Mark Danner | New York Review Of Books | 11th February 2014
Fourth part of an epic reflection. In Danner's view, Cheney, though almost always wrong, and blind to his mistakes, possessed "a kind of stark amoral grandeur" that enabled him to reshape American values and institutions for the worse. More even than President George Bush, Cheney normalised the use of drones, black sites, invasions, torture and special courts as instruments of American policy. "We live still in Cheney’s world"
Andrey Slivka | New Yorker | 11th February 2014
As the protests in Ukraine enter a fourth month, the prospect of compromise becomes more distant. The protest is not, at root, for Europe or against Russia; it's against the whole "succession of marauding criminals" who have carved up Ukraine since the Soviet collapse, capturing the wealth and ruling by violence. President Victor Yanukovych is merely the latest and the worst of them. "The bandits have to go"
Lacan Online | 9th February 2014
Jacques Lacan, following Freud, never published a systematic guide to his methods of psychoanalysis. But accounts by his former patients reveal something of his art. "Lacan’s sessions were notoriously short. By abruptly cutting his analysands off Lacan was aiming to produce a disorientating effect that forced them to question the significance of what it was they had said or done immediately before he intervened"
Dirk Obbink | Times Literary Supplement | 5th February 2014
More on the two lost works by the Ancient Greek poet Sappho rediscovered on a papyrus in Oxford; with transcriptions and translations. The “Brothers Poem” is "a family drama with epic overtones". The "Kypris Poem” is about unrequited love and addressed to Aphrodite. "The verses show an ear for balancing and texture, the pulse of rhythm, graceful shaping of words, and an atmospheric ending to a poem"
Harold Pollack | Washington Post | 7th February 2014
Shocking interview with Keith Humphreys, professor of psychiatry at Stanford University, conducted in the wake of Philip Seymour Hoffman's death by overdose. "Overdosing is now the leading cause of accidental death in the United States, accounting for more deaths than traffic fatalities or gun homicides and suicides." The death toll from overdosing is comparable to that of the AIDS epidemic at its peak (Metered paywall)
Anne Fadiman | Book Keeping | 11th February 2014
"After five years of marriage and a child, George and I finally resolved that we were ready for the more profound intimacy of library consolidation. It was unclear, however, how we were to find a meeting point between his English-garden approach and my French-garden one. At least in the short run, I prevailed, on the theory that he could find his books if they were arranged like mine but I could never find mine if they were arranged like his"
Thought for the day:
"For every complex problem there is an answer that is clear, simple and wrong" — H.L. Mencken
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