There Isn’t Time

There isn’t time, there isn’t time
To do the things I want to do,
With all the mountain-tops to climb,
And all the woods to wander through,
And all the seas to sail upon,
And everywhere there is to go,
And all the people, every one
Who lives upon the earth , to know.
To know a few, and do a few,
And then sit down and make a rhyme
About the rest I want to do.

                             –Eleanor Farjeon


Obama cites Mexican writer who called the United States ‘protector of tyrants’

“… President Barack Obama cited in his address to the people of Mexico on Friday a deceased Mexican writer who wrote that the United States was “the protector of tyrants,” condemned “North American imperialism” and expressed sympathy with an anti-American regime. Obama repeatedly referenced Nobel Prize-winning Mexican writer Octavio Paz (1914-1998) in his speech Friday at the Anthropology Museum in Mexico City, which he visited on the second day of a three-day tour of Mexico and Costa Rica.

“In modern times, Mexico’s blend of cultures and traditions found its expression in the murals of Rivera and the paintings of Frida, and the poetry of Sor Juana and the essays of Octavio Paz,” Obama said.

“And Paz once spoke words that capture the spirit of our gathering here today — in this place that celebrates your past, but which this morning is filled with so many young people who will shape Mexico’s future. Octavio Paz said, ‘Modernity is not outside us, it is within us.  It is today and the most ancient antiquity; it is tomorrow and the beginning of the world; it is a thousand years old and yet newborn,’” Obama said.

“And that’s why I wanted this opportunity to speak with all of you today, because you live at the intersection of history that Octavio Paz was referring to,” Obama said. Octavio Paz called the United States the “protector of tyrants” in his 1982 essay, “Latin America and Democracy.”

“The United States has been one of the principal obstacles we have encountered in our efforts to modernize ourselves,” Paz wrote in his essay. “In Latin America, the United States has been the protector of tyrants and the ally of the enemies of democracy.” Paz also noted in his essay that he understood the anti-Americanism of the Nicaraguan government at that time. Paz wrote in a 1987 essay for his literary magazine Vuelta that his pro-democracy viewpoints should not be confused with “the defense of North American imperialism, nor with that of Latin America’s conservative military regimes.”…”

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Octavio Paz Lozano (Spanish pronunciation: [okˈtaβjo pas loˈsano]; March 31, 1914 – April 19, 1998) was a Mexican writer, poet, and diplomat, and the winner of the 1982 Neustadt International Prize for Literature and the 1990 Nobel Prize for Literature.

Paz was born to Octavio Paz Solórzano and Josefina Lozano. His father was an active supporter of the Revolution against the Díaz regime. Paz was raised in the village of Mixcoac (now a part of Mexico City) by his mother Josefina (daughter of Spanish immigrants), his aunt Amalia Paz, and his paternal grandfather Ireneo Paz, a liberal intellectual, novelist, publisher and former supporter of President Porfirio Díaz. He studied at Colegio Williams. When he was five years he spent a year in Los Angeles with his family.

Paz was introduced to literature early in his life through the influence of his grandfather’s library, filled with classic Mexican and European literature. During the 1920s, he discovered the European poets Gerardo Diego, Juan Ramón Jiménez, and Antonio Machado, Spanish writers who had a great influence on his early writings.As a teenager in 1931, under the influence of D. H. Lawrence, Paz published his first poems, including “Cabellera”. Two years later, at the age of 19, he published Luna Silvestre (“Wild Moon”), a collection of poems. In 1932, with some friends, he founded his first literary review, Barandal.

In 1937, Paz abandoned his law studies and left for Yucatán to work at a school in Mérida for sons of peasants and workers.There, he began working on the first of his long, ambitious poems, “Entre la piedra y la flor” (“Between the Stone and the Flower”) (1941, revised in 1976), influenced by T. S. Eliot, which describes the situation of the Mexican peasant under the greedy landlords of the day.

In 1937, Paz was invited to the Second International Writers Congress in Defense of Culture in Spain during the country’s civil war, showing his solidarity with the Republican side and against fascism. Upon his return to Mexico, Paz co-founded a literary journal, Taller (“Workshop”) in 1938, and wrote for the magazine until 1941. In 1937 he married Elena Garro, now considered one of Mexico’s finest writers, whom he met in 1935. They had one daughter, Helena. They were divorced in 1959.

In 1943, Paz received a Guggenheim fellowship and began studying at the University of California at Berkeley in the United States, and two years later he entered the Mexican diplomatic service, working in New York for a while. In 1945, he was sent to Paris, where he wrote El Laberinto de la Soledad (“The Labyrinth of Solitude”), a groundbreaking study of Mexican identity and thought. In 1952, he travelled to India for the first time and, in the same year, to Tokyo, as chargé d’affaires, and then to Geneva, in Switzerland.

He returned to Mexico City in 1954, where he wrote his great poem “Piedra de sol” (“Sunstone”) in 1957 and Libertad bajo palabra (Liberty under Oath), a compilation of his poetry up to that time. He was sent again to Paris in 1959, following the steps of his lover, the Italian painter Bona Tibertelli de Pisis. In 1962 he was named Mexico’s ambassador to India.

In India, Paz completed several works, including El mono gramático (The Monkey Grammarian) and Ladera este (Eastern Slope). While in India, he came into contact with a group of writers called the Hungry Generation and had a profound influence on them.

In 1965, he married Marie-José Tramini, a French woman who would be his wife for the rest of his life. In October 1968, he resigned from the diplomatic corps in protest of the Mexican government’s massacre of student demonstrators in the Plaza de las Tres Culturas in Tlatelolco. He sought refuge in Paris for a while and returned to Mexico in 1969, where he founded his magazine Plural (1970–1976) with a group of liberal Mexican and Latin American writers.

From 1970 to 1974, he lectured at Harvard University, where he held the Charles Eliot Norton professorship. His book Los hijos del limo (“Children of the Mire”) was the result of those lectures. After the Mexican government closed Plural in 1975, Paz founded Vuelta, a publication with a focus similar to that of Plural, and continued to edit that magazine until his death. He won the 1977 Jerusalem Prize for literature on the theme of individual freedom. In 1980, he was awarded an honorary doctorate from Harvard, and in 1982, he won the Neustadt Prize.

Once good friends with novelist Carlos Fuentes, Paz became estranged from him in the 1980s in a disagreement over the Sandinistas, whom Paz opposed and Fuentes supported. In 1988, Paz’s magazine Vuelta carried an attack by Enrique Krauze on the legitimacy of Fuentes’s Mexican identity, opening a feud between Fuentes and Paz that lasted until the latter’s death. A collection of his poems (written between 1957 and 1987) was published in 1990.

Originally Paz showed his solidarity with the Republicans during the Spanish Civil War, but after learning of the murder of one of his friends by the Republicans themselves he became gradually disillusioned. While in Paris in the early 1950s, influenced by David Rousset, André Breton and Albert Camus, he started publishing his critical views on totalitarianism in general, and against Joseph Stalin in particular.

In his magazines Plural and Vuelta, he exposed the violations of human rights in the communist regimes, including Castro’s Cuba. This brought him much animosity from sectors of the Latin American left. In the prologue to Volume IX of his complete works, Paz stated that from the time when he abandoned communist dogma, the mistrust of many in the Mexican intelligentsia started to transform into an intense and open enmity. Nonetheless, Paz always considered himself a man of the left; the democratic, “liberal” left, not the dogmatic and illiberal one.

In 1990, during the aftermath of the fall of the Berlin wall, Paz and his Vuelta colleagues invited several of the world’s writers and intellectuals to Mexico City to discuss the collapse of communism, including Czesław Miłosz, Hugh Thomas, Daniel Bell, Ágnes Heller, Cornelius Castoriadis, Hugh Trevor-Roper, Jean-François Revel, Michael Ignatieff, Mario Vargas Llosa, Jorge Edwards and Carlos Franqui.

Octavio Paz has been critical of most aspects of the Zapatista uprising. He spoke broadly in favor of a “military solution” to the uprising of January 1994, and hoped that the “army would soon restore order in the region”. With respect to President Zedillo’s offensive in February 1995, he signed an open letter that described the offensive as a “legitimate government action” to reestablish the “sovereignty of the nation” and to bring “Chiapas peace and Mexicans tranquility”

He died of cancer in 1998.

Source:  Wiki

Santiago de Chile, Chile: A human-shaped model aircraft flies near the Costanera Centre Tower. It is part of the 'Viva el Ingenio' campaign by the 3M company, inviting Chileans to look at the world differently and be innovative Photograph: Felipe Trueba/EPA

St Petersburg, Russia: Nude artist Pyotr Pavlensky lies on the ground wrapped in a roll of barbed wire during a protest outside the city's legislative assembly, which he says is oppressive Photograph: Stringer/Reuters

Valentin Louis Georges Eugène Marcel Proust (French pronunciation: ​[maʁsɛl pʁust]; 10 July 1871 – 18 November 1922) was a French novelist, critic, and essayist best known for his monumental novel À la recherche du temps perdu (In Search of Lost Time; earlier translated as Remembrance of Things Past). It was published in seven parts between 1913 and 1927.

Proust was born in Auteuil (the southern sector of Paris’ then-rustic 16th arrondissement) at the home of his great-uncle, two months after the Treaty of Frankfurt formally ended the Franco-Prussian War. His birth took place during the violence that surrounded the suppression of the Paris Commune, and his childhood corresponded with the consolidation of the French Third Republic. Much of In Search of Lost Time concerns the vast changes, most particularly the decline of the aristocracy and the rise of the middle classes that occurred in France during the Third Republic and the fin de siècle.

Proust’s father, Achille Adrien Proust, was a prominent pathologist and epidemiologist, responsible for studying and attempting to remedy the causes and movements of cholera through Europe and Asia; he was the author of many articles and books on medicine and hygiene.

Proust’s mother, Jeanne Clémence Weil, was the daughter of a rich and cultured Jewish family from Alsace. She was literate and well-read; her letters demonstrate a well-developed sense of humour, and her command of English was sufficient for her to provide necessary assistance to her son’s translations of John Ruskin. Proust was raised in his father’s Catholic faith. He was baptized (on 5 August 1871, at the church of Saint-Louis d’Antin) and later confirmed as a Catholic but he never formally practiced that faith.

By the age of nine, Proust had his first serious asthma attack, and thereafter he was considered a sickly child. Proust spent long holidays in the village of Illiers. This village, combined with recollections of his great-uncle’s house in Auteuil, became the model for the fictional town of Combray, where some of the most important scenes of In Search of Lost Time take place. (Illiers was renamed Illiers-Combray on the occasion of the Proust centenary celebrations.)

In 1882, at the age of eleven, Proust became a pupil at the Lycée Condorcet, but his education was disrupted because of his illness. Despite this he excelled in literature, receiving an award in his final year. It was through his classmates that he was able to gain access to some of the salons of the upper bourgeoisie, providing him with copious material for In Search of Lost Time.

Despite his poor health, Proust served a year (1889–90) as an enlisted man in the French army, stationed at Coligny Barracks in Orléans, an experience that provided a lengthy episode in The Guermantes’ Way, part three of his novel. As a young man, Proust was a dilettante and a social climber whose aspirations as a writer were hampered by his lack of discipline. His reputation from this period, as a snob and an amateur, contributed to his later troubles with getting Swann’s Way, the first part of his large-scale novel, published in 1913.

At this time, he attended the salons of Mme Straus, widow of Georges Bizet and mother of Proust’s childhood friend Jacques Bizet, of Madeleine Lemaire and of Mme Arman de Caillavet, one of the models of Madame Verdurin, and mother of his friend Gaston Arman de Caillavet, with whose fiancée (Jeanne Pouquet) he was in love. It is through Mme Arman de Caillavet that he made the acquaintance of Anatole France, her lover.

In an 1892 article published in Le Banquet entitled “L’Irréligion d’État” and again in a 1904 Le Figaro article entitled “La mort des cathédrales”, Proust argued against the separation of Church and State, declaring that socialism posed a greater threat to society than the Church and emphasizing the latter’s role in sustaining a cultural and educational tradition.

Proust had a close relationship with his mother. To appease his father, who insisted that he pursue a career, Proust obtained a volunteer position at the Bibliothèque Mazarine in the summer of 1896. After exerting considerable effort, he obtained a sick leave that extended for several years until he was considered to have resigned. He never worked at his job, and he did not move from his parents’ apartment until after both were dead.

Proust, who was a closeted homosexual, was one of the first European novelists to mention homosexuality openly and at length in the parts of À la recherche du temps perdu which deal with the Baron de Charlus. Lucien Daudet and Reynaldo Hahn were noted to be his lovers.

His life and family circle changed considerably between 1900 and 1905. In February 1903, Proust’s brother Robert married and left the family home. His father died in November of the same year.Finally, and most crushingly, Proust’s beloved mother died in September 1905. She left him a considerable inheritance. His health throughout this period continued to deteriorate.

Proust spent the last three years of his life mostly confined to his cork-lined bedroom, sleeping during the day and working at night to complete his novel. He died of pneumonia and a pulmonary abscess in 1922. He was buried in the Père Lachaise Cemetery in Paris.

Related Links:

A Century of Proust

Proust, for Those With a Memory ‘Marcel Proust and “Swann’s Way” ’ at the Morgan Library

Marcel Proust and religion

The Serpent’s Promise: The Bible Retold as Science by Steve Jones – review

On our journey to understanding the origins of life and the cosmos, there is no wittier guide than geneticist Steve Jones

The Good Book is many things to different people. For believers, it is a guide to life whose every word was handed down directly from God and must therefore be treated as the literal truth. To others, the Bible is a historical record that provides an intriguing insight into war and sex in the ancient Middle East. As for the Scottish philosopher David Hume, he thought it was simply “a book, presented to us by a barbarous and ignorant people… corroborated by no concurring testimony”.

Steve Jones takes a different view from these interpretations, however. For him, the Bible is primarily a practical work: a handbook to help its readers comprehend the world. “Thus the Bible sits firmly in the genealogy of ideas – and science is its direct descendant,” he states.

This is a rather contrived definition to say the least, though I can see that it serves a purpose, for without it Jones has no excuse for trying to retell scripture from a scientific perspective and so produce a book. Thus we are asked to believe a number of intellectual contortions including the claim that Genesis was “the world’s first biology textbook”.

… Thus we embark on a voyage through time and space, starting with the big bang and ending with the evolution of Homo sapiens 13bn years later. The book of Genesis covers that time in 700 words (as I said, it’s not much of a textbook) and focuses primarily on the importance of humans, as God’s handiwork, in the firmament.

By contrast, science gives us a very different picture of our cosmic relevance, a point summed up with delicate irony by Jones. “It reminds us that mankind lives in a minor solar system at the edge of a suburban galaxy, is in his physical frame scarcely distinguishable from the creatures that surround him, and – most of all – that he still understands rather little about his place in nature.”…”

John Maynard Keynes had it all wrong because he was gay and childless says Harvard professor

“… A Harvard professor took to the podium at a finance conference Friday and called major influencer of modern economics John Maynard Keynes wrong about his philosophies because he was gay and childless. During a question and answer session in Carlsbad, California, well-known historian Niall Ferguson was asked how he felt about the theories of English economist John Maynard Keynes versus those of Edmund Burke. What the prominent Obama critic said in response hushed the crowd of over 500.

According to Tom Kostigen, editor-at-large of Financial Advisor magazine, Ferguson made it clear that he believed Keynes was uninterested in the what was good for society, basically because of his sexual orientation. ‘Ferguson asked the audience how many children Keynes had,’ wrote Kostigen in Financial Advisor. ‘He explained that Keynes had none because he was a homosexual and was married to a ballerina, with whom he likely talked of “poetry” rather than procreated.’ Kostigen said many of the audience members took offense at the remark, but that Ferguson continued.

It is worth noting that, though many conservatives use the term ‘Keynesian economics’ as derogatory, Keynes was not wholly liberal. Keynes, whose most famous quote is ‘In the long run we are all dead,’ once called the market system the ‘best safeguard of the variety of life’ that preserved the ‘most secure and successful choices of former generations.’ However, rather than to Keynes’ ‘selfish worldview,’ Kostigen wrote that Ferguson endeared himself during the Q&A to Burke’s ‘social contract,’ a term used largely by liberals today…

On Saturday, Ferguson took to his personal website’s blog to make an ‘unqualified apology’ for his earlier comments. ‘I should not have suggested,’ wrote Ferguson, ‘that Keynes was indifferent to the long run because he had no children, nor that he had no children because he was gay. This was doubly stupid. First, it is obvious that people who do not have children also care about future generations. Second, I had forgotten that Keynes’s wife Lydia miscarried. ‘My disagreements with Keynes’s economic philosophy have never had anything to do with his sexual orientation.’…”

John Maynard Keynes, 1st Baron Keynes, CB, FBA; 5 June 1883 – 21 April 1946) was a British economist whose ideas have fundamentally affected the theory and practice of modern macroeconomics, and informed the economic policies of governments.

He built on and greatly refined earlier work on the causes of business cycles, and is widely considered to be one of the founders of modern macroeconomics and the most influential economist of the 20th century. His ideas are the basis for the school of thought known as Keynesian economics, as well as its various offshoots. In many ways, subsequent developments in 20th century economics can be viewed as either building on Keynes’ ideas or reacting against them.

In the 1930s, Keynes spearheaded a revolution in economic thinking, overturning the older ideas of neoclassical economics that held that free markets would, in the short to medium term, automatically provide full employment, as long as workers were flexible in their wage demands. Keynes instead argued that aggregate demand determined the overall level of economic activity, and that inadequate aggregate demand could lead to prolonged periods of high unemployment. He advocated the use of fiscal and monetary measures to mitigate the adverse effects of economic recessions and depressions. Following the outbreak of the Second World War, Keynes’s ideas concerning economic policy were adopted by leading Western economies.

Keynes’s early romantic and sexual relationships were almost exclusively with men. At Eton and at Cambridge, Keynes had been in many homosexual relationships; significant among these early partners were Dilly Knox and Daniel Macmillan. Keynes was open about his homosexual affairs, and between 1901 to 1915, kept separate diaries in which he tabulated his many sexual encounters. Keynes’s relationship and later close friendship with Macmillan was to be fortuitous; through Dan, Macmillan & Co first published his Economic Consequences of the Peace. Attitudes in the Bloomsbury Group, in which Keynes was avidly involved, were relaxed about homosexuality. Keynes, together with writer Lytton Strachey, had reshaped the Victorian attitudes of the influential Cambridge Apostles; “since [their] time, homosexual relations among the members were for a time common”, wrote Bertrand Russell.

One of Keynes’s greatest loves was the artist Duncan Grant, whom he met in 1908. Like Grant, Keynes was also involved with Lytton Strachey, though they were for the most part love rivals, and not lovers. Keynes had won the affections of Arthur Hobhouse, as well as Grant, both times falling out with a jealous Strachey for it. Strachey had previously found himself put off by Keynes, not least because of his manner of “treat[ing] his love affairs statistically”.

Ray Costelloe (who would later marry Oliver Strachey) was an early heterosexual interest of Keynes.Of this infatuation, Keynes had written “I seem to have fallen in love with Ray a little bit, but as she isn’t male I haven’t [been] able to think of any suitable steps to take.”

In 1921, Keynes fell “very much in love” with Lydia Lopokova, a well-known Russian ballerina, and one of the stars of Sergei Diaghilev‘s Ballets Russes. For the first years of the courtship, Keynes maintained an affair with a younger man, Sebastian Sprott, in tandem with Lopokova, but eventually chose Lopokova exclusively, on marrying her. They married in 1925. The union was happy, with biographer Peter Clarke writing that the marriage gave Keynes “a new focus, a new emotional stability and a sheer delight of which he never wearied”.

Lydia became pregnant in 1927 but miscarried. Among Keynes’s Bloomsbury friends, Lopokova was, at least initially, subjected to criticism for her manners, mode of conversation and supposedly humble social origins – the latter of the ostensible causes being particularly noted in the letters of Vanessa and Clive Bell, and Virginia Woolf. In her novel Mrs Dalloway (1925), Woolf bases the character of Rezia Warren Smith on Lopokova. E. M. Forster would later write in contrition: “How we all used to underestimate her”.

Keynes was ultimately a successful investor, building up a private fortune. His assets were nearly wiped out following the Wall Street Crash of 1929, which he did not foresee, but he soon recouped. At Keynes’s death, in 1946, his worth stood just short of £500,000 – equivalent to about £11 million ($16.5 million) in 2009. The sum had been amassed despite lavish support for various causes and his personal ethic which made him reluctant to sell on a falling market when if too many did it could deepen a slump.

Keynes built up a substantial collection of fine art, including works, not all of them minor, by Paul Cézanne, Edgar Degas, Amedeo Modigliani, Georges Braque, Pablo Picasso, and Georges Seurat (some of which can now be seen at the Fitzwilliam Museum). He enjoyed collecting books: for example, he collected and protected many of Isaac Newton‘s papers. It is in part on the basis of these papers that Keynes wrote of Newton as “the last of the magicians.”

Throughout his life Keynes worked energetically for the benefit both of the public and his friends – even when his health was poor he laboured to sort out the finances of his old college,and at Bretton Woods, he worked to institute an international monetary system that would be beneficial for the world economy.

Keynes suffered a series of heart attacks, which ultimately proved fatal, beginning during negotiations for an Anglo-American loan in Savannah, Georgia, where he was trying to secure favourable terms for the United Kingdom from the United States, a process he described as “absolute hell.” A few weeks after returning from the United States, Keynes died of a heart attack at Tilton, his farmhouse home near Firle, East Sussex, England, on 21 April 1946 at the age of 62.

A member of a very long-lived family (his parents, two grandparents and his brother all lived into their nineties), he died surprisingly young, apparently the result of overwork and childhood illness. Both of Keynes’s parents outlived him: father John Neville Keynes (1852–1949) by three years, and mother Florence Ada Keynes (1861–1958) by twelve. Keynes’s brother Sir Geoffrey Keynes (1887–1982) was a distinguished surgeon, scholar and bibliophile. His nephews include Richard Keynes (1919–2010) a physiologist; and Quentin Keynes (1921–2003), an adventurer and bibliophile. His widow, Lydia Lopokova, died in 1981.

Source:  Wiki

Related Links:

Keynes Was Gay — Not That There’s Anything Wrong with That Jonah Goldberg

Re: Keynes Was Gay — Not That There’s Anything Wrong with That Mark Steyn



RIP: George Glenn Jones


An unpublished letter from Bob Dylan to be auctioned for 30,000 euros

The manuscript of the song Go away you bomb, consisting of Bob Dylan in 1963 and unpublished until now, will be auctioned by Christie’s in London on June 26. The house estimates its value at around 30,000 euros. The lyrics, written on a typewriter and corrected by hand, has remained for decades in a drawer in Sweden.

The song, contrary to nuclear development, was composed by the singer in the first stage, while working on the album The Freewheelin ‘Bob Dylan, time when songs had a more political. The recipient Go away you bomb was Israel Izzy Young, emblematic of the world of American folk and then owner of the Folklore Center in Greenwich Village in New York, the epicenter of which moved most influential songwriters of the era. Dylan wrote about him and the institution he headed in 1962 song Talking Folklore Centre.

Izzy Young himself asked “everyone who knew” to write a song about the pump. “Bob Dylan came literally the next day and gave me this letter,” Young said in an interview with the U.S. edition of Rolling Stone .

In the seventies Izzy Young, now 85, moved to Sweden. His family has now decided to pull the material up for auction, which is expected to fetch a price between 29,500 and 41,300 euros, for financial reasons. “My daughter, who is 39 years old, approached me and said ‘Dad, I’m tired of living miracles. You have to sell that song by Bob Dylan,” he told the owner of the manuscript so far. He is currently responsible for a center in Stockholm with similar characteristics to that worked in Greenwich Village in the Sixties. Despite financial difficulties, has admitted that the money will help to continue to operate this facility. Young also has yielded to the auction house program Dylan concert at Carnegie Hall New York, 1961, which hopes to raise between 1,100 and 1,700 euros.



Dalí’s meeting with the image