Crying on the train
But the standard of writing is consistently good. I have no interest or knowledge of science, but I read articles on science in the LRB, because they are so well written. And there is stuff like RW Johnson on Zimbabwe, which is worth the price alone. And their bookshop and cafe is wonderful.
Recently, though, I had an extreme LRB moment when reading this review by Jeremy Harding., illustrated by Andre Zucca's extraordinary images of everyday life in Occupied Paris. The first half is of Fleeing Hitler: France 1940 by Hanna Diamond [Buy this book], and covers the sort of ground that Irene Nemirovsky's wonderful (and controversial) Suite Francaise addresses.
The second half, though, is of Journal 1942-44 by Hélène Berr. Reading it standing on a crowded morning rush hour commuter train into Waterloo, I found tears seeping down my cheeks - something that has never happened to me before.
As far as I can see, Berr's diary of war-time Paris is not available in the UK or US, which is shocking. For information, see Ha'aretz, Der Speigel, USA Today, The Observer, and extracts in the Herald Tribune.
Previous: The European Resistance Archive, Alternative histories, Gay Paree etc, Extraordinary women, Self-hating Jews and secular culture.
P.S. the Der Speigel review is blogged at Atlas Shrugged. I found this, however, very distateful:
She begins to work for an organization that takes care of Jewish children and at one stage many of her colleagues there are rounded up. In the last entry in her diary on Feb. 15, 1944, Helene has a conversation with a deportee who describes how Jews are taken across France. "The Germans have one aim, to exterminate," she writes. A student of English literature her final words in the diary are a quote in English from Joseph Conrad's "Heart of Darkness:" "Horror! Horror! Horror!"
Sounds like Islam. One aim.
To compare Islam - Islam in general, mind, not Islamic fundametantalism - to the Nazis is, to my mind, obscene and offensive. It is offensive to Muslims. (Was Rumi's "one aim" to exterminate? Was Nusrat Fateh Ali Khan's "one aim" to exterminate?) And it is offensive to the memory of those murdered by the Nazis.