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Writing Worth Reading
* Flat-Nose, Stocky and Beautugly
James Davidson | LRB | 15 September 2010
Wonderful, detail-packed essay on the bestowing of personal names in
classical Greece, compared and contrasted with the more arbitrary naming
habits of recent times
* The Day After Tomorrow
David Brooks | NYT | 13 September 2010
Good to favour limited government, as right-wing Republicans do. Danger
comes with cynicism towards government in general. America needs
government that is limited, active and effective
* Lithuania's "Double Genocide"
Jonathan Freedland | Guardian | 14 September 2010
Understandable why Lithuania would want to equate Nazi and Soviet
crimes. Only so many tears to go round. But doing so leads to
undervaluation of the Holocaust, and of Lithuania's own part in it
* The Least We Can Do
Michael Kinsley | Atlantic | 15 September 2010
Baby-boomers have had a great run. Approaching the end. As last service
to America, generation should pull together, rescue economy, by agreeing
to pay heavy estate duties, cutting back on end-of-life care
* Get A Real Degree
Elif Batuman | LRB | 15 September 2010
Epic essay on rise of creative writing programmes, decline of literary
scholarship, in shaping modern American fiction. You don't need to be an
academic to enjoy this, you do need to be bookish
* When We Talk About Beauty
Arthur Krystal | Harper's | 10 September 2010
Long review of Umberto Eco's "History of Beauty". Perhaps too long, but
full of insights into the history of art, and the evolution of beauty
"from being a property of the Ideal to being an attribute of the Real"
* Autism’s First Child
John Donvan & Karen Zucker | Atlantic | 15 September 2010
Profile of Donald Gray Triplett, 77. Keen golfer. In childhood, he
combined deep introspection with amazing arithmetical facility.
Psychologists diagnosed in him a new mental condition: autism
* Woody Allen On Faith And Fortune
Dave Itzkoff | NYT | 14 September 2010
Interview pegged to release of Allen's latest film, “You Will Meet a
Tall Dark Stranger”, about a fortune-teller. "People who successfully
delude themselves seem happier than people who can’t"
* Basel: Mouse That Did Not Roar
Martin Wolf | FT | 14 September 2010
Clear, strong attack on weakness of Basel III rules for bank capital.
Equity ratio still far too low. Should be 20-30%. Then we'd have a
robust banking system. Instead we have a weak one, subsidised by
* Topic: Pakistan
Views of a country in turmoil, from Robert Kaplan, Fatima Bhutto,
William Dalrymple, Sabrina Tavernise, Ahmed Rashid... Continue
Today on FiveBooks: Pakistan
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