Wednesday, February 09, 2005

Impostors

On the front page of Le Monde Des Livres, 4 Feb, review of Les Nouveaux Imposteurs by Antoine Vitkine.

'These deliriums have been for a long time a speciality of the extreme right. ...Vitkine shows to what extent this way of thinking, creeping and irrational, has become very common. Since 11 Sept., one finds it almost everywhere. In particular on the extreme left, as well as among a large number of anti-globalists (altermondialistes), ecologists and pacifists.'

All this is very obvious, but nonetheless worth repeating. The review's title, 'La vérité est ailleurs', is apparently from  X-files catchphrase, but in the English 'The truth is out there', there is always implied 'somewhere'. Anyway, a bit more in French:
C'est en réalisant pour Arte deux reportages sur le livre de Thierry Meyssan, L'Effroyable Imposture, qu'Antoine Vitkine a pris conscience de l'ampleur de ce phénomène. Meyssan cherchait à faire croire qu'aucun avion ne s'était abattu sur le Pentagone le 11 septembre 2001. La vérité serait une tentative de putsch à l'intérieur de l'armée américaine. Peu importe cette élucubration - après tout, il existe bien un ouvrage qui prétend montrer que Napoléon Ier n'a jamais existé. Plus préoccupants : le succès du livre (parmi les meilleures ventes de 2002), ses traductions en vingt-huit langues, sa starisation dans les pays arabes. Et ce souci inquiétant, désormais répandu, de dénoncer complots et impostures inventés de toutes pièces.
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'Capitalist Punishment', John Gapper, Financial Times, January 29, 2005 (link here).
The English High Court of Chancery, which succeeded the King's Chapel, was dismantled in 1875, but Delaware's version, founded in 1792, survives.
...
Unlike in two-thirds of states, Delaware judges are appointed rather than elected.

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Back in the UK, Simon Jenkins in The Times Wedsnesday (2 Feb) writes that Iraq is the most chaotic place on  earth. Has he never heard of Chechnya? Or many parts of Africa?

In the FT Mag, a review-essay on various books relating to Chechnya... Tolstoy's indispensable novel (foreword by Colm Toibin). Maybe the translation is somewhat better than the online one I found on the web.

From the FT review: 'Did Vladimir Putin not read Hadji Murat at school? It's not too late.'

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