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biografie

Elizabeth Bishop, a life of losing

March 24th, 2011  |  by  |  published in biografie, English texts, poëzie | Comments Off on Elizabeth Bishop, a life of losing

Elizabeth Bishop, a life of losing

I didn’t read this biography because of the poem One Art. Not exclusively. But the extraordinary power of this poem certainly was a stimulus. One asks oneself: whom did she lose to write such a poem? In what circumstances? Why? That is, of course, how the biographical curiosity starts. And indeed, Elizabeth Bishop’s was a […]

Retrato de la familia de Pablo Neruda

September 19th, 2010  |  by  |  published in biografie, textos en castellano | Comments Off on Retrato de la familia de Pablo Neruda

Pablo Neruda Retrato de familia, 1904–1920 Bernardo Reyes Compré este libro en Santiago de Chile, en la tienda de La Chascona, una de las casas de Neruda. Bernardo Reyes tiene un vínculo familial con Neruda. Su abuelo paterno era Rodolfo Reyes, el hermano mayor de Neruda. Como escribe Volodia Teitelboim en la introducción: “Este es […]

Isaiah Berlin, Flourishing

August 5th, 2010  |  by  |  published in biografie, English texts, FILOSOFIE | Comments Off on Isaiah Berlin, Flourishing

I just read Flourishing, the first part of Isaiah Berlin’s letters. The first impression that springs to mind is the banter, the spirit, the cascade of words. An example of his unique style can be found in a letter to Elizabeth Bowen, 2 January [1934] Dear Elizabeth Thank you very much indeed for your letter: […]

Orwell in letters

June 4th, 2010  |  by  |  published in biografie, English texts | Comments Off on Orwell in letters

I have been reading a selection of Orwell’s letters. This is like reading a short version of his biography and indeed, it might be a good idea to read both the letters and a good biography at the same time. And one should add his diaries as they are now being published day by day […]

The Exile and Murder of Leon Trotsky

January 29th, 2010  |  by  |  published in biografie, English texts, geschiedenis | Comments Off on The Exile and Murder of Leon Trotsky

The Exile and Murder of Leon Trotsky

In 2005 Jean-Pierre Rondas interviewed the Portuguese author José Saramago for Klara, the Flemish classical radio. Saramago spoke in a very clear French. The other day I listened to the tape again and at a given moment he said: “Il faut finir avec l’utopie!”. This means something like: we have to stop (using/believing in) utopias. […]

Michael Ignatieff, Isaiah Berlin. A Life

June 9th, 2009  |  by  |  published in biografie, English texts, FILOSOFIE | Comments Off on Michael Ignatieff, Isaiah Berlin. A Life

For some reason Isaiah Berlin has always attracted me. I have a small collection of his works. This biography confirms my liking for this special person. I stumbled upon this book by accident. Now and then I have a look at Yann Martel’s What is Stephen Harper Reading? to see which books he lately sent […]

Rüdiger Safranski, Martin Heidegger between good and evil

October 16th, 2008  |  by  |  published in biografie, English texts, FILOSOFIE | Comments Off on Rüdiger Safranski, Martin Heidegger between good and evil

I have read this book on the train, while toing and froing between home and office. At a rate of something like 3 to 4 pages a day it took me several weeks to read it. And I was lucky to have bought this book in English, because the German original would have been too […]

Charles Darwin, the naturalist who started a scientific revolution

August 11th, 2008  |  by  |  published in biografie, English texts | Comments Off on Charles Darwin, the naturalist who started a scientific revolution

Last week while on holiday in Kent, we visited Down House, the house where Darwin lived during the last 40 years of his life and where he wrote his major works. It is a lovely house, almost completely restored to the place Mr. Darwin used to live and work in. Certainly his study was very […]

Michael Parenti, The Assassination of Julius Caesar

July 17th, 2008  |  by  |  published in biografie, English texts, geschiedenis | Comments Off on Michael Parenti, The Assassination of Julius Caesar

Michael Parenti, The Assassination of Julius Caesar

The subtitle of this remarkable study — A people’s history of ancient Rome — already indicates the purport of it. Parenti isn’t overawed by the historical canon on Caesar and asks this simple question: “what did Caesar stand for that made a group of prominent senators want to kill him?” To answer this question Parenti […]



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