Adonis Diaries

Posts Tagged ‘“Instantaneous Expediencies”

Critique of Amine Maalouf’s “A World Adrift” (May 10, 2009)

 

I read all of Maalouf’s 11 books in their original language French. I have already published eight posts with themes inspired from “Le Dereglement du Monde” (A World Adrift) with expansion and re-arrangement for logical flow and in a different style; for example “China and India Empires”, “Instantaneous Expediencies”, “Minorities in the Process of Disappearing: Iraq Case”, “Misleading Legitimacies”, “Imaginary Certitudes”, “A Way out of History”, “Move Inland, Son”, and “Three Global Temptations”

. I have already reviewed at least three of Amine Maalouf’s books; in addition to “A World Adrift”, I reviewed “Origins” and extensively reviewed “The Garden of Light”.

            Amine Maalouf is from Lebanon by origin and settled in France during the civil war and has been a French citizen for 30 years; he received many book awards and acclaims of the highest honors from the French Academy of Literature.

            My critiques are mainly focused on the style of his latest book.  I had the visceral impression that Maalouf is an “imprisoned westernized academics” that has to prove at every turn that he is a western mind and thus, he has to insist on introspective paragraphs to settle his credibility as an impartial author who obeys the cretirion and restrictions of western demands on acceptability.  I admit, if I were not a Levantine and fluent in French, I would have been lost and given up on finishing the book.

            I was frustrated that Maalouf had to persist in almost every page that he is no scientist or has no scientif credentials to confirm that the climate is changing because of the over concentration of CO2 in the atmosphere.  He had to fall back on Pascal’s logic that the remedies for reducing CO2 are beneficial to earth climate even if this gas turns out not to be the culprit.  All the western nations have been substituting CO2 emiting generators and vehicles with “clean” energy technologies for decades and they were not waiting for Maalouf’s Pascal logic to confirm the obvious in action.  Maalouf has the intelligence and references and he did his research and he didn’t need to ruin a good chapter with convoluted excuses on his scientific shotcomings.or credentials.  The reading becomes pretty boring unless Maalouf is trying implicitely to give literature a higher standard than sciences in human progress.

            My example of clear style is that section on “Three Global Temptations”: it stated the dilemma and the resolution with a supportive practical story in a Levantine style. The fundamental global problems are established and they need to be read as a Bible for human future survival.  That is what most people read and how they assimilate critical urgencies in ideas, the Levantine Bible style.

I stated in a previous post that “The Levantine style (basically the style of the Bibles) is characterized by direct pronouncements expressing feeling and describing what is seen, heard, and assimilated.  The sentences are not encumbered by prefixes such as “I think”, “I believe”, “I am not sure”, “It is possible”, “There might be other versions”, “I might be wrong”, or “It is my opinion”, or what the western writers have adopted from the Greek “rational” style.  The style in the Levant sounds confident, categorical, and conveying the total truth though it does not mean that the people cannot discriminate or feel the variations, possibilities, and uncertainties.  The writers in the Levant simply feel that all these attachments are redundant since it is a fact of life that nothing is categorical or certain; thus, superfluous additions that disturb the flow of thoughts and ideas that need to be conveyed are not appreciated.  Consequently, the author feels that the western readers of the Bible should tone down their uneasiness with “outrageous” direct and assured pronouncements in the Bibles.”

 

I claim that if you still need to add superfluous corrective, introspective, or “diplomatic” paragraphs then you might as well warn your readers that the piece is still in the draft stage, that you are still ruminating and reflecting, that you are still in the stage of talking to yourself, and that you need your readers to help you out finish the article.  It is my position that when you are ready to publish then you should adopt the Levantine affirmative style, the style that confirm to your readers that you have thoroughly thought out your topic, that you have written several drafts, that you have regurgitated your positions in many scarp papers, and that all you need from your readers is their alternative opinions, positions, and their own personal experiences to round up the topic.

            I recommend for the next edition that Amine Malouf add an introductory introspective chapter and then let the ideas and arguments flow un-interrupted. He may as well add a brief introspection to the beginning of a chapter that reflects his shortcoming that are relevant to the chapter (for example scientific credentials) and permit the reader to focus on the topic.

            If Maalouf fails to re-edit his manuscript then I would be forced to re-write it under the title “The Bible of Global Problems: Global Resolutions”

 

 

 

 Malouf add an introductory introspective chapter and then let the ideas and arguments flow un-interrupted. He may as well add a brief introspection to the beginning of a chapter that reflects his shortcoming that are relevant to the chapter (for example scientific credentials) and permit the reader to focus on the topic. If Maalouf fails to re-edit his manuscript then I would be forced to re-write it under the title “The Bible of Global Problems: Global Resolutions” heir own personal experiences to round up the topic. I recommend for the next edition that Amine Malouf add an introductory introspective chapter and then let the ideas and arguments flow un-interrupted. He may as well add a brief introspection to the beginning of a chapter that reflects his shortcoming that are relevant to the chapter (for example scientific credentials) and permit the reader to focus on the topic. If Maalouf fails to re-edit his manuscript then I would be forced to re-write it under the title “The Bible of Global Problems: Global Resolutions”

“Instantaneous Expediencies” (April 30, 2009)

 

            We are experiencing a form of policies in the developed nations that is emulating the urges of its citizens for Instantaneous Expediencies related to desires, wishes, demands, acquisition, communication, gathering of intelligence, information, orders, and delivery around the world.  Our current development is characterized by accelerated paces in sciences, technologies, and communication, and delivery of our wishes either through the net, the phone, or airplanes within days if not seconds. If we understand that human history progressed in major three phases of change and dissemination of intelligence of the changes in science, technologies, social and political organization, traditions, and cultures then we might grasp our current problems and how to find common denominators for resolutions.

 

            There was a time when dissemination of information among the tribes was very slow and the changes taking place among tribes were even slower so that the world was at peace of rivalries and greed.  The next phase of settled communities in urban and agricultural regions experienced accelerated changes in many ways of progress but the dissemination of this intelligence was very slow and the identities of each region developed through traditions, customs, and myths.  By the 16th century and as the Portuguese and Spanish circumnavigated the oceans and discovered many maritime routes for trade and exploitation and met with various ethic groups then the third phase of human development occurred.  This third phase was characterized by the dissemination of ideas, sciences, and know-how progressed at a higher pace than the actual social and political changes in the European nations and thus, the world communities exhibited some kind of generalized uniformity in dwelling designs and forms of political and social organizations and structure.

 

            The world is faced with a bunch of catastrophic problems from financial and economical difficulties, to environmental disasters that will not spare the next generation, to the emergence of potential superpowers with larger middle classes that can afford and demand all the consumer goods that the west has enjoyed for over a century, and to extremism in religions and nationalism to name just a few.  All these cataclysmic problems require global resolutions but solutions and decisions are done on national basis as Amine Maluf stated in “A World Adrift”

 

            After the disintegration of the communist Soviet Union in 1989 Europe and particularly the US realized that they could dominate the World economically and militarily.  By 2001, the US Bush Junior administration of neo-conservatives could no longer resist to test the notion of Instantaneous Expediencies.  The US administration had the urge to put in practice its power of perceived world police force.  In no times, the administration delivered its summons to the European Union and the UN to adhere to the US plans of invading Iraq.  The material potentials were there but the moral value and culture of the US administration were fidgeted in another era of staunch nationalism and religious zealotry.

 

William Carlos Williams (1883-1963) wrote “Man has survived because he was too ignorant to know how to realize his wishes (desires).  Now that he can realize his wishes, then he must either change them or perish”.

“Instantaneous Expediencies” (April 29, 2009)

 

 We are experiencing a form of policies in the developed nations that is emulating the urges of its citizens for Instantaneous Expediencies related to desires, wishes, demands, acquisition, communication, gathering of intelligence, information, orders, and delivery around the world. 

Our current development is characterized by accelerated paces in sciences, technologies, and communication, and delivery of our wishes either through the net, the phone, or airplanes within days if not seconds.

If we understand that human history progressed in major three phases of change and dissemination of intelligence of the changes in science, technologies, social and political organization, traditions, and cultures then we might grasp our current problems and how to find common denominators for resolutions.

 

There was a time when dissemination of information among the tribes was very slow and the changes taking place among tribes were even slower so that the world was at peace of rivalries and greed. 

The next phase of settled communities in urban and agricultural regions experienced accelerated changes in many ways of progress but the dissemination of this intelligence was very slow and the identities of each region developed through traditions, customs, and myths. 

By the 16th century and as the Portuguese and Spanish circumnavigated the oceans and discovered many maritime routes for trade and exploitation and met with various ethic groups then the third phase of human development occurred. 

This third phase was characterized by the dissemination of ideas, sciences, and know-how progressed at a higher pace than the actual social and political changes in the European nations and thus, the world communities exhibited some kind of generalized uniformity in dwelling designs and forms of political and social organizations and structure.

 

The world is faced with a bunch of catastrophic problems from financial and economical difficulties, to environmental disasters that will not spare the next generation, to the emergence of potential superpowers with larger middle classes that can afford and demand all the consumer goods that the west has enjoyed for over a century, and to extremism in religions and nationalism to name just a few. 

All these cataclysmic problems require global resolutions but solutions and decisions are done on national basis as Amine Maluf stated in “A World Adrift

 

After the disintegration of the communist Soviet Union in 1989, Europe and particularly the US realized that they could dominate the World economically and militarily. 

By 2001, the US Bush Junior administration of neo-conservatives could no longer resist to test the notion of Instantaneous Expediencies

The US administration had the urge to put in practice its power of perceived world police force.  In no times, the administration delivered its summons to the European Union and the UN to adhere to the US plans of invading Iraq.  The material potentials were there but the moral value and culture of the US administration were fidgeted in another era of staunch nationalism and religious zealotry.

William Carlos Williams (1883-1963) wrote “Man has survived because he was too ignorant to know how to realize his wishes (desires).  Now that he can realize his wishes, then he must either change them or perish“.


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