Welcome to European Tribune. It's gone a bit quiet around here these days, but it's still going.

Has Anyone Read "The Kindly Ones"?

by Maryb2004 Mon Mar 9th, 2009 at 12:50:54 PM EST

There used to be a big independent bookstore located right across the street from my office building.  Among other things, it had a cafe that served coffee, pastries and light sandwiches at lunchtime.  I used to walk across the street for lunch at least twice a week.  Sometimes I would go with other people but often I would go by myself. I would often run into other people I worked with while standing in line to pick up a sandwich and we'd grab a table together to eat before we wandered off separately to check out our favorite sections of the store.

One day there was a table of about six of us who had run into each other by chance.  We ended up in an animated discussion of a review we had all read in the New York Times Book Review.  It turned out that none of us had read the book in question or had any interest in reading the book in question.  But we had a fantastic discussion about the review. We laughingly said that we should start a lunchtime book club in which we only discussed well written book reviews.

I was thinking about this as I've been reading reviews of Jonathan Littel's The Kindly Ones, which I have not read nor do I particularly want to read.  Littel's novel, written in French, was recently translated into English.  It is a fictional memoir of Dr. Maximillian Aue, a former Nazi officer who observed and engaged in the atrocities of the Nazi regime. It also tells his individual story in which he murders his mother and engages in an incestuous relationship with his sister.

Read more... (65 comments, 3079 words in story)

Inauguration Experiences (w/ pics AND shoe blogging)

by Maryb2004 Sat Feb 7th, 2009 at 06:16:23 PM EST

cross posted from showmeprogress and Boomantribune

Just a couple of minutes after the networks called the election for Obama, my cousin MaryMike turned to me and said, "Let's go to DC for the Inauguration."   So we did.  And we took my cousin-in-law, Stu, along too. It was, maybe, one of the best decisions I've ever made.  We witnessed a unique moment in history.  And had a lot of fun too.  

By the way, most of the photos that follow were taken by MaryMike (although Stu and I take credit for pointing out things she should take pictures of).  On most, you can click the picture to get a larger view.

Read more... (8 comments, 4430 words in story)

Welcome Back Italian Shoe Blogging

by Maryb2004 Thu Oct 19th, 2006 at 11:17:40 PM EST

How can we NOT front page this? --poemless

I don't take photos. It's important that you know that about me. It's not that I'm against them.  It's not that I don't want to take them.  I just don't.  Once, in the days before digital, I went to Paris with a friend. He came back with 30 rolls of film. I came back with three .... photos.  Yes, that's right.  Three.  Photos.

So when Izzy asked me to photograph shoes in Italy, you can imagine my amusement. I mean, how could someone who would probably forget to take pictures of the frescoes in Assisi be expected to remember to take pictures of shoes? But I like Izzy, so I said I'd think about it. And I did think about it.  I thought about Italian shoes, Italians in shoes, tourists in Italy in shoes ... the permutations made my head spin.

I was willing to try, but I admit I was a little worried about it. Would I be allowed to take photographs of shoes in Italian shops?  Would total strangers be offended if I took pictures of their feet? And what if the people I was traveling with thought I was crazy?  (Actually, I wasn't too worried about that last part.  They already think I'm crazy because I blog.)

I shouldn't have worried.  It was fun and by the end of the week my whole group was on the lookout for shoes. But how to get the photos to Izzy?  Postcards of course!  Fortunately the Italian mail service is a little slooooooow, so the postcards have (amazingly enough) only arrived today.

I've convinced Izzy to share them with you.

Read more... (35 comments, 1045 words in story)

News and Views

 July 2024

by Oui - Jun 30, 152 comments

Your take on today's news media

 June 2024

by Oui - Jun 1, 192 comments

Your take on today's news media

Occasional Series
Click for full list