Who is This Man?

February 3, 2017

I had thought to take short rest from this. The news cycle had shifted the Supreme Court nomination, an issue that is predictable and so widely covered that I will let it go. But an item in yesterday’s Washington Post, front page, caught my attention. Trump, the Post reported, had had, on 28th January, an […]

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Judge Blocks Trump’s Order on Refugees

January 29, 2017

Judge Blocks Trump’s Order on Refugees is the lead story in The New York Times of January 28. It is an in depth and on-the-ground look at the consequences of Trump’s January 27 executive order barring people from certain specifically-named Muslim countries from entering the United States. The story, attached here as a live link, […]

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Day 5 of the Trump Presidency

January 25, 2017
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Democracy has tripped on itself; the people have been fooled; and the American Republic, that great experiment, is at risk. The Trump era begins. What can one do? Oppose, refuse, resist: it is hard to know which word best captures what has now become necessary. Perhaps the best thing, or the only thing, is to […]

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Paris: Irritations and Pleasures

December 10, 2013

On my first day back in the city after a spell in the US, I needed to take care of some banking business. French banking is bizarrely awkward. The place is over-banked, a bank on every corner it seems, but one cannot go to just any branch of your bank and, with the right account […]

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American Health Care vs French Healthcare 3

November 29, 2013

AMERICA HEALTH CARE FOLLIES With my finger tip, I could feel something on my back,  but I couldn’t see it. Since I had been out in the garden, in an area of New England where Lyme Disease is an issue, I thought that might be a tick. I had no friends around, so went to […]

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France and Food: America Compared

September 3, 2013

Forty years ago, when I still lived in the United States, I had a vegetable garden. I lived in the sun. I dug in the dirt and grew squash, sweet corn, tomatoes, lettuce, and peppers. Both the labor and the product gave me great pleasure. Every morning I went out to see how much damage […]

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Paris: The Man With the Blue Guitar

August 29, 2013

I am in the process of excavating the social, historical and architectural terrain where I live. I go to a different area of the city once a week, or more often if my other tasks release me.  I use Metro stops as my landmarks, much the way a geologist might use an distinctive outcrop of […]

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Proust: The Narrator Himself

August 29, 2013

Marcel lui meme   Yes, always Marcel, the central figure. The tyranny of Marcel’s neurosis  – his obsessive need to be accepted, to access worlds he imagines more perfect than his own, his fantasies concerning certain idealized people, as Mme Swann, – dominates this second book. Yet, however “weak” or “sickly” Marcel may appear to […]

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Proust: Hints of the “Accomplishment”

August 29, 2013

(midway through  “Within a Budding Grove”   as before,  overwhelmed by the scope of Proust’s ambition and by how successfully he is accomplishing it.  I use the present participle “accomplishing” because the narrative has not yet arrived at the conclusion, the “accomplishment” that I don’t yet know how to define. But I suspect that it […]

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Proust: Proustian Time

August 24, 2013

    There are dizzying time-warps. We begin with the author remembering, in extraordinary detail, the world of his childhood, Combray, the house of his grandmother, a lush orchestration of sights and smells, of people, particular incidents, 200 pages of it, and then, snap, we are fully and deeply into the story of M. Charles […]

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