Adonis Diaries

Posts Tagged ‘book review

Book review of Francoise Giroud

Posted on August 30, 2016

Une histoire de femme libre

Loise, Loita, Lou Salome (1861-1937). She was compared to George Sand, half a century ago, for a free lifestyle, though Sand had a richer gamut of emotions and engagement.

She could lead this kind of life because she received a monthly stipend from the Russian government due to her officer of a father.

Lou got close relationships with Nietzsche, Rainer Maria Rilke, Freud, Paul Ree, Heinrich Gillot, Zemek (Friedrich Pineless, a Danish neurologist who was 7 years younger)…

Before the age of 35, Lou never engaged in love making: She was anorexic, flat chested, and had probably bad experiences in physical contacts with her brothers and father (incest?).

After the age of 35, she got totally in sexual activities, mostly with younger men.

Zemek was the first man she shared sexual intercourse with and she confined to Ernst Pfeiffer at a late age: (Zemek) was the man she feels most ashamed of (the muddy routes of sensuality?)

She decided to marry Andreas, a professor of Oriental and Central languages at the university of Gottingen where she settle down till her death.

Each Spring, Lou would travel around Europe, tackled by Zemek, until he was sick and tired of carrying around her luggage while she had sweet eyes to the young boys.

She wrote: Natural love is based on the principle of infidelity (like many animals?)

Lou could Not dissociate love from spirituality: Sexual Love must be short and fugitive: Must be regenerated at each amorous fiesta.

She never had the courage to put in this world a human being: We had to be more than ourselves, a course of living that requires immense focus.

At the age of 50, she gets initiated to psycho-analysis around 1912.

She landed in Vienna in August 1912 in order to attend the Wednesday sessions of Freud disciples

Freud mentioned that that her stay in Vienna may have been the most exciting and fruitful period in her destiny.

Lou and Freud had frequent and lengthy correspondence for many years.  They started the trend of exchanging portraits.

She disagreed with Freud on the subject of narcissism.

She practiced psycho-analysis during and after the WWI in Russia and invested many hours treating soldiers of their trauma.

She adopted Marienchen, an illegitimate girl of her husband, and made her heritiere.

Her abundant correspondence and articles were Not translated from German.

Such as “Anal und sexual, 1916”, “Creation of God”, My life, Love of narcissism, Eros.

Fenitchka and Rodinka were translated.

Lou might have destroyed many lives (men committing suicide, like Victor Tausk, Paul Ree…) and laid waste to many marriages, but her company was stimulating.

Men felt larger in her presence and she delivered them from their strong personality, though she was never delivered herself from her personality

List of Book reviews in 2008

Posted on September 23, 2008

Many of the books that I have reviewed were written prior to 2008, before I discovered wordpress.com, and they might be categorized as controversial.  

At the time, I got the habit of writing my diary, on a computer that my nephew William assembled from scratch the parts from IBM. I used diskettes, Not many of them since most of my pieces were in words. Actually, I was using the software “Word”. I displaced the diskettes: In any case, my diary sounded like announcing the weather in Los Angeles “Will get back for an update next month”

It is not my job to fall into that trap of judging what is fine to read.  

I simply reviews,  summarizes, and add my comments of what I have read that express deep feeling and personal reflections.  

I always give my “expert” opinions anyway:  It is your right to express your opinion.

There are books that I had to publish several posts on particular chapters, simply because topics are interesting and need further development.

1) “Life after Life” by Dr. Raymond Moody, (written in June 7, 2004)

2) “A Priest among “Les Loubards”” by Guy Gilbert, (written in July 22, 2004)

3) “We the Living” by Ayn Rand, (written in July, 24, 2004)

4) “Prophesies of End of Time” by Paco Rabanne(November 15, 2004)

5) “Alexander the Great”, (November 20, 2004)

6) “The Lexus and the Olive Tree” by Thomas Friedman (July 28, 2006)

7) “Season of Migration to the North” by Tayeb Saleh, (August 10, 2006)

8) “The Princes of the Crazy Years” by Gilbert Gilleminault and Philippe Bernert.

9) “Carlos Ghosn: Citoyen du Monde” by Philippe Ries, (Septembre 27, 2006)

10) “Abbo”by Nabil Al Milhem, (November 23, 2006)

11) “Human Types; Essence and the Enneagram” by Suzan Zannos, (December 6, 2006)

12) “One hundred fallacies on the Middle East (ME)” by Fred Haliday, (March 2, 2007)

13) “Origins” by Amin Maaluf, February 15, 2007

14) “Imagined Masculinity” edited by Mai Ghoussoub and Emma Sinclair-Webb

15) “Post-modernism: the Arabs in a video snapshot” by Mai Ghoussoub,( March 4, 2007)

16) “The Joke” by Milan Kundera, (March 22, 2007)

17) “Fahrenheit 451” by Ray Bradbury, March 28, 2007

18)  “Biography” of In3am Ra3d, April 7, 2007

19)  “Al-Walid Bin Talal”, April 4, 2007

20) “The Gardens of Light” by Amin Maaluf, April 19, 2007

21) “Two old women” by Velma Wallis, May 1, 2007

22) “I heard the owl call my name” by Margaret Craven, May 3, 2007

23) “A woman of independent means” by Elizabeth Forsythe Hailey, May 6, 2007

24) “The Gospel according to Pilate” by Eric-Emmanuel Schmitt, May 9, 2007

25) “Les innovations du XXI siecle qui vont changer notre vie” by Eric de Riedmatten.

26) “Tuesdays with Morrie” by Mitch Albom, July 3, 2007

27) “Liban: le salut par la culture” by Phares Zoghbi, August 19, 2007

28) “Finding Joy” by Charlote Davis Kasl, August 22, 2007

29) “Tadjoura” by Jean Francois Deniau, Septembre 6, 2007

30) “How to dance forever” by Daniel Nagrin, September 8, 2007

31.  “The Second sex” by Simone de Beauvoir, (September 21, 2007)

32.  “A short history of nearly everything” by Bill Bryson, (September 25, 2007)

33.  “The God of mirrors” by Robert Reilly, (October 1st, 2007)

34.  “The tipping point” by Malcom Gladwell, (October 9, 2007)

35.  “The social structure of Lebanon: democracy or servitude?” by Safia Saadeh

October 15, 2007

36. “Fallaci interviews Fallaci and Apocalypse”, by Oriana Falaci (November 8, 2007)

37. “Aicha la bien-aime du Prophet” by Genevieve Chauvel (November 19, 2007)

38.  “Tess of the D’Urberville” Thomas Hardy, (December 19, 2007)

39. “Le livre des saviors” edited by Constantin von Barloewen (December 22, 2007)

40.  Gandhi’s non-violent resistance guidelines (February 21, 2008)

41. “The Da Vinci Code” by Dan Brown (March 12, 2008)

42. “La reine de Palmyre” by Denise Brahimi (March 26, 2007)

43. “Culture et resistance” by Edward W. Said (April 18, 2008)

44. “L’Avorton de Dieu; une vie de Saint Paul” by Alain Decaux (April 23, 2008)

45.  “Down and out in Paris and London” by George Orwell (July 14, 2008)

46. “Why the Arab World is not free?” by Moustapha Safouan (July 21, 2008)

47.  “Igino Giordani” by Jean-Marie Wallet and Tommaso Sorgi (August 5, 2008)

48.  “Building a durable World” in “Science et Vie” magazine special issue of June 2008 (August 10, 2008)

“Émile” by Jean Jacques Rousseau (Book Review, part 1)

Note 1: Rousseau cherche à développer et préserver l’Individualité des enfants face aux forces des institutions qui veulent se servire de la personne pour leurs intérêts. Développer la force de l’individu dès ses premières années c’est la responsabilité de la mère.

I am reading “Emile” by J. J. Rousseau , published in the 18th century. He was persecuted and forced to exile for many years. This universal and timely book is applicable to all societies as to the proper development of kids and their education in their early age.

Je propose les idées que les gens ne croient pas faisable, dont la vérité ou la fausseté impose a connaître, et qui font le bonheur ou le malheur du genre humain.

Pere et mere, ce qui est faisable est ce que vous voulez faire, repeter le mal qui existe? Dois-je répondre de votre volonté?

Les lois, toujours si occupées des biens et si peu des personnes, parce qu’ elles ont pour objet la paix et non la veritu, ne donnent pas assez d’autorité aux mères, surtout les veuves, pour élever leurs enfants.

Presque tout le premier age des enfants est maladive et danger. La moitie perit avant l’age de 8. Les epreuves faites, l’enfant a gagne les forces necessaire pour poursuivre la vie.

(Je crois que les enfants des “nobles” périssent en plus grand nombre parce que la mère ne les allaitent pas et ne les entretien pas la plupart des journées. Et l’enfant vit plutôt en solitude et ne sentent pas l’amour et la tendress de leur parents)

La nature n’est pas les habitudes: la seve de la plante redirige la direction de la plante quand les forces extérieures cessent de s’appliquer sur elle.

La mere a la responsabilité de former de bonne heure une enceinte autour de l’âme de son enfant (protection, l’amour, jugement et respect de la nature…) et poser les barrieres. La société en peut marquer le circuit (les prejuges, l’autorite, les institutions…) qui vont submerge l’enfant et étouffe en lui la nature qui tu lui as préservé comme une jeune pousse…

La mere prend soin de sa plante par la culture: les homme et les institutions par” l’éducation.”

Les gens ne se souviennent pas pas de leur enfance: ils cherchent toujours l’homme dans l’enfant et leur transmettent les savoir des hommes.

Tel s’est fait enterrer a 100 ans qui mourut dès sa naissance: il n’a jamais vécu et agit de toutes ses senses.

L’homme civil nait, vit et meurt dans l’esclavage des institutions: A sa naissance on the coud dans un maillot, a sa mort on le cloue dans une bière. Tant qu’il garde la figure humaine, il est enchaine par nos institutions.

Le vent de tous ses catégories et la mer de toutes ses forces sont naturelles: Prend garde, jeune pilote du vaisseau, que ton cable ne file et que ton ancre ne laboure pour ne pas dériver. C’est ça l’éducation fondamentale quand on est jeté dans la société a composantes variantes.

L’homme urbain est une unité fractionnaire qui tient au denominateur commun, les lois civiles qui s’appliquent a tous: Ôter son existence absolu pour creer une nature relative dans l’unite commun.

Les Guerres des Républiques sont plus cruelles que celles des monarchies. Pourtant, la vie en paix dans une monarchie (et ses classes d’elites) est terrible comme sujet et pas comme citoyens.

Le combat de l’humanité est entre élever un homme ou un citoyen. Dans les deux cas, la majorité silencieuse a manque aux deux choix et entrave le développement des droits des hommes et la coopération entre les genres, les races et la liberté d’expression.

Note 2: It might take me a long time to finish “Emile”: For each page I read, I feel pressured to fill another page of notes and comments.

A Book Review

Posted on October 25, 2008 (Written in July 22, 2004)

In this book, the author Guy Gilbert describes succinctly and directly about the streets, the violence, the police, the court trials, the prisons, the families that welcome some of these guys… 

It is a testimony of a French priest who lived in the 19th district of Paris. It is a district renowned for its high density of young delinquents, starting at age ten.

Almost 40% of that wretched youth is of North African descents: Algerians and Moroccans kids abandoned by their parents to the streets.

In certain quarters of Paris adolescents walk in bands. The band is actually the real family for its members:

Even after marriage, the visits of a member have priorities over family’s prerequisites. They help each others and take care of the worst case members. They wear tattoos of the children of the downcasts.

Each gang has its breathing domain that other gangs do not trespass. They refuse to talk about their folks to strangers.

It takes time to open up enough, even for a friend of theirs, to talk about their folks.

Their parents are generally traditional: 

They ask for formal, sophisticated and religious ceremonies, marriages and for baptizing their children. It is a way to seek values and roots in formal ceremonies.

A few replies of these delinquents may shed a better idea of their family’s problems.

One gang member found between two trash cans characterized the situation as:

“At least these trash cans don’t shout and know how to shut up”.

Six half brothers from six different fathers relentlessly compared their genes to discover a common denominators in their characteristics.

Living quarters with no widows, or windows facing walls, are good incentives for taking to the streets.

Alcoholic parents with a pattern of uninteresting jobs, long work hours, several hours spent for transport to work,,,, do not leave much time to care for kids. 

Kids stay late at night around clubs, pubs and drinking places until their parents are soundly asleep: 

They try to skip the regular physical violence and verbal abuses and hurts.

Kids would vanish for months, come in, and open the refrigerator,take a coca cola can and leave; no questions asked.

Guy Gilbert, the priest, lives in a room in the same locality of one gang. Guy rides a motorcycle, a Honda 500, and wears the black leather dresses of the gangs.

He is assisted by three salaried persons who manage a permanent center.

Only full time and salaried educators can succeed in this time consuming task:

Once a gang member receives a genuine listening ear, then he invariably becomes a monster hoarder of time for any assistant. 

Guy was ordained in Algeria during the Algerian revolution in 1965. He took care of a 12 years old who was forced by his parents to eat the leftovers of their dog and from the same dish.

It took a whole year for the kid to start talking and communicating.

A Priest Amidst “Les Loubards” (Continue 2, July 22, 2004) 

How a few of these welcoming families changed for the better after adopting a member, how they had to relocate so that they could welcome the visits of the gang’s members, the vacations of these groups of delinquents, around 130 boys and 20 girls,

The kind of work they prefer and how he goes about to helping them find jobs,the professional educators, the deaths of some of these guys, and the approaches he had to take in order to be accepted by the gangs as one of them.

Guy spent at first a lot of time in metros, the place of choice for the gathering of the guys.

He patiently studied their slang, their behaviors, their attitudes and movements. 

These gangs have the instincts of the savages:  they appreciate brute force,

They have sharp feelings about how they are perceived and they can’t read or write.

Their vocabulary is restricted to about 400 words at most.

Guy had to physically fight a leader of a gang to be inducted as one of theirs. He received many blows from newcomers and outside gang leaders.

Guy refused to take contributions after Sunday Masses from the parishioners because the guys sensed that the money was not meant for their cause.

He would ask the parishioners to drop by the permanent center for any monetary contributions.

Once people start befriending the gang members and listening to them, hardly any misdemeanors occur in the cooperating neighborhood.

Getting together to send letters and postcards to the imprisoned guys is a major task.  

Letters relieve the loneliness of the prisoners and strengthen the links of solidarity and loyalty among the gang members.

Prisoners would refer other lonelier prisoners to receive postcards.

Selecting committees for welcoming the discharged prisoners was taken seriously.

Fancy dinners with plenty of booze were meant for the released prisoner to regain a taste for life.

Vacations in winters and summers are joyously welcomed.

Trips to Morocco, the snow or at the provinces are expected; as long it is outside Paris.

The gang members hop in the old van and truck and off they go.

Most of them never saw the snow:

“When you see this glorious nature, your outlook to life changes somehow” said a guy.

In the Provence, they remodeled and rebuilt an old house on a farm.

A leader of the gang made it a habit to kick doors open; and he was disappointed to find no doors in the house. By the end of the three month-vacation, he installed doors.

He then warned the priest never to allow any member to kick his man-made doors.

Wells were cleaned from three generations of waste.

Windows were refurbished and a new roof installed.

Robert Reilly book: a review of Oscar Wilde

Posted on October 24, 2008 and review written on Oct. 1st, 2007.

This novel is about the productive period in the life of Oscar Wilde and I decided to review it for the pleasure of quoting Wilde’s witty pronouncements and to point to the fact that homosexuality was common in 19th century England, and wildly permeating society.

But when such cases reached trial, the culprits were severely punished to uphold the puritanical culture of England

Reilly said: “The many biographers have given the facts, but they left out the feelings.” (The context?)

I might as well start with a few witty sayings, believing that Wilde didn’t attach much philosophical truths or moral positions in them; he just liked arts and to write poetry even in prose and liked youth regardless of class standing as long as they were beautiful, carefree as long as they were not sensible.

At 29, Wilde was slender and handsome in his coat of emerald velvet, trousers tight, rich brown Russian leather boots, and pink cheeks.

He was married for two years and had a son Cyril.  

He was visiting Frances Richards, a handsome artist and she was painting the portrait of the forlorn young, blond, and beautiful Somerset.  “How was the country?” said Somerset plaintively.  Wilde replied: “Full of strange colored things.  Flowers, I believe they’re called”.

Frances had known Oscar for 5 years when he was callow, brash, and a bit crude. 

Frances said to Oscar: “You must be about thirty?”  Oscar replied: “I have scarce 28 summers.  I look older because I spent the entire morning removing a comma from a sentence”. Somerset said: “And how did you spend the afternoon?” Oscar said: “Putting it back”

Just then a cloud passed from before the sun and lemon light danced down over them.  Oscar whispered: “The moment! It is our duty to grasp at life, to seek out startling experience, to ever be on the lookout for a new, a truly new sensation”

The Irish Wilde acquired the essentially English voice with a purer strain. Oscar lighted a cigarette imported from Egypt and said: “It is only when I am deeply in debt that I can afford them (these cigarettes )” Turning to Somerset he said: “I suspect you must commit a great many sins.  It is the only way one ever keeps an air of innocence”

Robert Ross, a slender adolescent of seventeen and visiting from Canada, was peeking behind a door at Oscar.  “Frances, you are providing shelter for a ghost” said Oscar. 

Robert Ross has read all of Oscar works, even the first edition of “Vera”.  Oscar said: “With my works it is not first editions that are rare, but second ones

Oscar was a great connoisseur of North America.  Somerset said to Oscar: “Did you really tell the reporters in New York that the Atlantic was a disappointment?”  Oscar retorted: “I never intended to ruin the reputation of this poor ocean.  It seems no one will receive it anymore.  The nearest I got to Canada was Buffalo.  There was some intolerable noisy body of water nearby.” 

Ross said: “You saw Niagara!”  Oscar said: “American bride is brought there on her honeymoon.  Niagara is her first but not the keenest disappointment.  Niagara would be wonderful if the water didn’t fall”

Oscar told Frances: “Shall I ever conquer that harsh and golden city?  I have produced nothing in over a year except Cyril (his son).  I have done nothing since my marriage. Perhaps I am too happy to work”

He went on: “Between them, Shakespeare and Balzac, they have said everything worth saying. I am a little closer to my lifelong ambition to be the first well-dressed philosopher in the history of thought

Oscar went on looking at the picture of Somerset: “Youth, what a precious thing.  I would do anything to retain my youth.  The Greek gods, being jealous of Somerset’s beauty, bestowed on him that fatal combination: a tongue that works too readily and a mind that works not at all.  His portrait will remain ever silent but forever young.”  Frances was telling Oscar: “I never know when you’re being serious.” And Oscar to say: “When I’m joking, of course.”

Ross followed Oscar in the park because he wanted to speak to him very badly.  Wilde told Ross: “Not only do you bribe Frances to spy on me but now you are trailing me through London like an avenging angel.  You are relentless Mr. Ross. You are incorrigible.  You are unscrupulous. I think we are going to be great friends.”  They talked about Frances and Wilde said: “Before Frances can become a true artist, she is going to have to learn the subtle, tortuous art of being shallow.”

Ross told Oscar that he intended to write to him a letter of admiration because he considers his poems masterpieces. Oscar replied: “I never answer letters. I know of bright prospects who came to London and wound up wrecks in a month, simply from answering letters.”  Oscar gave Ross a ride in a Gurney cab since omnibuses should be reserved for the rich because they can endure discomfort.

The fog fell on London and Wilde said: “Fog transforms our shabby city into a composition by Claude Monet.  Without fog and smoke London would be recognized as the most dreadful spectacle by man.  The whole art of living is to ignore ugliness and heighten beauty.” 

Ross asked Oscar: “What is the wages of the exquisite sins of yours?” and Wilde to answer: “The only sin is boredom. We must be on the lookout for new temptations”

When the coach arrived at Ross place he asked Oscar to come in for a minute which he did and then Ross kissed him on the mouth in the dark.  Oscar was taken aback and refused Ross advancement and Ross said: “You said you were looking for new temptations. I never felt hated before”

Oscar felt pity for Robert’s pain and said: “We will forget this little incident.  There is lunch at the Café Royal any day you wish. My wife will understand my lateness and that is so much worse”.

Wilde would take Robert Ross on night tours to sections in London where policemen walked in pairs, past workhouses and coffee stalls, German beer shops, down dank alleys where every third house was a tavern with a name like the Black Cat or the Red Rat, filed with drunken men and women dancing round and round.  They drank strange concoctions and watched popular shows.  Once, Ross experienced tomfoolery in his Cambridge school and his colleagues made him commit the unpardonable sin.

Oscar took Ross to Paris to appease his anxiety and they met Sarah Bernhardt.  Sara had a black real jaguar (the mammal) in her palace and she was napping in a coffin.  Oscar adored Sara and when he reached the coffin he whispered: “Awake! For Morning in the Bowl of Night has flung the stone that puts the stars to flight”. 

Sara had a collection of portraits of her, painted by various artists, and Oscar brought her Marguerites, the flower that Sara loved best but didn’t include in her garden. Sara said: “I lost the person most important to me in the entire world.  I lost myself and I am dead, Oscar”

Wilde suggested that she find a new mask and fall in love.  Sara replied: “I am never out of love. Yet no one has loved me in return.  They just adore me.  In all my romances, there is always the sense of a curtain rising and falling. It is the same with you Oscar, you crave an audience”.

Oscar and his wife Constance visited a palm reader who predicted that Oscar will become famous and that he will also take an office job.  Shortly after, Oscar was offered the editorship of the “Lady’s World” and agreed on condition that the name of the magazine be changed to “Woman’s World” and his daily habits changed to a routine tempo, waking up late and coming home late.

Constance thought that a regular job would transform Wilde and drive out of his head some of his excessive ideas about Art and Beauty. 

Ross suggested a crime story where the palm reader predicted to a Gentleman that he would commit a murder.  In order to live a normal life, the Gentleman decided to kill the palm reader and get over with his anxiety.  Wilde story “Arthur Savile’s crime” was accepted by the “Court and Society Review”.

Constance shunned the many receptions and invitations that Wilde attended because he needed an audience all the time.  She stayed home and liked to design clothes and joined a religious sect that did charity in Africa. 

After Constance gave birth to Vyvyan, Oscar seemed utterly happy and he arranged to have a separate room in the attic to work at night. Oscar had “his genius to keep him company”.

Then, one lady member introduced Constance to another sect that dabbled into occultism; she started to believe that magic is not vague, foolish mumbo jumbo but scientific and precise; that the body is only the house of the soul and it has to yield up its debt to the future.

MacGregor was the leader of the Golden Dawn sect.  Constance visited MacGregor at his office and told him: “I want to be able to love my husband”.  MacGregor replied: “That is simple enough.  If you want to love him then love him! He cannot stop you”.  Constance said: “He won’t let me”.   Macgregor replied: “I’m afraid what you really want is for him to love you. You want to control him; every Adept struggles with the temptation of coveting power over what one loves. In this order we do not work ‘magic’ to elevate the initiates beyond the petty considerations of everyday life”

Then he told her in order to be initiated she will have to keep the secrets of the order and to swear total chastity.  Constance said: “I don’t think all your initiates are chaste”.  MacGregor guessed who Constance was referring to and said: “Miss Farr (a very beautiful girl) is a special case. Lovemaking for her is a form of self-mortification”.

Constance divulged to Oscar that chastity is required in the order and that if he has a tiny misgiving then she would not join the order. Wilde told her: “I dare not stand in your way.  I want you to fulfill yourself, my love.  A little chastity will be good for both of us“.

Constance was given tasks to do at home; she had to learn the Hebrew alphabet, the symbols of the Zodiac, the Tarot trumps, preparing a special corner in her house and setting on it salt in a dish, a triangle of black cardboard, a saucer of incense, and a rose, made a wand painting, one tip black and the other white.  Constance was assigned experiments trying to make a handkerchief rise, hypnotize her cat, and walk out of her body.

Wilde asked her to tell him all about what she is doing just to put this knowledge to the service of art.  He said: “A little hocus-pocus may help me with the novel I am trying to write”. The secret information were transformed and included in Wilde’s famous novel “Dorian Gray”.

Oscar and Ross were lovers for a long time until Oscar got a strong hit with his novel “Dorian Gray”. The story is about a picture portrait that disintegrate while Dorian remains young forever. Oscar had now many young followers or apostles but he is in love with a rich young guy of twenty one Lord Alfred Douglas, known as Bosie.  Bosie preferred not to have physical intercourses with Wilde in order to preserve their love which made Oscar to be constantly thinking of Bosie. 

When his play “The fan of lady Windermere” became a success, Oscar invited Bosie for a special preview just for him and Bosie insisted on having physical intercourse, though Oscar preferred not to.

Oscar invited both Ross and Bosie to attend a rehearsal of his French play “Salome” played by Sarah Bernhard in London. He told Ross: “Can you imagine what would happen if the English were to understand Salome in French?” 

Afterward, Bosie told Wilde that his male servant made forceful advances and is blackmailing him.  The lawyer of Wilde, George Lewis, told Bosie to pay up the 100 pounds that the blackmailer asked because no matter what the outcome in court, his name would be tainted forever and Wilde gave the lawyer the money to pay Bosie’s blackmailer.

A journalist from the Express asked Wilde: “It seems that your plays are about trivial people of the upper class people who are leading trivial lives.  Have you no interest in the drama of everyday existence?”  Wilde replied: “Everyday existence says very little to me. For example, if a journalist were to be run over that would not be of any dramatic significance.  Now, I am relying on you to misrepresent me

Oscar was utterly in love with Bosie even though he learned that Bosie was a rotten apple long before they met, even when Bosie slept with every young man that he liked, even when Bosie got him in endless trouble with blackmailers to retrieve the love letters he wrote to Bosie, even when Bosie relied on Oscar for his luxurious lifestyle, and even when Bosie’s father, the Marquess of Queensberry, went relentlessly after Oscar and sent him his card where he wrote: “Posing as a Sodomite”

Wilde sued the Marquess for libel and Oscar’s friends advised him to drop the case, go abroad and write a letter to the Times to that effect.  Wilde knew this was the wiser venue to drop the case, especially when he realized that the Marquess had built a substantial file that could damage the reputation of Wilde as a seducer of male youths.

However, Wilde let the case take its course thinking loudly:

“There is something about the whole thing so perfect.  So beautifully crafted-like a superb play. Only, who is doing the crafting? Your father Bosie is but a character in the drama.  As I am.  As you are.  No, it is a work fashioned by a master artist.  Don’t you feel the hand of gods at work? Think of all they have granted me: A delightful, amusing life.  Money.  Success in my work.  Two adorable children.  My wife Connie and you.  The gods have given me so many triumphs.  Are they going to take it al back?”

The case went to trial and Oscar tried his humor and wit and wearing a carnation.  Soon, after a couple of cross examinations Wilde decided on the suggestion of his lawyer to drop the case.  The attorney general prosecuted Wilde and locked him for a month in jail awaiting trial on several charges of indecent behavior with youth half his age. 

Oscar was allowed only one visitor per day and saw only Bosie when he showed up. The jury could not reach a decision and Wilde was set free pending a second trial. 

No hotels permitted Wilde to set foot in and all his belongings were sold on auction to cover the cost of the trials; he ended up living with his mother who had moved to a smaller apartment.

Several people urged Oscar to flee to France but his mother refused and insisted that he take a stand as an Irish

The second trial handed Oscar two years prison with hard labor; Bosie fled to Italy and never sent him a letter to prison. Wilde was to receive only two letters per month and the rest were to be accumulated until he is liberated; he selected Ross’ letters because he gave details on his family.

The first few months were nasty and Oscar was feeling excessively reduced as a human being until he was ordered to work on the garden and allowed to write and read.  

His mother died in her sleep and Constance came to announce the news, though Wilde had just dreamt of his mother in black.  Constance moved to Switzerland with the children. Oscar emerged slim, in good health, and athletic.

Ross meets Oscar at Berneval, a sea town near Dieppe in France. Oscar is living on allowances sent to him by his wife Constance and he writes to Constance to move to Switzerland but her replies are not warm. 

Bosie writes to Wilde and wants to see him again.  Finally, Oscar succumbs and rejoins Bosie in Rouen and from there to Naples in Italy. They are living on the allowance of Bosie’s mother. 

Wilde is writing a ballad titled “Ballade of Reading Gaol”, the prison where he spent his term, and is assured to be published.  Bosie resents Oscar because he is not capable of producing poems that are publishable and Bosie leaves to London. 

Oscar moves to Paris and roam the streets; Constance allowances arrive on time but they are not sufficient to sustain Wilde’s luxurious tastes for good food in expensive restaurants and Champaign.

Constance dies under a back operation after she was paralyzed. 

Wilde visits his wife’s tomb in Genoa and her stone reads Constance Mary Lloyd and Oscar weeps harsh thick tears because she had not yet begun to live, had never a chance to learn what life was and she had been cheated. By life and by him! 

Oscar visit Sara Bernhardt in Nice and they lament growing old, ruined clowns “the audience raising them high and then casting them down. The actors are the glory and the shame of the average individuals”

Bosie inherited 15,000 pounds from his father and moved to Paris.  Oscar was going through the miseries of being penniless and asked Bosie that his family owe him a debt of honor because Lady Queensberry had promised to cover the expenses of the trials; the money you inherited is mine.  Bosie got furious and left the restaurant.

Oscar was seeing a young Irish Catholic priest in Paris for conversion.

While he was dying he told Ross “When the trumpets blast in the judgment day I will turn to you and say: “Robbie dearest, let’s pretend we do not hear””

Wilde died a Catholic in a poor hotel room surrounded by Ross and the priest.

Oscar Wilde was barely over 50. The book never mentioned what Oscar said before he died: “Either the curtain opens or I shall leave!”

A few other Wilde quips:

Lady Effingham was quite altered by her husband’s death.  She looked twenty years younger.  In fact her hair has turned quite gold from grief.”

“In married life, three’s company, two’s a crowd.”

“I like to carry my diary when I travel; one should always have something sensational to read in the train.”

Ignorance is like an exotic fruit; touch it and the bloom is gone.”

“Novels that end happily invariably leave one feeling depressed.”

“If one tells the truth, one is sure, sooner or later, to be found out.”

Wickedness is a myth invented by good people to account for the curious attractiveness of others.”

“The realization of oneself is the prime aim of life; realizing this aim through pleasure is finer than to do so through pain.”

“The most beautiful History of Man”

Apparently, we are not permitted to look at our ancestors, 100,000 years ago, with condescendence:

we are the same in nature, in heredity, in intelligence, in behavior, in mode of life, in our imaginary,…

We have the same identity and we didn’t change much from prehistorical mankind, before he moved up one step in the ladder toward settling down in urban centers (the neolitic phase, 10,000 years ago)

Note: “The most beautiful History of Man” is a French book, a collection of three interviews with Andre Langaney, Jean Clottes, Jean Guilaine, and Dominique Simonnet…

Note 2: https://adonis49.wordpress.com/2011/05/21/part-3-how-living-organisms-were-created%e2%80%9c-from-a-short-history-of-nearly-everything%e2%80%9d-by-bill-bryson/

How Neoliberal expatriate Contractor Class is managing the contracted national debt in Lebanon?

How neoliberalism is applied in your country?

Neoliberalism is not a difficult concept to comprehand: Just observe its applications and consequences on your survival instinct.

The best way to understand neolibralism in the western developed nations is to witness how developing States are applying it.

Particularly, new small States recognized in the UN that were under direct mandated powers for many decades, and now are appeasing their former “masters” in order to enrich the oligarchy ruling class these under-developped “nations” are sustaining.

How neoliberalism is applied in Lebanon?

Together with the governor of the Central Bank and the Prime Minister, the minister of Finance is a crucial player in the management of government debt.

From 1992, late Rafik Hariri PM, and later the Hariri clan hoarded the control of these three institutions.

The policy adopted in 1993 pegged the Lebanese currency to the US dollar. What that means?

The State borrows on behalf of the government large sums of loans that are not needed to finance the deficit.

The borrowing mechanism is basically a political decision to get the State tightly linked to outside multinational financial institutions… Institutions that the ruling class has invested in and wants to generate quick profit in this globalization era… at the expense of the people they claim to work for their benefit…

This scheme drove up the demand for the Lebanese currency, raised the interest rates on government debt, and high interest returns for depositors (reaching 30% at determined periods as the Future Movement spread the words among its elite class to deposit) and the new expatriate Contractor wealthy class of billionnaires…

Leading the country into a dept trap.

A debt ever increasing ($60 bn) and absorbing a third of the government budget, every year since 1992.

Servicing the interest of the debt has one purpose: Keeping the new neoliberal Contractors class in control of the management of the financial and economic institutions.

The main benefiaciaries were commercial banks and their wealthy depositors: Lebanon financial and economic elite classes (new expatriate contractors, warlords, oligarchic politicians…) have the necessary savings to invest in government debt instruments.

The notion of neoliberalism is that, as long as the government maintains the confidence of the elite classes in the soundness of the financial policy, the situation can remain in control, precariously in control, and relying mainly on foreign support for the policy.

The IMF working paper from 2008 mentions that the continuous rollover of Lebanon debt depends on an “implicit guarantor” from donors and international financial institutions.

And who is the main donor guarantor? It is Saudi Arabia absolute wahhabi monarchy.

This Saudi Kingdom

1.  Bought up Lebanon government bonds when investors refused to buy the bonds

2. It provided the largest chunk of concessionary loans at Paris 2 donor conference in 2002, and Paris 3 in 2007

3. It transfered One $bn to the central bank during Israel preemptive war in June 2006.

Consequently, the governor of the central bank, PM and finance minister must satisfy Saudi Arabia confidence!

The Hariri clan main objective was to deepen neoliberal economic “reforms”.

Former Fouad Seniora PM reiterated the neoliberal program, including privatization of State-controlled entities, welfare “reforms“, politically aimed at curtailing patronage opportunities of political rivals to the Future Movement…

However, Seniora could not pull off his wishes of abolishing the Council of the South (a Box of money controlled by Parliament chairman and worlord Nabih Berri) or the Central Fund for the Displaced “sandouk al mouhajjareen” (controlled by the Druze warlord Walid Jumblatt)

For over two decades, the Hariri clan attached a dozen public institutions to the Prime Minister, controlled the municipality of Beirut, extendit building permits to its elites and the foreign investors and dropping any resistrictions when convenient, assigning public contracts to the “Future Elite contractors” and entrepreneurs at manyfold the proper cost, extending their hold on Solidere for 75 years, never accounting for the bids on Sukleen which collect waste in Beirut at $100 per ton while costing $30 in Zahle for example…

The current “national debt” has skyrocketed to reach $70 bn, even after 2 decades of paying high interest rates. In addition to funding the warlord “reconstruction chests”, part of the loans were used to paying the tribute to the Syrian oligarchy, since lebanon was under Syria mandated power till 2005.

Mind you that Syria, after 2001, began a neoliberal policy for its oligarchic elite class, and privatizing new public institutions such as the mobile telecommunication and oil extraction and grandiose Real Estates development in Aleppo, Homs and Damascus…

Note 1: The oil boom increased the number of Lebanese workers in the Arab Gulf Emirates and Saudi Arabia within a decade from just 50,000 in 1970 to well over 210,000 in 1980, or one third of Lebanon work force.

Note 2: Post inspired from two chapters written by Fabrice Balanche and Hannes Baumann in the book “Lebanon after the Cedar Revolution

Note 3: A wealthy international neoliberal club requires from its members to extract profit from their own country, as a proof of allegiance to global neoliberalism, in order to facilitate the infusion of unwarrented loans to their corresponding State.

Have you witnessed that almost all current prime ministers, finance ministers and governors of central banks in Europe, the USA and many other countries were “employees” at the IMF, the World Bank , World Commerce institutions and international financial corporations?

Note 4: Basically, the expatriate billionnaire contractors initially got the blessing of the former civil war warlords (Nabih Berri, Walid Jumblatt, Samir Jagea… supported by Syria, Saudi Arabia and the US neoliberal financial institutions) who were brought back to power, and then managed their financial porfolio and financed the election campaigns as political allies…

Doppelganger? Or what promise of exclusive love does to you…

Do you believe in magic? Like the possibility of your shadow gaining autonomous existence and turning against you?

It was 1915 in Berlin. Hermann Blocklin is a master clock maker, and a perfectionist who decided to build the most exacting universal watch.

Andreas Corelli is a mysterious client who wants his watch to turn counter clockwise. Why?

Corelli’s time is counted: He is terminally ill and wants to to observe how much time is left for him on earth.

Lots of gold coins convinced Blocklin to pour in his soul on the fabrication of this special order clock. Two weeks later, Corelli is satisfied with his order.

The next morning, the miror is reflecting an older Hermann. The energy and power of Hermann are fainting quickly by the hours.

Hermann is about to lose his mind in terror when Andreas shows up and reminded Hermann that the body cannot stay young when the soul is gone: Hermann body must show signs of getting older, unless Hermann promise Andreas to extend him a favor.

“I’ll offer you back your youth in exchange of handing me your useless shadow” And a deal is struck.

Andreas captures the shadow of Hermann in a perfume bottle and close it tightly.

The watch instantly reversed its course and started running clockwise.

The next day, Hermann is getting much younger, but he found his adored cat hanging from the lamp string, all his furniture torn apart, and all his working equipment destroyed…

And Hermann saw an obscure reflexion of himself, diabolically observing him: Hermann’s shadow has turned against him.

For the next 25 days, a murder was committed every day, and witnesses claimed that they saw Hermann in the vicinity of the crime scene.

Hermann was in jail, and yet, the crime victims continued unabatted. It could not be Hermann, but Hermann knew better what was happening.

On jan. 12, 1916, Hermann was found dead in his cell with a dagger in his heart, and the crime strings stopped completely.

Did Hermasnn committed suicide to end the fatalities?

Did the shadow lost it and forgot that its existence depends on its master’s body.

The shadow cannot survive his master’s death.

Is that what happens when you promise a person exclusive love? Being the shadow of the other person?

Is that what is referred to as soul mate?

Or an entity pressuring you to promise exclusive love?

Note: This gothic story was taken from “The lights of September” by Cartlos Ruiz Zafon.

“Are you sure, comrade Aliide”?

The interrogator asks Aliide:” Where is Hans”? (the husband of her older sister Engel and an Estonian nationalist)

Aliide: “Hans is dead. Killed by roaming gangs in the forest…”

Are you sure, comrade Aliide?”

“Hans is dead”

The tchekist (Soviet security agent) said: “I have done all that is possible to help you. I can do nothing now”

Those people in long chromed leather boots and leather black coats attached the hands of Aliide behind her back, and dropped a jute bag over her head.

She could see nothing. Water dripped on the floor of the cave beneath the municipality. The odor of the humid cave spilled out the door.

Aliide shirt was torn apart and her chest bared. She was transformed into a mouse in a corner, a fly on a lamp, a rusty thumbtacks on the wall..

Blood under the skin of her chest, the hematoma of her tits were inflated. As the skin of the naked woman touched the floor, she didn’t move. This body with a bag over her head was now a stranger, she never existed, she was a root going deeper under the soil.

Aliide was spit on the leg of the table, by a hole for termites. She was a mole digging away. The courtyard smelt of rain and wind, the humid dirt breathed. The head of Aliide was dipped in a trash bucket.

She was being sniffed by dogs, urinated at… And somewhere you could smell brandy, guess the chromed boots… Somewhere people were mixing the languages of Estonia and Russia, rotten tongued whistling…

The buckle of a belt jingling, a door opening, a glass resounding, a chair scratching the floor…

Aliide was a fly, trying to escape in her mind, but this woman is emitting a moan, a death rattle in a spasm. The bag smelt of vomit, smelt of urine…

The door banged: “It stinks. Get her out”

Aliide is in a ditch. Shortly the sun will be up: She has to drag her sore body home, before anybody see her and recognizes her. She had no socks on.

Her older sister Engel will never forgive her for bearing her legs, no decent woman should show her naked legs…

As Aliide is readying to take a hot bath, she ordered Engel to burn all her clothes.

“They will be back. We have got to be leaving…”

And they were back the next morning: They behaved as the masters of this home, and the 3 women were taken back to the municipality. Aliide was ordered to handle the torture of her 7 year-old niece Linda.

Aliide was to grab the hot lamp dangling in the middle of the table, approach it and burn the pussy of Linda…

Aliide did it. The three women didn’t talk.

Aliide had arranged to hide Hans in a tiny storage room: She would do anything to keep Hans close by, all for herself, not for her sister Engel (the couple was in deep love) or Hans’s daughter Linda.

Aliide waited all her life to hear someone tell her “It was not your fault if you were tortured…”

Aliide waited all her life for someone to do anything to take off a tiny weight off her chest and who would promise her: “Not again. Never again

But Aliide knew that no one would come to her rescue: She could never confide to anyone of what happened to her in the cave in the municipality.

Aliide husband was a staunch dedicated communist among the provincial high echelons, and he cared for Aliide and his daughter Trava.

Aliide never cared for Martin but marriage secured a life of a normal woman and a few amenities.  Aliide had to play the good wife to remain in her house and be near Hans: Who but her could care for Hans as she managed to purge and send Ingel and Linda to Siberia?

And Martin died, and Estonia is back an independent State, and the former “communists” are harassed.

Liide is destroying and burning all traces of the communist period.

And she discovers in a secret drawer of Martin tiny objects, like the brooch of her sister Ingel. Did martin participate in the torture and raping of Ingel or Linda? Aliide married Martin because she was pretty sure that she never heard his voice as she was herself tortured…

Aliide also found the gold watch of a neighbor who was absolved of treason, but rumors spread that he agreed to have his girl raped for an entire night: The girl eventually committed suicide, and nobody knew the reason…

Aliide spent her life avoiding those who were tortured like her: She could recognize these women from their eyes and gaits, and she kept a distance from them, lest Aliide’s secret is compromised.

“Are you sure, comrade Aliide”? was the sentence that harassed her daily life, at every occasion she noticed a potential torturer. (Read note 3 for the entire story)

Note 1: The fiction character Hans Pekk was an Estonian nationalist who resisted the Russians when they occupied Estonia in 1939. He joined Nazi Germany army in 1941 when they entered Estonia on their way to invade Russia. He joined the Finish army as Russia reoccupied Estonia in 1944 and infiltrated to be part of the resistance with the “Brothers of the Forest”

Note 2: An extract from the book “Purge” by Sofi Oksanen

Note 3: The previous review of the Purge https://adonis49.wordpress.com/2013/02/10/i-wont-go-to-tallinn-ingel-would-have-added-more-salt-to-the-sauce-book-review/

Complicating the Class-Divide: New Contractor Bourgeoisie in Lebanon Politics: Rafik Hariri clan, Najib Mikati, Muhammad Safadi, and Issam Fares…

Before the civil war (1975-1989), Lebanon was ruled and controlled by the “comprador” bourgeoisie class (importing from developed nations and selling to the regional States) and their attached commercial/financial banks who manipulated the feudal/tribal/sectarian structure of Lebanon political.social landscape.

During the civil war, Lebanese immigrated in trove to greener pastures and left the space to the sectarian warlords militias leaders. The warlord leaders split the country into sectarian cantons, displacing, transferring and remodeling the mixed communities into “cleansing” de facto closed societies.

The moslem Sunnis preferred to migrate to the new Arab Gulf Emirates and Saudi Arabia. A third of Lebanon work force migrated there within a decade: from 50,000 in 1970 to over 210,000 in 1980. Those struck wealth were in contracting civil work, basically working as subcontractors to Emirs and princes who had the proper connections.

Late Rafik Hariri PM, Najib Mikati PM, finance minister Muhammad Safadi, and vice PM Issam Fares were among these new contractor bourgeois…

The Moslem Shia migrated mostly to west Africa where they joined relatives and struck wealth through adventurous trade deals.

The Christians immigrated to the US and Europe for higher education, and most of them never contemplated to return home to settle. Why?

Most opportunities after the war were allocated to the Moslems, particularly the educated Sunnis who filled the vacant institutions, managed and administered foundations of the new breed of contractors, public civil work, and controlled side institutions attached to the Sunni prime minister

For example, the Council for Development and Reconstruction (CDR),  communication ministry, internal police force in Beirut, internal intelligence gathering section, Solidere, Sukleen, appointing the governor of the Central Bank and the minister of finance…

This new landscape was an immediate result of the Taif Constitution that expanded the political strength of the Prime Minister at the expense of the President of the Republic.

The business-politicians and neoliberal technocrats in the Future movement network of Rafik Hariri constituted a force for neoliberal “reforms” that appeased the US administration as to the financial policy direction of  the State of Lebanon.

The Hariri clan network had three main purposes:

1. Privatizing State-controlled entities by acquiring them for cheap since they had the liquidity and were backed by Saudi Arabia, and

2. Pegging the Lebanese currency to the US dollar in order to incur far more debt than necessary on the government and insuring total control of the financial condition, mainly to blackmail their rival political leaders into  difficult situation that only the Future movement of Hariri can untangle this volatile condition… (More details in a follow-up article “Applying neoliberal mechanism on Lebanon”)

3. Controlling the city center of Beirut through the chartered company Solidere

For over 2 decades, the Hariri clan were given the financial responsibilities through appointing the governor of the Central Bank, the minister of finance, and controlling the municipality of the Capital Beirut.

After the civil war, Rafik Hariri filled the vacuum of the Sunni leadership, thanks to the total backing of Saudi Arabia, which was the main loan guarantor for the infusion of international lending multinationals. The Hariri network of clientelists and media empires (TV and dailies) strengthened their electoral votes in the Sunni communities.

The Hariri clan was successful in 3 dimensions:

1. Reaching political offices like Prime minister, ministers, deputies, governors of public institutions…

2. Gaining control of public institutions to further their economic agenda, especially creating and controlling side institutions directly linked and attached to the PM

3. Gathering popular following, particularly among the Sunni community, the Druze and a few Christian parties

Saad Hariri, son of Rafik, monopolized the Sunni political leadership and contributed to the widening rift between Sunnis and Shiaas.

Najib Mikati PM and Muhammad Safadi had to climb a stiff road for claiming a political representation of the Sunni communities. Particularly, that the Future movement allied with the Sunni conservative and extremist Moslems like Lebanese Moslem Brotherhood, the extremist jihaddist wahhabi, the A7bash, the Jund al Sham, the Jamaa al Islamiyya

In fact, it was the Future party that financed and covered the many “terrorist” activities of these fringe Sunni organizations, such as in the Sirat Donnieh, the Palestinian camp of Ain Bared, the massacre committed in Halba, and lately what is happening in the large town of Ersal, confronting the army.

The new neoliberal Contractor class is a level added in class interpretation of Lebanon political structure.

How this new Contractor class acquired its wealth in the billion? (To be followed)

Note: From a chapter by Hannes Baumann in “Lebanon after the Cedar Revolution” by Are Knudsen and Michael Kerr.


adonis49

adonis49

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