Monthly Archives: September 2006

My Maternal Grandparents

Charlie and Evelyn

Because I know how much my mother misses her father, especially today, I am posting this picture of my maternal grandparents.

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International Organizations

Dilbert: The United Nations

Just how ridiculously inefficient and disfunctional are International Organizations like the United Nations and the World Bank? You can either read Albert Cohen’s novel Belle du Seigneur (which is about 1000 pages) to find out, or you can simply read this comic strip. Thanks to Fadi for the heads up.

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Noruwei no Mori

Klimt: Beethoven Frieze

After having just finished reading Catch-22 on Sunday and two other excellent books this summer, I was desparately in search of something new to read. Last year, I finally got myself around to reading Stendhal’s The Red and the Black and absolutely loved it. Thus, on Sunday evening, I pulled out my copy of The Charterhouse of Parma. Twenty pages later, it just wasn’t happening for me, so I decided to leave it for some future date. I then turned to one of my alltime favorites, Norwegian Wood by Haruki Murakami (of whom I have written about previously). Norwegian Wood gets its name from the Beatles’ song of the same title, and is one of those stories that I wish I could re-read a hundred times for the very first time. I recommend this book to anyone and everyone. Curiously enough, the novel tends to be better received by my male friends than my female ones . . .

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Zizou, Zizou, Zizou

It seems no one is talking about the polemics that centered around Zizou in this summer’s World Cup Final any more. Nevertheless, his absence is definitely noticed in the Bernabeu. Let’s remember Zizou with these videos:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Saf_1xOr12o

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=TCl3U1baqxU&mode=related&search=

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Catch 22

Wythe: Winter 1946

I am finally reading Joseph Heller’s Catch 22. I love this dialogue between the overzealous and immature Nately and the elderly Italian man in a brothel as it puts many contemporary issues into perspective:

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Walter Kaufmann: The Faith of the Heretic

Bosch: The Seven Deadly Sins

I was introduced to Walter Kaufmann by my friend Julio while majoring in Philosophy at university (I believe I also majored in International Relations or some other useless field). Kaufmann was a top Nietzsche scholar and philosopher of religion, and I recall having read his following works: Nietzsche: Philosopher, Psychologist, Antichrist; From Shakespeare to Existentialism; Critique of Philosophy and Religion; and the trilogy Discovering the Mind (Goethe, Kant, and Hegel; Nietzsche, Hiedegger, and Buber; and Freud versus Adler and Jung). Kaufmann was born a Chrisitan in Germany (later emigrating to the US) and rejected Christianity at the age of 12 to become a Jew (only later to discover that all four of his grandparents had been Jewish).

At the risk of being totally ignored by either of the two people who occassionally (or accidentally) read this blog, I recommend that those interested in Philosophy or Religion read Kaufmann’s 1959 article “The Faith of the Heretic” published in Harper’s Magazine. Kaufmann explains his repudiation of Christianity (and basis therefor), and although he finds that the only two compelling religions are Judaism and Buddhism, he ultimately rejects those as well.

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Filed under Essays, Literature

A Debilitating Weakness for Beauty

Ingres: Turkish Bath

While writing a recent post, Beauty on the Beach (one of my poorest digressions to date), I was searching for interesting quotes on the nature of beauty as captions to the photos that would adorn the post. In the process, I realized that most commentators defined beauty as something that is relative, eternal, idealistic, and often fleeting. Interestingly, those are not the important things that I find in beauty. What I find as the quality, the attraction or attribute that merits the term “beauty” is something that is simply unattainable or not completely accessible. At least I think that is what I mean . . .

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