Thursday, November 29, 2007

In the Skin of a Lion

Official histories, news stories surround us daily, but the events of art reach us too late, travel languorously like messages in a bottle.

--In the Skin of a Lion by Michael Ondaatje

Thursday, November 22, 2007

Noble Novelists

Michael Ondaatje, author of Anil's Ghost, and Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie, author of Half of a Yellow Sun, discuss the ethics and craft of creating fiction out of collective tragedies in their native homes of Sri Lanka and Nigeria. Listen in to their conversation.

Monday, November 12, 2007

Out of Control

The Atomic Bazaar by William Langewiesche follows the nuclear arming of the Third World by a US-funded Pakistan. With the genie now out of the bottle, so to speak, it might nonetheless be of interest to become acquainted with the nexus of black markets and evil empires -- even if you're not planning on a career in export controls.

If for no other reason, we found this nefarious narrative intriguing in presentation, as well as illustrative of how political posturing at both ends of the conduit merely provides cover for ongoing criminal enterprise. In fact, we think this tale is as good as it gets in revealing how public relations has become the major function of many governments in privatizing public secrets and undermining international security.

Whatever your feelings about nuclear power, this book will leave you uneasy about its dangers. For that, the author has our gratitude.

Wednesday, November 07, 2007

Evil Passions

Suspicion is the expression of a feeling of insecurity. Suspicion is related to malice and both serve envy.

If the public circumstances are right, all these evil passions become accomplices to inquisitions and repressions.

Suspicion, always awake, ensures that nobody discovers the corpse and digs it up. That is its psychological and political function.

-- Itinerary by Octavio Paz