And it was because he felt he had failed, because hif hysterical genius wavered in the end before the stupendous indifference, or stupidity, of mankind that he made the great sacrifice, and destroyed the secret of that magic alchemy from which he had extracted so many miraculous verses. Coulon and Ruchon are the more comprehensive and the more judiciously planned interpretations of the life and work of the poet; but that by M.
They are proof of what scientific criticism can achieve when it is served by the intelligence and the intuitions. Coulon says:. While he is still a student in rhetoric, under the indulgent but over-cautious guidance of his teacher Izambard, he spreads his wings laden with spiritual dynamite. In the Spring of , he lifts his vision above the black turmoil of those somber months, and to the then regnant political and social upheaval, he opposes the individual, but more terrible frenzy of the anarchy he sets adrift in his mind.
He writes to Th. But his dazzling genius leaves us already aghast with its wondrous daring. He is already a fallen angel with the piercing darts of a Satan on his tongue, with an irremediable knowledge of good and evil in his heart, and an unquenchable desire to rise above both. Rimbaud's poetry, M. Coulon shows, is the most autobiographical of any poet's, not excluding Villon's. Not one of his verses but speaks a phase of his melodramatic adolescence in terms of a spiritual transmutation. Not a mood of his oppressed childhood but finds an echo in his haunting words. The poetic import of his poems is thus enhanced by the critic who shows their ail too-human sources.
Ruchon's exegesis, on the other hand, is rather impersonal, and somewhat frigid. This is a dangerous method in dealing with a temperament like Rimbaud's. Reality in the brief years of his poetic consciousness, by eluding constantly his physical grasp, compelled him to withdraw within the fantastic reality of his inner being. Therein ail his earthly, sodden acts and feelings were metamorphosed into unearthly music, of which only the echo resounds in his verses. The critic who will not enter into that world with utter sympathy had better leave out ail hope of ever hearing that music.
Rimbaud's spiritual anarchism knew no literary or social frontiers. His scorn for the literature of his contemporaries and ancestors was boundless. Racine, peuh! Victor Hugo pouah! In the matter of mere artistic form, however, so far as his Premiers Vers are concerned, Rimbaud owes much to Hugo, Banville, Gautier. But it is to Baudelaire and Verlaine he owes most, especially the musicality of such poems as Les Chercheuses de Poux and Voyelles. His search for a musical ultimate ended in a dilemma, especially in the last poem.
He turned then to prose. Ruchon's analysis of them is most valuable precisely in this connection. His is not a mystic interpretation of Rimbaud. He studies the poet's technique in so far as it is possible with erudition Rnd insight. For the first time he gives us general survey of Rimbaud's versification that reveals something of the inner mechanism of that "Alchimie du Verbe" which lias remained an invulnerable secret with the poet.
Ruchon insists that Rimbaud was not a vates, a frenzied spirit writing under the spell of his unconscious self, as the surrealists claim. On the contrary, his aesthetics, he tells us, rest on a system that was willed, conscious, artificial. And yet it is when most apparently so that his hallucinations become most mystifying. Casting his emotions, his passions, his deliriums into the crater of his willful genius, he invites misunderstanding, scorn, hatred, even death, morally, to reach the infinite core of life unshackled, naked to the depth of his soul, and more intact than a deity before the act of creation.
The tread is not broken between dream and reality. The poet's thirst for ultimate freedom, for the unknown, for the absolute finds in it its intensest expression. When he reaches Illuminations he has broken ail his moorings. The "Voyant" gives us glimpses of the unearthly visions he sees in his itinerary. His "Alchimie du Verbe" sparkles with new and strangely phosphorescent glimmers. He steals from chaos, or the absolute harmony of things, some hard, dazzling gems of light. But they blind our earthly vision rather than illumine it.
So his failure, and there is failure, lies in his inability to discover a language that transcends the power of ilence, of the silence that must fall upon anyone who beholds the central mystery of life. There was nothing else for the disillusioned sky adventurer to do than to flee, not only from life, but also from himself:.
But as if ultimately conscious of the hopelessness of his revoit, his nihilism, the poet adds as an after-thought at the end of the poem: Ce n'est rien, j'y suis, j'y suis toujours. But that is only a matter of degree. This again is what renders his religious affiliations so speculative a matter, and as elusive as gossamer threads. Brought up in the strictest Catholic atmosphere, he turned out to be if not most anti-Christian, certainly a very Antichrist. His antagonism to the Church was both social and sesthetic. He rejected it as an instrument of oppression of the poor, and of oppression of the flesh.
AU four critics here reviewed are unanimous in their estimate of Rimbaud's antiChristian feelings, and find themselves at odds with M. Claudel who sees in Rimbaud one of the most Catholic of nineteenth century poets, and his own spiritual godfather. It is true that as M. Claudel have done it is to put more of one's self in the text than there is in it. One must, of course, bow to the deeper insight and supreme authority of M.
Claudel in matters of poetry, especially religiousiy inspired poetry. But may it not be that much of the Christian mysticism he finds in Rimbaud is only a reflexion of that which shines in his own spirit? At any rate, the anti-Christianity of Rimbaud fairly staggers one who reads him with no Catholic talisman to shield his piety. He seems truly then like a reincarnation of Satan challenging not only human morality and justice, but also Christian goodness and love. Ruchon's is the more academic and impersonal treatment of it, M. For what, after all, was the secret spark that lit up the genius of Rimbaud for a moment only to become extinguished soon after like a vanishing star?
The evidence he bares to attest his thesis is rather inconclusive, and consists of his alleged readings from Oriental books in the library at Charleville. Granting the critic's hypothesis, however, his thesis is most convincingly and startlingly developed. The various Upanishads teach that man is but a spark sprung from a great universal fire which, is the spirit of God. Without being a god, the individual is part and parcel of it.
He has an intriguing art of forcing Rimbaud's verses to say anything he wishes them to say. His effort to collate passages from Rimbaud with excerpts from Oriental religions lends much color to his argument. To Rimbaud's preoccupations with an "Achimie du Verbe," with what is suprasensible, and with the idea of the Absolute, he tags Oriental and Pythagorean epithets.
He shows Rimbaud aiming at the Absolute through what is sensible even at the risk of, and perhaps only at the cost of destroying the physical universe as our senses know and feel it. Asceticism, he declares, is one of the avenues to travel to reach the central blessedness of Nirvana, and, following M. Berrichon's Romantic coloring of his brother-in-law's sufferings in Paris, M. He was not craving it when he wrote. SoM CAaM'. Many passages in Rimbaud, however,! Nothing is further, of course, than this from the Christian concept which regards good and evil as irreconcilably divided. Rimbaud's aim, we are told, was to escape this duality, and attain to the Absolute unity of divine Love.
But to reach it is by the same token to give up ail effort at earthly action and expression. The wonder adventure ends thus in a blind alley, for the artist, for to express it is to lose it, at the same time. In his highest flight the poet was doomed to silence in a world of expression. One does not have to make of Rimbaud a disciple of cabalism or of Mrs.
Annie Besant to get at the inner radiance of his poetry. Incidentally, the letters of Rimbaud are also edited, or simply introduced, by an ardent surrealist who, as he declares in a footnote, considers the book of M. They include ail those he wrote between with which literature is concerned. Towards such an elucidation MM. He suggests a solution to life's muddle, but it is a solution that invites its own destruction.
He would annihilate ail so-called civilization and substitute for it the rarefied vision of a mystic, and especially of an Oriental mystic. Brought up in a petty, morally stifling atmosphere, he erected upon a scaffolding of reality that is topsy-turvy an edifice of surreality breath-taking in its iramateriality. His poetic span extends over four years of his adolescence, at the end of whieh, in full meteoric blaze, he fell to earth, to bury his burnt genius in the clay of the earth.
He feels the itching desire to tear asunder the veil that shrouds the secrets of life. Then his vision clears-he sees it all with the eyes of a rationalist. Nothing brings out more completely this complexity of his nature than the two groups of studies we have been reviewing, one of which is a rational exposition of his life and art by two clear-thinking scholars, and the other a mystic interpretation of it by two avowed theosophists.
Both sides can say with equal sincerity and reason: "Behold the true Rimbaud. La philosophie du sentiment prend la place de la philosophie de la raison. Quelques passages du livre de M. I, ch. III, ch. Tout en admirant la puissance de travail et les dons intellectuels de M. En fait, c'est un moderne. An unsympathetic critic has said that this vigorous and dynamic Basque's personality has so overshadowed his work that few have taken the trouble to read him.
Even Baroja moves forward, if only in the company of his heroes, who are grown mellow, more sentimental and more rheumatic. Unamuno, however, remains the same, even in his latest work, perhaps just because of the dominance of his personality and because he has in a measure anticipated the younger writers. Romera-Navarro, in the present book, is the first to undertake anything like a complete survey of Unamuno. The order in which he takes up Unamuno's writings, indicated in the title of his study, has no special significance.
For him, as for most people, Unamuno is first and foremost an essayist p. And as he finds more to censure in the poetry than in the novels of Unamuno, it may be supposed that he would consider the novels as more important, which is again the usual opinion. If Sr. Romera's discussion of Unamuno the novelist can be criticized at ail, it is not for what he says but for what he leaves unsaid or fails to emphasize.
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Romera is of course aware of this, but he dismisses the fact in a sentence p. Yet it must figure prominently in any estimate of Unamuno's novels and is in fact, if its implications are considered, the only proper basis for such an estimate. Il faudrait lire, cependant, elle, p. III, 1. U7, I.
The fact that Unamuno has more than once thought it necessary to defend his method-in Niebla, in the prologue of Tres novelas ejemplares and in that of the second edition of Paz en la guerra-would seem to call for some consideration of that method. One is tempted, moreover, in view of the recent tendency in Spain toward greater intellectualization of the novel, to examine into the possibility of Unamuno's influence.
Full justice has not yet been done Unamuno as an innovator. He has sometimes been compared to Pirandello in his attitude toward his characters, and it has been pointed out that without knowing Sei personaggi in cerca d'autore, he conceived the amusing and original situation of having the hero in Niebla rebel against the author. What I have not seen stated yet is that Unamuno, as far back as and , in his first two novels, attempted, though apparently without realizing its possibilities, the 'stream of consciousness' method that has since become, with the advent of psychoanalysis, of such great importance in the modern novel.
When he comes to study Unamuno the poet, Professor Romera finds much to criticize in him on the side of form. A close scrutiny of Unamuno's best volume of poetry, the Rosario. In some instances one may feel that Sr. Romera's criticism is uncalled for, that there is no need, for example, to find fault with "el temple diamantino de tu dano," with the poet's comparison of a flame with the crest of a wave p.
But in general the criticism is just and indeed more favorable to Unamuno than might have been expected. For most people, I suppose, the poetry in Unamuno's nature is best revealed in his essays. Here is the full lyric expression, intense, paradoxical, illogical, of this modern mystic's doubts and affirmations. To these writings Sr. Romera devotes the last half of his book. The Vida de don Quijote y Sancho he shows to be a work of uneven merit. These two works and the remaining essays are then drawn on for a general exposition of Unamuno's fundamental thoughts and preoccupations: his deep concern with the religious problem, his conception of God, his belief in faith and hope, his ideas on intuition and intelligence and consequent distrust of logic, his passion for will and action.
Romera establishes many points of contact here between Unamuno and a number of modern philosophers, beginning with Spinoza, many of whom have offered pabulum to his insatiable curiosity. The most serious criticism to be made of Sr. Romera's book concerns omissions. The only error of fact that 1 have noticed is the statement, preceding Sr. As a matter of fact Browning is mentioned numerous times in Del sentimiento tragico de la vida as well as in other writings of Unamuno. But Sr. Unamuno himself has not failed to. These omissions do not seriously detract, however, from the value of Sr.
Romera's study, which remains a useful guide to the understanding of one of the most complex and compelling figures in modern Spanish letters. Knopf, , pp. Fite, the public will become acquainted with one of his most purely imaginative works-a tragic-comic novel or nivola as the author carefully characterizes it. By writing in this new form, Unamuno permits himsetf the widest liberties, violating the established notions of unity and action customarily observed in the novel.
It might be any town in Spain. The action is, as it were, rigorously simplified and spiritualized. Since his nivola is a conflict between souls which is fought within in the kingdom of the spirit, considerations of time and space become irrelevant and are reduced to a minimum. It is a record of what happens to a character without regard to sequence or importance. His characters, incarnations of himself, are intensely human. Their delineation is reduced to the utmost simplicity.
In Mist, as in his other works, Unamuno takes the public by the hand, looks into their eyes and tells them what is in his heart and soul in a lively, virile, exclamatory, perhaps disjointed manner, which is always striking. The nivola is an extremely clever, satirical work-a brilliant commentary on humanity written by a philosopher and an artist. Augusto, who takes himself seriously, decides that life is but a vast mist of trifling incidents. Out of this mist emerges the beautiful Eugenia who makes him conscious of himself-that he is a man.
Augusto is at last awakened and asserts himself by repeating to his little dog, Orfeo: have a character of my own. Since Eugenia is in love with another, Augusto vainly strives to have his laundry maid mi her place. He is in despair and is on the verge of suicide. He pauses, however, long enough to make a journey to Salamanca to ask Unamuno for advice. In this most witty and amusing chapter, his creator informs him that he has no independent existence, being but a figure in a tale that is told, and that he cannot commit suicide because he does not exist!
Don Miguel explains that authors, like God, kitt their creatures when they can no longer think of anything for them to do. Then Augusto threatens to kiU Unamuno. In self protection, the author must k! Augusto returns home and involuntarily succeeds in eating himself to death. Unamuno, the supreme individualist, the living soul of that Spain he loves so well, never wearies of affirming in ail his works that man is an end in himself, not a means.
I feel that I, like each one of my fellows, am here to realize myself, to live. Unamuno believes society exists for man, not man for society, Referring to Unamuno on this point, Madariaga says:. He is neither subtilized into an idea by pure thinking nor civilized into a gentleman by social laws and prejudices. Spanish art and letters deal with concrete, tangible persons. There is no more concrete, tangible person than yourself. We can only know and feel humanity in the one human being which we have at hand.
It is by penetrating into ourselves that we find our brothers in us. This searching within, Unamuno has undertaken with a sincerity and fearlessness which cannot be excelled. Throughout Unamuno's works one feels his desire to be a whole man with ail his affirmations and negations and a passion for the indefinable persistence of his being. This passion is a source of sympathy for ail humanity.
The philosopher seeks God through the individual soul, and the salvation of man, not from sin but from death, from annihilation. Immortality is at the very core of his thoughts and emotions. The thought of Unamuno seems to fall into no definite philosophical system. The readers can only know him by knowing his loves, hopes, and despairs reflected in the writings which are part of him-the-man. Constantly Unamuno asserts that the author develops himself while creating his work, whith in its turn perfects itself in perfecting the author.
Don Miguel de Unamuno, the philosopher of paradoxes, of contradictions and strife-an awakener of the soul-is worth reading. Baron E. No one will be tempted to call these opinions either new or startling. The dogma of modern decadence is a time-wom antique in the store-house of critical s. It is cbvious that his esthetic tenets remain in conflict with his esthetic principles.
He objected to M. And, similarly, the objections raised against Romanticism, are neither historie nor esthetic, but "moral. His anti-Romantic doctrine bas, therefore, the merit of being neither complex nor novel. This will be obvious as soon as we divest it from its somewhat sonorous terminology:. A Each individual and each social group is largely led by ImperiaUsm. He uses. B With this "desire for power" is frequently allied, he stresses, a certain. MM a meaning of his own. It has with him no special religious connotation, it does not designate ecstasy or union with the divine; it is not a direct and supra-sensual road to knowledge by internai illumination.
To him. When M. Every individual and every group tends unavoidably toward expansion and domination, and wants to justify this impulse by claiming that "God willed it," that its actions are the consequence of a well-established truth or principle, or that they are in harmony with "the laws of nature," etc. They are, in a sense, machines of war and conquest. This universal scepticism would, of course, rob all doctrines including M.
His own antiRomanticism would be, according to his own premises, a "machine de guerre," an exercise of his Will to Power, which claims justification through the invocation of a principle and an alliance with a divine being. He found this principle in Reason which means to him Tradition and his divine Ally in the God of ail good Frenchmen a kind of a "Dieu des bonnes gens," or rather a "Dieu de la bonne classe sociale. He did not want at all to give free rein to the "critical intellect" like Voltaire; and he certainly did not desire to conceive it, like the rationalists, as a supreme and law-giving principle, opposed to faith.
On the contrary, his Reason had to be identified with Faith. And, therefore, M. And when M. It is rather remarkable that this anti-Romanticist professes a doctrine as antiintellectualist as any form of Romanticism. Any rationalist would, of course, classify these principles as a form of the "abdication of the intellect.
Romanticism, he says, unloosens all lusts, including the libido dominandi. Now it happens-strangely enough! It betrays a most t,nbridled lust for power and conquest, not only in the person of the Roi-soleil, but ia the whole texture of the period. This respect for the tradition "-which tradition? Villon or Rabeiais are "tradition" too. This conception of literary history seems to me too much like Bossuet's "finger of God" visible in history. Sprietsma has, therefore, rendered a real service in providing us with an excellent translation of this very significant treatise on.
This dolorous clown of the Infinite with his tearful smile, who, in the face of approaching early death, juggled with his heart and brain in an ironically unique performance,—eold despair before the "eter-nullity" of things and gods, and lives and suns and worlds,-has been discovered Atas! Poor Yorick! After forty-two years! When an American woman enjoys the advantage of a week in Florence, she always comes home with a gold-tooled portfolio jEtled with carefully coloured prints of the gold and aquamarine painters of the earliest Renaissance.
And no American woman who enjoyed the advantage of. And she assures us that Laforgue is dernier cri, that she takes pride in her precedence of "presenting Jules Laforgue. One cannot suspect her of having sounded the depth or felt the impact of Laforgue's cosmic jests,-of his insoluble conflict between an irrepressible Will-toLive and an acute awareness of the nothingness of personal existence, of the aimlessness of all thought, art and action, of ultimate annihilation.
She has, 1 am sure, not understood how, in another layer of his being, this nihilist was a "Knight of the Absolute," or again in another layer, the "Grand-Chancellor of Analysis," forever bent over his fluctuating feelings, to destroy them by corrosive self-criticism. He could adore-mockingly-the life-instincts or the intellect, and he could mockadoringly-at the life-instincts or the intellect.
From all these conflicts,-this constant struggle with the Daimons in his brain,-was born his tragic irony which, for being clownish enough on the surface, is nevertheless tragedy too poignant for pathos. The very uncritical Introduction also attempts, of course, a Freudian explanation of Laforgue,—who escapes that to-day? The Freudian misinterpretations of literature,-especially by popular critics who have reduced Freud to a few lewd banalities,are confusing enough. If, in addition to ail the "Freudian twaddle," critics are going to jumble up the Unconscious, the Subconscious,.
But, perhaps, one is not expected to understand? One of the strangest suggestions made in this Introduction is the identification of Laforgue's Hamlet with—of all men and of ail potentates-with William II, the former Emperor of Germany! Was Hamlet mad? No, but he would have turned mad by now, had he read ail that critics wrote about him. His I. Mot to seem partial, I select my examples only from the first three pages of.
Laforgue describes, thus, the stagnant water:. This "translation," filled with weak verbiage of which there is no trace in Laforgue's t'sxt, is more than twice as long as the original. Laforgue speaks of "les petites gens vivant de cancans de clochers," which. I refrain from quoting more. The whole "translation" is done with the same skill. Every one of the pp. Vanier, Did the translator find them too difficult? It was indeed an act of daring to attempt to translate Jules Laforgue's very idiomatic and very artistic prose without linguistic preparation,-and an act of daring of the publishers to bring out such a "translation" without competent supervision.
And as to Laforgue's fame in America "Alas! This volume is chiefly remarkable as another sign of the strange spell Stendhal still exerts upon the recent generation of self-analytical novelists. From his "clandestine celebrity,to which M. But to the recent generation he appears again in another light: He is to them less a philosophie leader than a bitter and precise, a cool and yet vibrating analyst of Consciousness and all its infinite fluctuations.
And, indeed, it is possible to view Stendhal from several sides. He is multiple and complex to the point of escaping classification and pigeon-holing. Bourget saw in him one of the sponsors of "nineteenth century pessimism,and yet he exalted the vigorous and unscrupulous Italians of the Renaissance.
10 février 1943 – Le Manifeste du peuple algérien
No wonder, then, that others consider him as a Romantique pur sang, afflicted with Romantic amoralism and irony,-and yet he held that to be a perspicacious philosopher and an analytic novelist one should be as "dry" as Immanuel Kant or as a practising prohibitionist, and without consoling illusions.
Without illusions? But who ever harbored as many illusions about himself as that fat "notary," Beyle-Stendhal,-defeated in life and love, but in his dreams a triumphator who rode magnificently through a festive existence and was secretly one with the heroes he admired? From on each generation seems to find itself mirrored in his complex work,. Zola claimed him as an ancestor of his Naturalism and Bourget as a precursor of the psychological novel.
And in each generation there are those who have seen Italy "with the eyes of Stendhal. Jacques de Lacretelle is one of them. In the present volume the first part, Il 2VM. In the preface the author states that at last he bas succeeded in writing a "boring book," and were it not for his bizarre style and suppleness of thought via sophistication and paradox we should agree with him that it is certainly, in part, "un libro noioso," his auto-accusation.
In three hundred odd pages the author give, numerous observations to prove his premises. We venture to say, however, that in. Evreinov who is chiefly convinced and the reader merely grateful for the many interesting observations. We note with relief that the Italian edition of this work has excluded the lengthy chapter "In the Commission of Experts" Theatre in Life, New York, contained in the English edition. It is a chapter with far-fetched discussions and strained repartee in which Mr. The Italian edition is to be commended for excluding such and other poorly chosen material found in the English text.
Alessandro Varaldo, Il cavaliere errante, Milan, Mondadori, , pp. Italy of the tenth century is the background to this tale of chivalry. The author has been successful in imparting to this story a melancholy tone of a distant epoch when a cavalier's profession was war and wandering. Reproduced before us is that haunting horizon of dark towers and churches, of violent warriors and saintly men.
The novel has an undertone of historicity depicting the Italy of that period when, in addition to internat discord, she struggled against foreign dominion. Fraccaroli's literary star is on the wane of late not in quantity of production but in quality. His recent books such as America, A Girl's Paradise, and Hollywood are impossible from the point of view of his observations on America, which, if not distorted, are either superficial or iU-chosen.
To his last half dozen books of slight literary value he has added recently this play, Peccato biondo, which would be no departure from the rest were it not for its chatty dialogue and cursory plot. The play, among other things, contains a thin stiee of sentimentatity. This "blond sin" turns out to be a sentimental wife who leaves her husband to teach him a moral lesson, in consequence of which he falls in love with her all over again.
The play, with its urban intrigue, because of its caricature and burlesque character, falls somewhat under the'series of "grotesques" of which Chiarelli is the chief exponent. In this book the romance of the South Sea islands is finally coming to its end. Since Melville and Loti and Gauguin's Noa-Noa, so many White Shadows have flitted along these golden beaches, encircled by deep blue seas, in quest of a perfumed paradise of primitive happiness! But they saw these islands and these strangely beautiful women, only with the eyes of their desire; and-since they were artists,-they wove around them the legend of their unspoiled spontaneity, of their goddess-like abandon to the rythms of life.
Jean Dorsenne has met Loti's queenly Rarahu, that rarest flower among Tahitian beauties,-now a withered hag puffing away at dried leaves. She has told him her remembrances, among which Loti occupies but a very inconspicuous place. The sad International Lover never saw reality, never understood Tahitian beautiesor any other.
In fact, it is doubtful whether he ever perceived clearly anything, or cared for anybody, except for that singularly feminine and feline comedian of dreams. Practical Rarahu had been warned that the white "popaa" wanted love spiced with mystery, romance, moonlight beaches, primitive dances and primitive fears, superstitions, inexpressible melancholy and passionate jealousy. And, against due payment, she concocted the brand he yearned for. While getting clothing, a house, presents for her other lovera, she dispensed-with unmistakable talent,-primitive illusions to sensitive whites.
For, Jean Dorsenne assures us, the real Tahitian, if natural, is as callous, sensuous, empty, insincere, calculating, greedy, petty, vain and mendacious as any among the civilized ladies of this earth. How much literature, how much Chateaubriand, how much borrowed attitude and natural pose did not go into the transformation of the egoist Loti into the Wandering Jew of ail romantic loves?
Who does care, pourvu que le geste soit beau"? With rather characteristic exaggeration, William Lyon Phelps acclaims here again Edmond Rostand as "the greatest dramatic poet since Goethe. Now, Rostand was "a theatrical craftsman, he was a poet, hewasahumorist,"and,therefore,heltveduptotheGoethianpatternofgenius. The demonstration is neat, quick and conclusive as that of a theorem,-though eminently refutable. The play was acted in English at the Greenwich Village Theatre during the season.
His works were "European" books, and after decades of increasing popularity some of them became class-texts, in use until recent times. The French text was issued. Le Francq van Berkhey. For this reason Dr. In this discussion, Dr. It was revived in the eighteenth century: In The Dutch pamphlet of goes back, probably, upon one of the French versions of this well-known "jeu d'esprit.
Martin's study is well poised and does not lay any claim for direct influences there where only parallel currents of thought entered into a momentary contact or combination. This title of "chef" might be claimed for many of the great French dramatists. Among the symbolists, Claudel, Maeterlinck, Dujardin are well described. Lenormand, a master psychologist and symbolist, analyzes. When, in , Professor G.
His work has expanded into a bibliography that will contain over seven hundred titles for the eighteenth cent ary alone. The critical studies on Alzirette and L'Empirique he has now published, are but two of some nfty odd parodies on Voltaire, few of which have been printed.
Professor van Roosbroeck's introductions, developed in his usual erudite and inimitable fashion, are replete with valuable information. Naines and works strike an unfamiliar note, and reveal an unknown field of letters: Carolet, Panard, Fuselier, Pontau, Parmentier, Montigny, and many others fartoo numerous to set forth. The vast amount of new material to which Professor van Roosbroeck has drawn attention is perhaps too much for one man to develop. Therefore, he has p! As a result monographs on the Parody as a genre, or on Carolet, Favart, Fuselier, or studies on the evolution of the operalibretto, as well as on such librettists as P.
Roy, have been announced for publication. These investigations of a large amount of manuscript material, this reconstruction of the history of a genre that has a bearing upon all the great figures of the eighteenth century, will prove to be of major interest for literary history. Carlton J. Hayes, France, a Nation of Pa. It is the nation which produced a military genius who dreamed of a world empire; it is the nation which bas experimented with almost every conceivable form qf government; finally, it is one of the nations which bore the greatest brunt of the late war and which, surprisingly enough, has almost compteted its period of convalescence.
Today, the eyes of the world are turned on France. Since the war, it has gained more prestige, more influence, and power than ever before. Professor Hayes, a scholar excellently versed in the problems of nationalism and a guide to many who seek a way for international harmony, has delved especially into the national psychology of the French people. He has examined closely the practical operations of those institutions which shape public opinion. To him, all Frenchmen, no matter what their political inclinations may be, are above all patriotic.
But their patriotism is not the sort that plays the raucous tunes of imperialism, jingoism and nationalism "par excellence. In a measure, the lively air of de Lisles' Marseillaise sums up excellently the very essence of Jacobinism. Yet, in the eyes of every Frenchman-nationalist or internationalist-both these influences have their emotional values. The first chapter contains a brief, brilliant analysis of the French nationality. It may best be summed up in the words of the author: "French nationalism is the product of historical human cultural forces; it rests on tradition of politics, religion, languages, war, invasion, conquest, economics, and society.
In the following chapters particular stress is laid on the various agencies of social control in France: the Church, the Press, the School and other related educational institutions are each given a special chapter. There is much valuable material of importance to layman, student, and specialist. The study of the press reveals facts little known both to the French and the American public. It is of service to those who seek an understanding of French editorial opinion on international affairs.
In the last chapter Professor Hayes very emphatically stresses the tendency of the French people to regard their nationalism as an inheritance from the Jacobinistic ideals of and as a rightful step towards, and not away from, internationalism, for to the French, France is the "mother of internationalism.
The appendices contain an excellent digest of the texts in history for the rising generation. Professor Nicolae Iorga publishes the stenographic notes of his Synthetic Introduction to the History of Rumanian Literature, a course of lectures delivered at the University of Bucharest. The resuit is not only a fascinating panorama of Rumanian history, language and letters, but also a very keen criticism of some extraneous influences. For, above ail, it is the soul of the nation which must be revealed in its literature.
Thus, he concedes the fact:. This Rumanian soul is what Professor Iorga seeks in the epochs which he revives. On the other hand, VasHe Alecsandri , who is considered as the nrst to introduce, and knowingly, the popular in his verse, has not Professor lorga's endorsement. Yet all we have from Eminescu are the fragments of a genius hindered from giving the full measure of his immense possibilities. These are but a few instances illustrating the master's attitude and method. The course in itself is a monument of erudition. Beginning with the creation of the I. It is interesting to note the attitude of the editor of.
Speaking of his own literary school, Professor Iorga says that it was: "a general Rumanian current. Ciornei, , 2 vols. This is an historical novel. The action takes place around the year Prince Alecu Ruset is the hero. He is the unfortunate son of the deposed AntonieVoda of Moldavia. He falls in love with Princess Catrina, daughter of Duca-Voda, the shrewd and cruel ruler who hates the scion of his predecessor. Prince Alecu Ruset follows Princess Catrina from Moldavia to distant Constantinople and returns to meet death at the hands of her father.
The meager outline of the plot cannot convey the world of living characters in these powerful pages, the gorgeous descriptions of ancient Moldavia and Stambout. Father Paul de Marenne, a French traveler and guest of both Moldavian and Turkish courts, adds an unusual charm to the society of the epoch.
This subtle Westerner and the multitude of natives give, each in turn, color and movement to the narrative. One cannot resist quoting at least once. Here is a portrait of that legendary and feared Sultan Mohammed:. Sultan Mohammed was then forty years old and had a kind look.
Nothing of the cruelty of his ancestors burned in his gaze. He had his mother's blue eyes,-she had been a slave kidnapped in her childhood from Russia and brought to the seraglio by Crimean Tartars. Mihail Sadoveanu's new historical novel reminds one of the best that has been written in the genre. It is to be regretted that no translation will ever render the packed beauty of his language which transforms the chapters into as many cantos of a winged epopee.
Perpessicius Professor Dimitrie Panaitescu's nom de plume is a poet and critic of note. In this volume he gathers his articles which appeared during the last few years in various publications. Perpessicius has an honest and often kindly attitude towards ail forms of literary expression. His modesty prompts him to state:. He persistently keeps from considering himself a critic, because he does not find any didactic qualities within himself, nor a certain dogmatism, without which, it seems, there can be no critic.
Granted their timeliness and immediate scope, many of the items contain, nevertheless, a permanent element: it is the sincerity with which he interprets the traditional as well as the new and the experimental. It is with real delight that one reads these very attractive and instructive criticisms of this well-versed authority in the field of contemporary Rumanian literature. Histories of Spanish literature have frequently tended to become cataloguesinteresting and valuable, no doubt,-but wrestling in vain with multitudinous fact and forever accumulating detail.
Others again have discarded such scientific paraphernalia, and have attempted to replace literary history by some "paginas escogidas "-usually selected with all the taste that their predecessors had decreed for them. Between the arid cliffs of the specialist on the one hand and the flowery marshland of the dilettante on the other Romera-Navarro here attempts to steer a middle course. No doubt, wamings will be sounded from both the sides he avoided. To the professional, this history may well seem too "peptonized" for easy digestion.
The outlines of plots and select passages culled from outstanding authors may well seem a sacrilegious diversion to the seriousness of literary history, and a hindrance to. On the other hand, the amiable dilettanti may wett feel their enthusiasm cooled by a few dozen scholarly references at the end of the chapters and a lack of superlatives in the text. Yet the plan of Romera-Navarro should not be rejected c priori. Our mental habits run along the lines on which the book was planned. When one keeps in mind the needs of the student, and particu!
It combines quite exacting scholarship, attempts to incorporate the accepted results of more recent investigation, and presents opinions quite unbiased. From a scholarly point of view, and according to one's personal preferences, one could require the author to stress one or another aspect.
In suggesting p. Other and earlier versions are known n in aovet form as well as in baUads. One might also regret the unsympathetic attitude towards the more complex and inaccessible masterpieces of Gongora, as well as the repetition of the error that the work of the Cisne is neatly divided into two parts, the simple and the obscure; that the first part is the height of excellence of ail Spanish lyrics; and the second the curse of mad poetasters. It is ail the more astonishing to find this theory still upheld since one of the very critics who most emphatically ref uted it-Miguel Artigas-is included in the bibliography of the chapter.
However, on the whole, Romera-Navarro's guardedness of too personal views is to be commended. Yet, there is one question of principle on which one may disagree without running the risk of stressing one's own prejudices, interests or specialties over much. It is the too coldly reserved attitude towards modern literature, which he shares with other literary historians. One is inclined to suspect that this timidity is caused either by lack of example from which to glean opinions, or else through an unsympathetic attitude toward newer forms and innovations.
Yet it is less easy to understand Romera-Navarro's hesitant attitude since he wrote his doctoral dissertation on Unamuno, and has shown a wide understanding of modern Spanish literature. Perhaps he allowed himself to be guided too closely by precedent, and feared to enter a field in which his personal views would of necessity have to play a more aggressive role. This volume is a valuable asset for survey classes. There exists no other literary history so practical, and in the main so accurate, and none which is so constructed as.
It guides them to the more accessible sources for further study; it presents a picture of Spanish literature that is, at the same time, full and animated, documented and readable. And that alone is an achievement. From Hugo to Larbaud. Professor Rudmose-Brown studies briefly the metrical tendencies of recent poetry,-but objectively, and without being drawn into the numerous battles which the progressive "renewal of form" of the last half century still stirs up.
In general, a stimulating booklet which will render service in the teaching of the modern poetry of France-a knowledge of which is so fundamental for the understanding of modern poetry in general. Joseph W. This book will undoubtedly have the success it deserves. It offers several novel features which make it a valuable asset in the teaching of grammar and composition.
The Spanish, natural and idiomatic from the start, never becomes too difficult to bridge the gap between the native tongue of the student and the language he wants to acquire. In this respect it improves considerably upon the artificial and hypothetical sentences so frequently piled up only to exemplify grammar rules and exceptions. Each lesson centers around some story or anecdote; some present a lively sketch of intimate domestic life-the patio, the servants, etc.
This wide variety of subjects-customs, history and literature-offers, within its small compass, a vista of Spanish culture and civilization. At last an elementary grammar bas dared to deviate from the dogma that its material should be simplistic, not to say infantile. This book presents reading matter stimulating enough in subject to cater to the intellectual interests of high school and college students, without discouraging them with insuperable linguistic difficulties.
But the fact that a good deal of stress is laid on the subject matter doesnot prevent the principles of grammar from being expounded with rare thoroughness. The rules are simplified and the student is repeatedly drilled in them-so repeatedly in fact, that under the guidance of a good teacher, the essentials of the language will unavoidably be mastered even by the most recalcitrant.
The review lessons do not merely afford a mechanical repetition of these points of grammar-they are built around a new story in which the student reapplies the same principles from a different angle. The suggestive illustrations also form an integral part of the work. With them before his eyes, the student can develop his aptitude for free composition and thus gauge his own accomplishments in the language.
The value of this grammar is further enhanced by the introductory lessons on pronunciation which, from the start,. This volume will especially interest teachers as a grammar which embodies the more recent contributions of pedagogy, and which nevertheless does not abandon the solid foundations laid by the teaching experience of many years. Its merit consists in the fact that it is novel without breaking away from tradition and without sacrificing to "fads"; that it combines the best features of direct method teaching, with that of literary reading, as well as with solid drill in fundamentals.
Ernst and H. Harvitt, D. It is not easy to find a contemporary French novel suitable for use as a text in High School and the first years of College. Either the subject is improper for any but the advanced class-room, as in the novels of Mauriac and Martin du Gard, or the involved manner of writing makes translation too difficult, as with Giraudoux and Proust. If the book is not ruled out for one of these reasons it Is apt to be as completely undistinguished as the fiction of Henri Bordeaux.
There is nothing in the text that could shock the most sensitive. The style is on the whole sober and straightforward, with enough variety of structure and breadth of vocabularv to be profitable; and when difficulties do occur, whether they concern grammatical construction or historical allusion, they are thoroughly explained in the notes. Finally, the novel itself is not trivial. Tels qu'ils furent, moreover, as the editors point out in their preface, should be interesting to the student not only as a piece of fiction but as a mirror of French life in the i86o's and yo's.
Ernst and Miss Harvitt have shown the same tact in their editing as in their choice of a text. Their introduction contains none of the absurdly extravagant statements, more suggestive of publishers "blurbs" than of serious criticism, with which editors sometimes feel compelled to introduce their offerings. The only thing one could wish improved is the quality of the illustrations which are even worse than those of the average text-book, but for which, 1 am sure, the editors are not to blame.
ON November 23d, , under the auspices of the Instituto, the Intercollegiate Alliance of Spanish Clubs of New York City gave an entertainment and dance at the Casa Italiana as a contribution to the scholarship to be awarded by the Instituto for the Summer of to the best student of Spanish in the colleges of New York City. The recipient of the scholarship will be a member of the Instituto's tour, conducted by Professor William M. Barlow, and will be able to attend, as in.
Professor E. The speakers of the evening were Dr. Upon request she will also give, under the auspices of the Instituto, lectures in Universities and cultural centers. For the studies of Hispanic-American literature and culture, the visit of the Hispanic-American poetess will be of great value. During the intermission Hon. Ogden H. Hammond, former United States Ambassador to Spain, made a short address outlining the plans of the Instituto as a centre for the study of Spanish culture and to foster cultural relations between the United States and the Hispanic countries.
Following the concert Mr. Among the patrons were: Mrs. Henry Martyn Alexander; Mrs. Barett Andrews; Mrs. Vincent Astor; Mrs. Samuel S. Auchincloss; Mrs. Hugh D. Stephen Birch; Mr. Lawrence Smith-Butler; Mrs. Nicholas Murray Butler; Mrs. Gordon Knox Bell; Mrs. Alexander Biddle; Mrs. James A. Burden; Miss Lucrezia Bori; Mrs. Juan M. Ceballos; Mrs. Elbridge Gerry Chadwick; Mrs. Harris R. Childs; Mrs.
Sergeant Cram; Mrs. Richard M. Colgate; Mrs. George Eustis Corcoran; Mr.. James B. Cushman; Mrs. Walter Damrosch; Mrs. Marius de Brabant; Lady. Duveen; Mrs. William B. Franklin; Mr. John A. Gade; Mrs. Gade; Mr. James W. Gerard; Mrs. Charles E. Greenough; Mrs. Charles S. Guggenheimer; Mr.
Hammond; Mrs. Hammond; Miss Malvina Hoffman; Mrs. Christian R. Holmes; Mrs. Henry R. Hoyt; Mrs. Herman Irion; Mrs. Otto H. Kahn; Mrs. Joseph J. Kerrigan; Mrs. Paul Kochanski; Mrs. Adolf Ladenburg; Mrs. Robert Malcom Littlejohn; Mr. Clarence H. Mackay; Mrs. Clarence G. Michalis; Mrs. Mitchell; Mrs. Victor Morawetz; Mrs. Murphy; Mrs. Henry Fairfield Osborn; Mr. Percy Pyne, ad; Mrs. Moses Taylor Pyne; Mrs. Gordon S. Rentschler; Mrs. Arthur I!. Arthur Sachs; Mrs. George B. Power and politics are to the fore.
Alfred McCoy It is an example of current affairs publishing at its best. McCoy views the priests' persecution, first, within the framework of sugarlandia's social history and, second, in the larger context of national power politics. Generations of colorful characters and bloody conflicts supply his story with the ingredients of a panoramic novel in the manner of James Clavell's Shogun and Noble House and James Michener's epics on the South Pacific. Manila , 22 February Each well-crafted piece brings with it a revisionary agenda: that of demythologizing received ideas Alfred McCoy's fine essay on Quezon returns to the earlier concerns sketched out in the Introduction: that of suggesting analogies between pre- and post-war political institutions and practices in the Philippines.
McCoy convincingly argues that Quezon's Commonwealth regime laid the groundwork for the emergence of authoritarian rule under Marcos. Rafael, Philippine Studies, He shows that in the 'Golden Triangle' of Laos, Thailand, and Burma, opium was big business and, often, the only viable form of currency. McCoy argues that, in their efforts to expand their own power in Southeast Asia, American intelligence agents permitted the allies of the US The author produces considerable disturbing evidence that US authorities are guilty at least of complicity in the global drug trade, and argues convincingly that the drug problem at home will not end until a fundamental change is made in American policy.
In the current volume, a substantially updated and longer work, he argues that the situation basically hasn't changed over the past two decades Now, this revised and expanded edition, incorporating 20 years of research, discusses in almost overwhelming detail how U. A massive work that raises serious questions.
His original message aired in congressional hearings and widespread media coverage evidently made no difference.
- Informations Bibliographiques;
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After first trying to suppress the book's publication, the CIA simply denied its message and got away with the lie. As McCoy documents, the agency then went with impunity to collaborate with other drug traffickers, from Panama's Noriega to the Afghan mujahedeen and their patrons in Pakistani military intelligence McCoy's meticulously documented volume, based on first hand investigation and wide reading of secondary accounts, makes the case as convincingly as anyone could want. Now, he has revised and updated his pioneering work, offering more than pages of narrative and notes that chronicle the United States' two-faced approach toward drugs.
In his remarkable chapter on South Vietnam, for example, McCoy methodically explains how dope-selling gangsters became our allies in the fight against Communism. He unravels the workings of the Southeast Asian underground to show how opium bought protection and political legitimacy Published in June this year, it is an updated, revised and greatly expanded version of his ground- breaking study, The Politics of Heroin in Southeast Asia, which first appeared in In addition to distinguishing between using drug money to finance covert operations, and condoning the activities of drug traffickers for reasons of national security, he observes that the CIA engages in two types of clandestine work: gathering intelligence about present and future events; and covert operations that somehow influence the outcome of these events.
Complicity in the drug trade, McCoy argues, is limited to the agency's covert operations unit The publication of McCoy's study could not be more timely. It should pave the way for a more realistic approach to the drug problem: rehabilitation of addicts and politically untainted interdiction His new book provides both a social history of heroin and a political economy of what is now an important global commodity McCoy's detailed expose of the coincidence of CIA covert activities and major drug trafficking operations makes sobering reading.
The evidence he presents for Southeast Asia does seem overwhelming Nevertheless, for anyone optimistic that President Bush's war on drugs will depress the international drugs trade, this is essential reading. Williams, Journal of Asian Studies, November The focus is the snap election and its aftermath as seen in 12 communities ranging from Ranglay in Ilocos Norte to Zamboanga City and Marawi. The authors are established scholars who did field work in these communities at or around the time of the election In perhaps the most interesting of these studies, Alfred W.
McCoy places the election in La Carlota, Negros Occidental, in the broad context of the social and economic history of that province, a history dominated by the power of the sugarcane planters who in combined brutal repression with massive vote-buying and cheating to carry the province for Marcos. Carroll, S. The editors chose their contributors well; most know intimately, from years of previous residence and study, the locales from which they report It appears that Kerkvliet and Mojares modeled their conference and book on the ground breaking volume by Alfred W.
McCoy and Ed. Alfred McCoy's dramatic account of violence, greed, and oppression in sugarlandia will surprise no one familiar with his previous work. Both Resil Mojares' finely written essay on Valladolid in Cebu and Alfred McCoy's near epic account of the ebb and flow of planter power in La Carlota in Negros province brilliantly demonstrate the impact of economic changes in shaping the exercise of power, the flux of local and translocal alliances, and the necessity of scholars A close look at the Asia section will demonstrate its strengths and weaknesses.
Alfred McCoy opens the section with a brief history of opium and heroin; unlike his pioneering study of heroin in Southeast Asia, If this book offers no solutions, its does give policy-makers and area scholars important information and much to think about. Their prescription-- reducing the demand for drugs--is shared by many authors on this topic.
Though an academic study, it is valuable for anyone wishing to understand the Philippines. They also demonstrate the resilience of elite families This book illustrates what should have been obvious. But the obvious has been neglected by our historiography and by our social sciences An Anarchy of Families Anyone familiar with the Philippine scene will find in this book the why and how certain prominent families in this country have continued to dominate its political, economic and social life during the past century Read more closely, however, Alfred W.
Abinales, Journal of Southeast Asian Studies 32, no. This could very well constitute conventional wisdom, but U. McCoy gives it a shape and human face in his path-breaking book on the Philippine military, Closer than Brothers. Although it has been among the most important of Philippine institutions, especially over the last 30 years, the military largely remains a mystery.
None of these [criticisms] diminishes the importance of this book, which should stand as the starting point for any analysis of the Philippine military in the next century. Owen, Philippine Star Manila , 4 September McCoy is both one of the most respected and most controversial Southeast Asian scholars in the United States. In he coauthored The Politics of Heroin, which charted the involvement of U.
In he revealed that Ferdinand Marcos had fabricated his World War II heroism, striking a devastating blow at the legitimacy of his regime. Now, in his most recent book, McCoy identifies Filipino officers guilty of torture and murder and questions both the ability and commitment of post-Marcos governments to reforming the Philippine armed forces. This is a provocative and disturbing book that raises issues that are thankfully seldom covered in American military history…. JMH readers may wish that McCoy had devoted less space to interdisciplinary analysis and more to narrative history…This caveat aside, this is a fascinating work.
McCoy is a shrewd, and often caustic, observer of the military socialization process and of recent Philippine politics. Linn, Journal of Military History July McCoy has presented scholars of recent Philippine history and those who study military elites on a comparative basis with a well-researched, dynamic, and engrossing monograph that is difficult to put down.
He has burrowed deeply into the sources and has done extensive interviewing, so his work sheds light on many of the shadow events in recent Philippine history…. The chapter on torture tells a particularly grim tale of foreign and domestic creation of officers trained in sadistic practices that whetted their appetite for military interference in civil matters. He understands the dynamics of governance and knows how to dig out a seamy story. Had Yale University Press allowed him to include a bibliography, it would have revealed just how numerous were his sources. As it is, one needs to look carefully at the endnotes to realize the breadth of scholarship involved…Those with an interest in Philippine national politics in particular and civil-military affairs in general will find this work a rewarding read.
Larkin, Journal of Asian Studies 60, no. Closer Than Brothers en est la parfaite illustration. In many respects, the present study forms a companion volume to another book recently edited by McCoy, An Anarchy of Families: Filipino Elites and the Philippine State Quezon City: Ateneo de Manila University Press , in that both books approach the past from what can now only be seen as alternative units of analysis, the individual and the family, than the ones usually pursued by scholars in an age that has a predilection towards gender, ethnie or conviction….
Lives at the Margin is the best work of history I have read so far this year. This new edition is, however, well worth reading for the additions--and the historic material is well worth rereading. The page Introduction is almost completely revised with an update on developments in the drug trade since and an explanation of how prohibition creates a global economy supporting an illicit substance. Chapter 8 is greatly revised with a general updating, a rewrite about Nixon's war on drugs, coverage of Latin America, and a discussion of cocaine and amphetamines.
American officials and CIA agents, McCoy concludes, have been linked to the narcotics trade on three levels: 1 coincidental complicity, by allying with groups actively engaged in the drug traffic; 2 support of the traffic, by covering up for known heroin and cocaine traffickers and condoning their involvement; and 3 active engagement in the transport of narcotics. These additions make this edition even more relevant than the first, as they sketch a pattern in foreign—and drug—policy failures. Since the publication of the first edition of The Politics of Heroin more than thirty years ago, every serious writer on the subject has adopted a similar approach.
It is the fruit of over thirty years of interest and labour on the subject that confer on the author the authority to talk about such wide-ranging and geographically diverse matters. But it is perhaps on an historical level that the study is most satisfying. What is more, McCoy's study reveals just how central the revenue from drugs was in underpinning the European imperial venture. Far from being a minor aspect of colonial trade, opium sales generated 16 percent of all government taxes in French Indochina and the Netherlands East Indies, and a whopping 53 per cent in British Malaya p.
Many of the visible signs of progress that Europeans have come to regard as the benevolent legacy of colonialism, such as canals, roads, railways, docks and the like, were in fact financed with drug money. McCoy makes us acutely aware of how we need to incorporate these 'other stories' into our general histories of the region. Nor is the book restricted to only one area: its arguments extend from the highlands of mainland Southeast Asia to the desert plains of Central Asia and the jungles of Latin America.
Such considerations may be equally valid there, too. Structurally, there is perhaps a little bit more to say. McCoy writes well but the book is long - over pages - and at times the weight of evidence can prove a bit daunting and may deter the less than totally committed reader. Foltern und Foltern Lassen : In February , Foltern und Foltern Lassen was ranked in the top ten recommended books for German readers by a circle of twenty-six independent critics sponsored by Sueddeutsche Zeitung the liberal national newspaper , NDR the state- owned Northern German Radio-Televison network , and the German Booksellers Association.
It would be fatal for democracy to succumb to the undertow from which it often rescues the world and will continue to need to do so. Frankfurter Neue Presse 8 December Research on the political background depicts the East-West conflict and the danger that lesser democracies, such as US involvement with Latin American and Asian governments that have been plagued with communist revolutions. McCoy views torture inflicted in Guantanamo and Abu Ghraib along these traditional lines. He finds none and is exactly right.
The timed detonator was running. The US Historian delivers a passionate, overall convincing argument against the adoption of torture methods without constricting himself to clean moral outrage. His main argument: when democracies revert to torture, negative consequences outweigh the multiple possible advantages. Skilled, McCoy unmasks academic scenarios in his arguments, such as the aforementioned, where the use of torture should justifiable be implemented.
An intelligence corps that more or less regulates perfectly reliable information particularizes the assault plan and knows the true identity of terrorists and yet must try to capture them and find the bomb? For more than ten years he has occupied himself with torture methods employed by the CIA. McCoy intensively occupied himself in the s with the problem of torture. The origin of his research comes from a long residence in the Philippines, where the influx of American torture techniques affected the Filipino military.
Then it became clear that the photos did not represent private, sadistic orgies, but rather the training program of the US military. Whoever wants to be well-versed on program operatives must read Alfred W. McCoy traces how these methods were field- tested by CIA agents in Vietnam as part of the Phoenix program and then imported to Latin America and Asia under the guise of police training programs.
Incorporating simple yet brutally effective techniques of psychological manipulation involving isolation, disorientation, and destruction of personal identity, McCoy argues, the modern CIA interrogation manual is premised on university and army research into the psychology of coercion. As in his earlier work on CIA complicity in the global heroin trade, McCoy is adept at tracing the inertia of government practice; his research on the effect of torture on the Philippine armed forces likewise shows policy in practice and demonstrates that psychological torture is at least as scarring as thumbscrews.
Timely and compelling. Smail Professor of History at the University of Wisconsin, makes two particularly compelling points. First, that the shocking images of Abu Ghraib are nothing new, but reflect a policy of coercive interrogation developed and employed by the CIA for the past 50 years. Second, that psychological torture is no less torture than physical torment…. Like the previous chapters its makes for an unremittingly dark tale…. We should all be glad that he persevered. However, A Question of Torture is an especially important book that addresses a recalcitrant and vexing issue for our nation and her citizens.
In addition, this book explicitly accuses prominent psychologists and our professional association of inadvertent or sometimes deliberate complicity in government-sponsored torture. This accusation and appropriate roles for psychologists working for the government have been hotly debated in our journals, divisions, and listservs, I hope these three reviews inform and contribute to the debate. Yet McCoy also polarizes the debate through reductionism and selective reading.
Using a wide range of materials, including scholarly and government documents, McCoy has written a compelling volume for psychologists. Stephen H. In this exceptionally coherent set of essays, the editors make good their subtitle, for this is the most exacting account one could wish of the way in which empire made America and, in particular, the American state. The book, appropriately, is dedicated to William Appleman Williams, whose early challenge to the complacency of American exceptionalist historiography Colonial Crucible honors and extends….
McCoy and Francisco A. What makes Colonial Crucible so essential at this point is the broad vision that underpins its calculation of the cost of empire. The assessments of the perils of imperialism come from economic, education, public health, and, of course, economic perspectives. Yet within this general inclination toward appropriation, there is something distinctive about the way the American empire felt a strong need to assuage its angst as an arriviste power by framing and legitimizing policy by means of the past—even if that past was revised to the point of fabrication or fiction.
More importantly, though, the editors of this collection have made an admirable effort to craft a coherent empirical survey of the impact of American domination on its colonies and of its repercussions on the home front. Kumar, Choice 47, no. At the very least, every scholar of American imperialism will find one or more articles of immediate interest.
If Americans' first accounts of their colonial history drank deeply of Rud-yard Kipling, and if critical responses drew inspiration from Mark Twain, McCoy shows himself here to be Philippine-American history's Raymond Chandler. The result is essential reading for historians of the Philippines, of modern policing systems, and of the U. Most strikingly, McCoy's focus on the long history of organized repression illuminates the decades since the Marcos dictatorship as an era featuring the violent suppression of popular movements and the subversion of democratic processes through massive electoral corruption, a form of elite domination different in structure but not social or political result when compared to the early years of the U.
While McCoy necessarily retells many known histories in writing a work of this scale, who knew that Manuel Quezon, first president of the Philippine Commonwealth, was an undercover operative for the Philippine Constabulary in the early twentieth century? Or that surveillance methods developed to defeat Filipino revolutionaries during and after the Philippine-American War would provide the model around which U. Historians of the twentieth-century Philippines will want to consult both the book's text and index to see if and when their subjects appear in McCoy's police blotter.
While the approach itself is not new to historians of the Philippines, the United States, or other empires, McCoy's is arguably one of the most detailed accounts existing of what might be called a state's criminal history, one that demonstrates this history's centrality to the making of modern Philippine and U. On the way, he has also taken his readers down some of the mean streets of a new U.
The claims McCoy makes are not insignificant ones: namely that the US imperial adventure in South-East Asia not only shaped the form of governance and policing that an independent Philippines would pursue but that the Philippines as acted as a kind of laboratory for policing of all kinds in the US itself…. The link? The police and security forces, particularly their shadowy side: spies, undercover agents, specialists in covert operations, assassins. The currency passed up and down the system? Information, particularly incriminating information, scandal, graft, murder. He lays bare the coercive and fundamentally illiberal consequences of U.
A short review cannot do justice to all the nuances embedded in his analysis and the meticulous quality of his research which was undertaken for a decade in both American and Philippine archives. Alone among professional historians, he has also written poignantly on the destructive consequences of the CIA-run secret war in Laos, which literally tore the society to shreds and caused the displacement and death of thousands of rice farmers who had never even heard of the United States. McCoy has further published numerous books on Philippines society and culture, including an illuminating study of its military culture.
It should be read alongside his other books as an important cautionary tale about the dangers of misplaced executive power, the symbiosis of organized crime and politics in an era of globalized capitalism, and the perils of covert military intervention, which has been a pivotal instrument of American power in the modern age.
The narrative is expansive, yet accessible. McCoy calls attention to the paradox that the study of past scandal presents for historians. As a result, McCoy suggests, social scientists have generally failed to recognize the significance of scandal in destroying individual careers, derailing political movements and undermining the legitimacy of leaders, or of entire regimes.
It is a point amply demonstrated in McCoy's reprising of the history of the Philippines and the United States in the twentieth century; it is a point which deserves wider application to the study of other political histories. This volume is sweeping in scope—something that few historians dared to tread, for it is more comfortable to focus on more limited topics. McCoy be praised for carrying out this important study…. Regilme, Jr. However, more than the sheer length of this book or its varied subject matters, the use of documents is truly impressive. His reading of primary documents is extensive…Findings in primary documents are supported with careful readings of secondary sources and a string of articles from various publications…His writing style is precise and crisp and it is because of this, combined with his expository strategy of placing an eye-catching scene at the start of each chapter, that the book reads like a crime thriller….
Empire or in the global history of the twentieth century. It is well-organized, its logic is crystal clear, and its descriptions are highly persuasive. And the book's overarching theme—that surveillance systems will inevitably be abused and will threaten democratic governance—is vitally important for recent debates about the erosion of civil liberties during the never-ending war against terrorism.
Gibbs, Diplomatic History 35, no. What this unfair caricature of a prodigious historian has unfortunately done is diminish the value of this alternative approach to Philippine political history. Abinales, Critical Asian Studies, 44, no. In this way, McCoy provides a unifying framework to bring these studies together… Alfred McCoy defines and advances the idea of information infrastructure and, through his investigation into the enduring colonial relationship between the United States and Philippines, he provides an exemplary study in the control of information as an instrument of statecraft.
At the end, he laments the short-term memory of Americans who absorb the myriad details of ongoing controversies but fail to understand the systematic nature of the abuses carried out by the military establishment. The studied avoidance of a deeply troubling topic, he notes, is comparable to the collective forgetting that shrouds traumatized subjects in post- authoritarian societies.
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We also learn why the government funded those studies With an equal degree of care, McCoy shows how impunity was engineered after each episode of torture—most recently, following the George W. Pallitto, The Journal of American History , no. McCoy and his Barcelona-based coeditors, Josep M. Fradera and Stephen Jacobson, gathered a wide-ranging set of essays that confront a central question emerging from a global network of scholarly conferences since It offers updated and well-structured studies on imperial declines, in addition to an intelligent way to construct comparative history — the best path to history-social science.
The French New Right’s Quest for Alternative Modernity
It is a model of thinking, productively, about the present and the future through the past. Good history, which can be and manages to be magistra vitae. This holds true for the successful mix of overview articles and specialized in-depth work, as well as for its coherence—no small feat considering the mammoth project, in which a network of historians participated over the years. But above all, the foundational perspective is convincing, the view of decolonization as a process of global restructuring and structuring, a process that can be understood in the 20th century as a structural change from the European imperial order to the U.
Also fruitful for further studies is the call to understand imperial transitions as periods of not only changes, but also continuities. His essay is a breathtaking historical survey leading from directly to the revelations of the abuses committed at Abu Ghraib. July-August , Travel in Thailand and Malaysia conducting research into international narcotics trafficking in the region.
June , Research on Negros Island, Philippines on mechanization of sugar plantations, the collapse of the sugar industry, and rising social conflict. January , Research on Negros Island and in Manila on the crisis in the Philippines sugar industry. January , Research in Manila and Negros Occidental on local elections. July-August , Research in Manila on the political history of the Marcos regime.