22 janeiro 2009

Two books by Raymond Aron in the 100 most influential books since the war

[The war meaning WWII, in a list first published in 1995 by the TLS (introduction to it worth reading, I leave here a few highlights, with emphasis added). Three Women three Total :|]

"A hundred books which have influenced Western public discourse since the Second World War"

In 1986, a diverse group of writers and scholars came together to try to assist independent East European writers and publishers both at home and in exile.
It was envisaged that support would take two forms: first, to ensure publication in the original languages, and second, to encourage more translations.

One of the basic tenets of this initiative, which came to be known as the Central and East European Publishing Project (CEEPP), was that the geopolitical division of Europe the Iron Curtain was then still very much a reality had interrupted the normal and healthy flow not just of people but also of books and ideas. Its aim, in the words of Ralf Dahrendorf, was to foster a "common market of the mind" throughout the whole of Europe. After 1989, CEEPP was able to expand its activities and organize workshops and in-house training for those involved in publishing, but its main concern remained to facilitate the publication of worthwhile books and journals.

Certain seminal works which were published before the Second World War but which have had a major influence since the war were set aside. That list would certainly include:

Karl Barth: Credo
Marc Bloch: Feudal Society (La Société féodale)
Martin Buber: I and Thou (Ich und Du)
Norbert Elias: The Civilizing Process (Uber den Prozess der Zivilisation)
Sigmund Freud: Civilization and Its Discontents (Das Unbehagen in der Kultur)
Élie Halevy: The Era of Tyrannies: Essays on socialism and war (L'ère des tyrannies: Études sur le socialisme et la guerre)

Martin Heidegger: Being and Time(Sein und Zeit)
Johan Huizinga: The Waning of the Middle Ages (Herfsttij der Middeleeuwen)
Aldous Huxley: Brave New World
Franz Kafka: The Castle(Das Schloss)
John Maynard Keynes: The Economic Consequences of the Peace
John Maynard Keynes: The General Theory of Employment, Interest and Money
Lewis Namier: The Structure of Politics at the Accession of George III
José Ortega y Gasset: The Revolt of the Masses (La Rebelion de las masas)
Karl Popper: The Logic of Scientific Discovery (Logik der Forschung)
Ludwig Wittgenstein: Tractatus logico-philosophicus (Logisch-Philosophische Abhandlung)

The final list was:


1. Simone de Beauvoir: The Second Sex (Le Deuxième Sexe)
2. Marc Bloch: The Historian's Craft (Apologie pour l'historie, ou, Métier d' historien)
3. Fernand Braudel: The Mediterranean and the Mediterranean World in the Age of Philip II (La Mediterranée et le monde mediterranéen a l'époque de Philippe II)

4. James Burnham: The Managerial Revolution
5. Albert Camus: The Myth of Sisyphus (Le Mythe de Sisyphe)
6. Albert Camus: The Outsider(L'Étranger)
7. R. G. Collingwood: The Idea of History
8. Erich Fromm: The Fear of Freedom (Die Furcht vor der Freiheit)
9. Max Horkheimer and Theodor W. Adorno: Dialectic of Enlightenment (Dialektik der Aufklaerung)

10. Karl Jaspers: The Perennial Scope of Philosophy (Der philosophische Glaube)
11. Arthur Koestler: Darkness at Noon
12. André Malraux: Man's Fate (La Condition humaine)
13. Franz Neumann: Behemoth: The structure and practice of National Socialism
14. George Orwell: Animal Farm
15. George Orwell: Nineteen Eighty-four
16. Karl Polanyi: The Great Transformation
17. Karl Popper: The Open Society and Its Enemies
18. Paul Samuelson: Economics: An introductory analysis
19. Jean-Paul Sartre: Existentialism and Humanism (L'Existentialisme est un humanisme)
20. Joseph Schumpeter: Capitalism, Socialism and Democracy
21. Martin Wright: Power Politics


22. Hannah Arendt: The Origins of Totalitarianism
23. Raymond Aron: The Opium of the Intellectuals (L'Opium des intellectuels)
24. Kenneth Arrow: Social Choice and Individual Values
25. Roland Barthes: Mythologies
26. Winston Churchill: The Second World War
27. Norman Cohn: The Pursuit of the Millennium
28. Milovan Djilas: The New Class: An analysis of the Communist system
29. Mircea Eliade: Images and Symbols (Images et symboles)
30. Erik Erikson: Young Man Luther: A study in psychoanalysis and history
31. Lucien Febvre: The Struggle for History (Combat pour l'histoire)
32. John Kenneth Galbraith: The Affluent Society
33. Erving Goffman: The Presentation of Self in Everyday Life
34. Arthur Koestler and Richard Crossman (eds): The God That Failed: Six studies in Communism

35. Primo Levi: If This Is a Man (Se questo un uomo)
36. Claude Lévi-Strauss: A World on the Wane (Tristes tropiques)
37. Czeslaw Milosz: The Captive Mind (Zniewolony umysl)
38. Boris Pasternak: Doctor Zhivago
39. David Riesman: The Lonely Crowd
40. Herbert Simon: Models of Man, Social and Rational
41. C. P. Snow: The Two Cultures and the Scientific Revolution
42. Leo Strauss: Natural Right and History
43. J. L. Talmon: The Origins of Totalitarian Democracy
44. A. J. P. Taylor: The Struggle for Mastery in Europe
45. Arnold Toynbee: A Study of History
46. Karl Wittfogel: Oriental Despotism: A comparative study of total power
47. Ludwig Wittgenstein: Philosophical Investigations (Philosophische Untersuchungen)


48. Hannah Arendt: Eichmann in Jerusalem: A report on the banality of evil
49. Daniel Bell: The End of Ideology
50. Isaiah Berlin: Four Essays on Liberty
51. Albert Camus: Notebooks 1935-1951 (Carnets)
52. Elias Canetti: Crowds and Power (Masse und Macht)
53. Robert Dahl: Who Governs?: Democracy and power in an American city
54. Mary Douglas: Purity and Danger
55. Erik Erikson: Gandhi's Truth: On the origins of militant nonviolence
56. Michel Foucault: Madness and civilization: A history of insanity in the Age of Reason (Histoire de la folie a l'âge classique)

57. Milton Friedman: Capitalism and Freedom
58. Alexander Gerschenkron: Economic Backwardness in Historial Perspective
59. Antonio Gramsci: Prison Notebooks (Quaderni del carcere)
60. H. L. A. Hart: The Concept of Law
61. Friedrich von Hayek: The Constitution of Liberty (Die Verfassung der Freiheit)
62. Jane Jacobs: The Death and Life of Great American Cities
63. Carl Gustav Jung: Memories, Dreams, Reflections (Erinnerungen, Traeume, Gedanken)
64. Thomas Kuhn: The Structure of Scientific Revolutions
65. Emmanuel Le Roy Ladurie: The Peasants of Languedoc (Les Paysans de Languedoc)
66. Claude Lévi-Strauss: The Savage Mind (Le Pensée sauvage)
67. Konrad Lorenz: On Aggression (Das sogenannte Boese)
68. Thomas Schelling: The Strategy of Conflict
69. Fritz Stern: The Politics of Cultural Despair
70. E. P. Thompson: The Making of the English Working Class


71. Daniel Bell: The Cultural Contradictions of Capitalism
72. Isaiah Berlin: Russian Thinkers
73. Ronald Dworkin: Taking Rights Seriously
74. Clifford Geertz: The Interpretation of Cultures
75. Albert Hirschman: Exit, Voice, and Loyalty
76. Leszek Kolakowski: Main Currents of Marxism (Glowne nurty marksizmu)
77. Hans Kueng: On Being a Christian (Christ Sein)
78. Robert Nozick: Anarchy, State and Utopia
79. John Rawls: A Theory of Justice
80. Gershom Scholem: The Messianic Idea in Judaism, and other essays on Jewish spirituality
81. Ernst Friedrich Schumacher: Small Is Beautiful
82. Tibor Scitovsky: The Joyless Economy
83. Quentin Skinner: The Foundations of Modern Political Thought
84. Alexander Solzhenitsyn: The Gulag Archipelago
85. Keith Thomas: Religion and the Decline of Magic

BOOKS OF THE 1980s and beyond

86. Raymond Aron: Memoirs (Mémoires) Memórias de Raymond Aron, Guerra & Paz*
87. Peter Berger: The Capitalist Revolution: Fifty propositions about prosperity, equality and liberty

88. Norberto Bobbio: The Future of Democracy (Il futuro della democrazia)
89. Karl Dietrich Bracher: The Totalitarian Experience (Die totalitaere Erfahrung)
90. John Eatwell, Murray Milgate and Peter Newman (eds): The New Palgrave: The world of economics

91. Ernest Gellner: Nations and Nationalism
92. Vaclav Havel: Living in Truth
93. Stephen Hawking: A Brief History of Time
94. Paul Kennedy: The Rise and Fall of the Great Powers
95. Milan Kundera: The Book of Laughter and Forgetting
96. Primo Levi: The Drowned and the Saved (I sommersi e i salvati)
97. Roger Penrose: The Emperor's New Mind: Concerning computers, minds, and the laws of physics

98. Richard Rorty: Philosophy and the Mirror of Nature
99. Amartya Sen: Resources, Values and Development
100. Michael Walzer: Spheres of Justice

[* because I translated it :)]

Best Photos of 2008

Images of books on shelves are seen projected on the walls of the Tower of David in Jerusalem's Old City - part of a show called "Or Shalem, Jerusalem Lights the Night", staged by a group called Skertzò on October 7, 2008. The Tower of David is a massive citadel that, over the centuries, has served as a fortress, military barracks and cannon position. These days, the Tower serves as a popular tourist site. (AP Photo/Bernat Armangue)

Boston.com, graças aos linques da Georgie :)

21 janeiro 2009

1000 Novels Everyone Must Read

Yep, as listas, os topes...

Social questions or political changes: State of the Nation novels

Part One (lotsa Dickens...)
Part Two (Machado de Assis, no less)
Part Three (N to W shows the most geographically diverse set, methinks)

Sense of self, and self in a group: Family & Self novels

Part One (lotsa women writers)
Part Two (yep, women know best :)
Part Three (France, India, Spain, Russia... and Adrian Mole :)

Every comic, it is said, wants to play Hamlet: Comedy, which is not the same as humour

Part One (Don Quixote, of course :)
Part Two (Finnegans Wake!...)
Part Three (yessss)

Saki: The Westminster Alice (1902)

This political parody uses Lewis Carroll's Alice in Wonderland to critique the British government. As enthusiasm for the Boer war declined, questions were being asked about how it was handled. And in the episode "Alice goes to Lamberth", even the Church of England is criticised. It was first published in the Westminster Gazette in collaboration with cartoonist Francis Carruthers Gould. Saki, the pseudonym of Hector Hugh Munro, was a famous satirist who contributed political sketches to the Gazette and was the political correspondent for the Morning Post.

Saki: The Unbearable Bassington (1912)

Cosmus Bassington is an upper-class young man with a cynical outlook. As his mother keeps trying to sort out his life, "his naughtiness, his exasperating selfishness" interferes. Set within Mayfair and Westminster, it delights in depicting parks, clubs, theatres and drawing rooms. Sandie Byrne (the biographer of HH Munro, aka Saki) recently accused it of "unbearable anti-semitism".


Part One

José Maria de Eça de Queiroz: The Crime of Father Amaro (1875)

Amaro, a young priest in small-town 19th-century Portugal, is having an affair with the teenage daughter of his hostess. Rather than condemning his actions, the clergy covers up his mistakes. Eça de Queiroz admired Dickens, and the two writers shared a gift for comic dialogue and a desire to chart society's ills. Portugese naturalism, though, can be bleaker stuff than anything Britain produced during the Industrial Revolution: Eça de Queiroz explores a world where the innocent are condemned and the guilty prosper. In 2002, Carlos Carrera's adaptation saw Catholic groups protesting outside cinemas.

Part Two
Part Three (oh, I seem to have read a lot of these last parts...)


Part One (Machado de Assis, again :), the Brontës, Madame de Lafayette...)
Part Two (Elfriede Jelinek and Anais Nin, inter alia...)
Part Three

20 janeiro 2009

Just because I adore Figs

And a review from Gourmet magazine :9

Vive la France V: Expressions

Legoland for Obama

The Obama Inauguration: Lego-Style
Obama fever has officially hit Legoland. The Carlsbad, CA, park has modified its U.S. Capitol model to illustrate the historic Presidential Inauguration of Barack Obama. The display opens to the public tomorrow, Jan. 16, and will stay on through Memorial Day. Photos by Christopher Victorio.

The SF weekly

Então lá terá de ser

Conversor de Português actual em Português do Futuro.

18 janeiro 2009

Animal Language

additional info:
rabbits were almost universally known as
until some jerkwad puritan thought the pronunciation (CUNNY) was too dirty.
Carl Linneaus then gave them permission to call the thing a rabbit instead.
At the same time,
asses became donkeys,
cocks became roosters,
and the titmouse became the mammary-bird.

All creatures [great and small]

16 janeiro 2009

Teorias da Conspiração, na Prática

Autor: Daniel Estulin

Durão Barroso, José Sócrates, Francisco Pinto Balsemão,
António Guterres, Santana Lopes, Vítor Constâncio
são alguns dos nomes portugueses que integram o clube Bilderberg

Por detrás de portas fechadas…
…e passando os guardas armados, chega-nos a verdadeira história da poderosa elite mundial e dos seus planos secretos para o SEU futuro…

Entre num mundo de intrigas e secretismo e passe a saber o que nunca antes foi revelado!
Desde que se reuniram pela primeira vez no Hotel Bilderberg, em 1954, os homens mais poderosos do mundo cumprem anualmente este ritual e durante um fim-de-semana planeiam os destinos da Humanidade, estejam eles relacionados com questões económicas e políticas ou com relações internacionais. Intitularam-se o Clube Bilderberg e este é constituído por nomes tão sonantes quanto Bill Clinton, Tony Blair, Paul Wolfowitz, Henry Kissinger, David Rockefeller, entre outros.
Mais de 50 encontros foram realizados, mas a imprensa nunca teve acesso nem às conclusões nem à ordem de trabalhos destas reuniões.
De que falam os homens mais poderosos do mundo? Que influências têm estes sobre os nossos destinos? O autor responde-nos exactamente a estas questões, e a muitas mais, provando-nos que este Clube tem ramificações bem enraizadas por todo o planeta. Saiba toda a verdade sobre os planos secretos de um clube de elite que acredita que tem o direito de ditar os destinos do mundo!
Daniel Estulin é um jornalista premiado que há 15 anos investiga os segredos e as tramas que envolvem o Clube Bilderberg. É autor de La Verdadera Historia del Club Bilderberg (2005), um best-seller traduzido em 29 línguas e publicado em mais de 49 países.

Uma obra polémica e reveladora!

Título original: The True Story of The Bilderberg Group
Tradução: Susana Serrão
Colecção: Biblioteca das Ideias
Pp.: 368
Formato: 15,5 x 23 cm
ISBN: 978-972-1-05966-5
Data de Edição: Dezembro 2008

Still a bit dumbfounded for seeing my name,
or the acknowledgement of a translator,
contrary to what was done before :)

14 janeiro 2009

George Carlin, RIP

The art of stand-up has one of the longest apprenticeships. (“It’s not fine art,” George Carlin liked to say. “But it is an art. It is a vulgar art.”) The careers of comedians can take decades just to gain momentum. Stand-ups need stage time to develop; the best among them find their voices in conversation with the work of other comedians. Carlin, inspired by the success of Danny Kaye, moved at a steady clip. He had already done radio and TV and movies by the time he landed a gig at the Frontier Hotel in Vegas in 1967, earning $12,500 a week. Wearing a suit, he entertained businessmen and their wives with impressions and standard straight-man jokes. But he was a true comic spirit, hard-wired to upend any kind of complacency, and having been stirred up by Lenny Bruce, he was no longer able to restrain his angrier self. He got himself suspended for using the word “ass,” then cursed again and got fired, which ended his run as a “people pleaser.” Carlin created his own rules for the next 40 years; lucky for us, the urge to please never returned.

After the Frontier, Carlin returned to what he called his “gymnasium,” the small clubs and cafes where comics hone their material. He re-emerged as a raging hippie original, doing keenly acerbic shows at Carnegie Hall. On cable, he was even more provocative. His acute mind chronicled the inanities of contemporary culture and religion and race. “Class Clown,” his 1972 album (still considered a masterpiece among comedians), included “Seven Words You Can Never Say on Television,” the legendary bit about the way Americans avoid words that convey reality. How we talk became one of Carlin’s lifelong themes. In another well-known riff on euphemisms, he listed every imaginable racist slur along with example after example of “soft language” (toilet paper becoming bathroom tissue, slums becoming substandard housing). By the time he was host of the debut of “Saturday Night Live,” in 1975, he was a bona fide star. He was 38.

With more verve than he had when he offended the Vegas conferees, he tore into the beliefs of his new fans — the countercultural crowd, lapsed Catholics, liberals and their politically correct kids. Self-righteousness needed to be punctured, and no one was immune: feminists who couldn’t find the humor in rape; smug save-the-planet activists; greedy baby boomers (“Whiny, narcissistic, self-indulgent people with a simple philosophy: Gimme it, it’s mine!!”) He fiercely allied himself with the underdog, but he didn’t let the underdog off the hook: “Everybody’s at the mall, scratching his ass, picking his nose, taking his credit card out of his fanny pack and buying a pair of sneakers with lights in them.”

Offstage, he was a kind man who was unusually generous with young comedians. Liz Miele, who is now 23, was 15 when she wrote to 45 comics seeking advice. Two responded: Judd Apatow urged her to study English. Carlin called. He told her to keep writing, always. Four years later, they met for a soda in the lobby of the Carlyle, where he opened his laptop and showed her how he organized thousands of idea files. She sent him progress reports, and he cheered her on until two days before he died. Danny Lobell, 25, interviewed Carlin twice on his radio show. On the phone, they’d commiserate about humiliating subway rides home after awful sets.

In another interview, Carlin said that his early aspirations for mainstream success had blinded him to the original outlaw within himself — the kid who’d been ejected from summer camp, the high-school dropout, the Air Force demotee. “I’ve spent the first 45 years of my life trying to figure out who I am,” he said.

This singularity is what the greatest comics strive to render onstage — but it has to be funny. The instrument is the self. The toughest crowds are other comedians, so it’s significant that after Carlin died the conversations at open mikes and A-list clubs weren’t about the 130 appearances on “The Tonight Show,” the 25 albums, three best-selling books or four Grammy awards. They quoted their favorite material and admired how Carlin didn’t need the crutch of punch lines back to back. Comics usually cling to their killer bits, but Carlin, who had plenty, risked starting fresh for each of his 14 HBO specials. He also assumed the full scope of his intelligence onstage, something not many comics will allow themselves. He passionately loved language; he danced with it. His subjects became increasingly dark — wars, famine, human extinction. By the end, he was confronting his own death, which even some comedians found bleak. But through the hard labor of his vulgar art, he had earned the right to stand up onstage unrepentant, as himself.

Lewis Black still cherishes a phone call of support he received from Carlin during Black’s own apprenticeship, the length of which he calls “staggering.” Stand-up is ultimately an oral tradition. “It’s comics passing on to comics how to become a comic,” Black says. “When you begin to comprehend what Carlin was doing, you’ve arrived in an extraordinary place. He’s the evolutionary step.”

Carlin’s last HBO show, “It’s Bad for Ya,” was broadcast in March. When he walked onstage, he immediately tried to quiet the crowd. He gestured to his watch. He was 70 and still had lots to address. “I’m tired of being told who to admire in this country,” he said, after grandly trashing Lance Armstrong and Tiger Woods. “Aren’t you sick of being told who your heroes oughta be? Bein’ told who you oughta be lookin’ up to? I’ll choose my own heroes, thank you very much.” His limber voice was weaker, but the eyes remained alert. In his uniform of sneakers, black long-sleeved T-shirt and pants, he prowled the stage, an old stage pirate unearthing booty, the ponytail gone. As always, he bent forward slightly, holding the mike, urgent with the need to communicate.

The NY Times

13 janeiro 2009

The Vagina Travelogues

Nuff said :-Þ