Archive for September, 2013

James Joyce’s “Dirty Letters” to His Wife Nora

Posted in Uncategorized with tags , , , , , , , , , on 29 September 2013 by delclem


“The letters are by turns pornographic, erotic, romantic, poetic, and often downright funny, and they were written for Nora’s eyes alone in a correspondence initiated by her in November of 1909, while Joyce was in Dublin and she was in Trieste raising their two children in very straitened circumstances. Nora hoped to keep Joyce away from prostitutes by feeding his fantasies in writing, and Joyce needed to woo Nora again—she had threatened to leave him for his lack of financial support.”>full text
(c) OPEN CULTURE, 2013


“what’s wrong with the modern world”

Posted in Uncategorized with tags , , , , , , on 20 September 2013 by delclem

Karl Kraus
“While we are busy tweeting, texting and spending, the world is drifting towards disaster, believes Jonathan Franzen, whose despair at our insatiable technoconsumerism echoes the apocalyptic essays of the satirist Karl Kraus – ‘the Great Hater’.”>full text & photo (c) THE GUARDIAN, 2013

1913 – The Year Before the Storm

Posted in Uncategorized with tags , , , , , , , on 17 September 2013 by delclem

“Can you write a history of the year 1913 and ignore the disaster waiting around the corner? With the centenary of the First World War approaching that may sound perverse, yet it is precisely what Die Zeit journalist Florian Illies tries to do in his new book, which was a bestseller in Germany when it was published there last year.” >review (c) THE GUARDIAN, 2013


Ludwig Wittgenstein & ‘Fuzzy’ Photography

Posted in Uncategorized with tags , , , , , on 11 September 2013 by delclem

“For the unsentimentally cerebral Wittgenstein, a photograph is not a memorial, but a ‘probability’. The philosopher’s archive at the University of Cambridge includes the photograph above, a true ‘probability’ in that it does not represent any one person but is a composite image of his face and the faces of his three sisters, made in collaboration with the ‘founding father of eugenics,’ Francis Galton.” (Well, I don’t buy the latter, since Galton dies in 1911…) >full text (c) OPEN CULTURE, 2013


“For those who can tell no tales”

Posted in Uncategorized with tags , , , , , , , , , on 10 September 2013 by delclem


Jasmila Zbanic‘s “brave drama commemorates the victims of atrocities in 1990s Bosnia, making a substantial impression despite a short running time. She commemorates the more than 3,000 Bosniaks murdered during ethnic cleansing in the Visegrad area in the 1990s, especially the women tortured in rape encampments.” Thus, her movie van be seen as a direct response to the nationalitic Potemkin Village project of another Bosnian director: Emir Kusturica. See the full review (c) 2013 Cf. the text on Kusturica in THE GUARDIAN, 2012

‘Shards’ – Leaving Bosnia (or not)

Posted in Uncategorized with tags , , , , , , , , on 8 September 2013 by delclem

“There is a long & important history of memoirs & fictions, and hybrids of the two, that address the aftermath of war (particularly the Yugoslav Succession Wars of the 1990s). Shards, the impressive first novel by Ismet Prcic, finds inventive ways to interrogate the anguish of enduring and then escaping Bosnia during the war (1992-95). The novel is constructed of fragments — shards — seemingly written by its main character, Ismet Prcic. Ismet grows up in Tuzla and manages to flee shortly before his induction into the “meat grinder” of the Bosnian infantry. He has survived and made his way to America, but is fractured by what he left behind.” >full review & illustration (c) NYT, 2011; interview with the author (c) Suhrkamp/youtube, 2013


Pimping FEMEN: breast-fed by a man?

Posted in Uncategorized with tags , , , , , , , , on 7 September 2013 by delclem


“Tt’s the Ukranian feminist group that embarrassed President Putin. Its activists have staged many protests against sexual and political repression by stripping to their waists in carefully choreographed media stunts. (…) Now, a new documentary screening at the Venice Film Festival has revealed that Femen was founded and is controlled by a man.”

Is this a Putinesque publicity stunt to discredit feminist activism or just the truth – or another sly twist of the gender game by the group itself?
>full text & photo (c) INDEPENDENT, 2013
Cf. another article (c) THE GUARDIAN, 2013
And another one (c) DER SPIEGEL, 2013