James Fenton, Self-Criticism, European Debt, Marquis De Sade

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What I Mean by Mexico

James Fenton | New York Review Of Books | 25th February 2015

Notes by the greatest living English poet on a first visit to Mexico. "One says of any great subject as yet untackled: Oh, that’s such a big undertaking, that’s going to need such preparation. Then something happens and you just have to go in there anyway. This lagoon with its peons fishing from their canoes, this place where pelicans drop vertically from the sky into the ocean — this, for now, is Mexico. The complications can wait" (2,620 words)

Against Self-Criticism

Adam Phillips | London Review Of Books | 25th February 2015

"Lacan said that there was surely something ironic about Christ’s injunction to love thy neighbour as thyself – because actually, of course, people hate themselves. Or you could say that, given the way people treat one another, perhaps they had always loved their neighbours in the way they loved themselves: that is, with a good deal of cruelty and disregard" (6,000 words)

Greece, Germany, And The Draghi Put

Michael Pettis | China Financial Markets | 25th February 2015

Magnificent throughout. "With sovereign debt levels rising month after month in Europe, I don’t think we can simply assume infinite German patience. The value of the Draghi Put must be eroding, however slowly. I am not saying that I think there is currently any question of ECB credibility, but no institution has infinite debt capacity. A system that works powerfully in one direction can work just as powerfully in the other" (8,600 words)

Who Was The Marquis De Sade?

Tony Perrottet | Smithsonian | 24th February 2015

The Marquis de Sade is trending again in France. "Today, he is considered a great philosopher". His writings, suppressed in the 19th century and dismissed as obscene in the 20th, are being re-published by Gallimard in its Pléiade edition, reserved for classic authors. The current head of the family, Hugues de Sade, is negotiating with Victoria's Secret for a line of de Sade lingerie, and selling bronze casts of his ancestor's skull (4,780 words)

Video of the day: Otto

What to expect: Surreal stop-motion animation, featuring many sheets of paper and a crab (1'55")

Thought for the day

I think of Europe as a hardcover book, America as the paperback version
Don DeLillo (http://en.wikiquote.org/wiki/Don_DeLillo)

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