IN THE REVIEW

The Umbrella, the Night World, and the Lonely Moon

Chronique des Sept Misères

by Patrick Chamoiseau

Solibo Magnifique

by Patrick Chamoiseau
A Legendary Meeting In 1941, on his way to exile in America, André Breton stopped in Martinique. First he was interned by the Vichy sympathizers then in power, then released a few days later. Walking around Fort-de-France, he went into a haberdasher’s, where he found an issue of a local …

‘Man Thinks, God Laughs’

The following was given as an address on receiving the Jerusalem Prize for Literature on the Freedom of Man in Society in May. That Israel’s most important prize is awarded to international literature is, to my mind, not a matter of chance but of a long tradition. Indeed, the great …

A Little History Lesson

There were five of them: Vítezslav Nezval, Jaroslav Seifert, Konstantin Biebl, Frantisek Halas, and Vladimír Holan Poets of the generation born with the century, the greatest constellation in the entire history of Czech poetry. Vladimír Holan was the first to go under. In 1948, after the Stalinist assault on him, …

The Novel and Europe

In 1935, three years before his death, Edmund Husserl gave his celebrated lectures in Vienna and Prague on the crisis of European humanity. For Husserl, “European” was not so much a term of geography (it could include America, for example) as a spiritual identity deriving from the philosophy of classical …

The Tragedy of Central Europe

In November 1956, the director of the Hungarian News Agency, shortly before his office was flattened by artillery fire, sent a telex to the entire world with a desperate message announcing that the Russian attack against Budapest had begun. The dispatch ended with these words: “We are going to die …

The Czech Wager

The Czech nation has participated in the history of the West for a very long time. It is old and at the same time it is very young, because it nearly disappeared under the intense Germanization which took place after the Thirty Years War, and it has reappeared for the …