and innovationwhether hes writing about Chinese poetry, anthropological photography, or New Yorker darling E.B. Whiteit may seem ironic that so many of internationally lauded essayist Eliot Weinbergers literary subjects have been, until now, quietly buried in the past.
In the overgrown field of books that aim to define a critical failing of modern society (and set us on the path to fixing it), very few deliver. Usually these books spend most of their time listing evidence for familiar problems (global warming, broken trade policy, the decline of morals, what have you) that are already over-discussed.
Ilse Mattick died Wednesday, August 26th at Grace Cottage Hospital in Townsend, Vermont. She was born Ilse Hamm in Berlin, 1919, to an upper class Jewish family. Always notably independent, going against her familys wishes she participated in anarchist actions against the Nazis as a teenager, until, upon graduating from college in 1939, officials revoked her diploma.
Although I am an art historian by métier, I never quite remember dates. But I do remember signal encounters.