THE FALL OF ARTHUR
J. R. R. and Christopher Tolkien
HarperCollins, May 2013
Guinevere will always remain the Yoko Ono of Arthurian romance. For men of a certain bent, she summons to mind the new wife or girlfriend of their old friend, who now threatens to intrude upon the Round Table of their male camaraderie. What if she doesn’t just stay at home and darn his socks? What if she wants us to see her as a person, not just our friend’s possession? Already, she’s changed him. Remember the good old days when he slapped you on the back and denounced all women as whores?
Tolkien’s The Fall of Arthur continues the ungenerous tradition of presenting Guinevere as a figure of treacherousness, not just discord. On those occasions where she rises from the role of disputed possession, she becomes a manipulative temptress towing men to their deaths. From her first entrance, we hear of her remorselessness, Continue reading
CLOSING STATEMENT IN THE COURT MARTIAL OF SERGENT KIST
If you from here must damn what I did there,
You too would’ve faltered on that tower,
Beneath the wreath of that thousand-yard stare.
Will you measure the sins of one hour
Against ten years of duty served with care?
A day’s courage to a second’s error
One minute foul against four fortnights fair
Then, my judges, when you pass your sentence,
If you would light the truth ‘neath this affair,
That you judge the crimes not their repentance.
Do you think fear drove me away from there?
Rendered still a loyalty whose currents
Carried my soul through ten years of warfare?
Then you condense my disobedience. Continue reading
Born in Golem, Albania in 1961, Tare studied astrophysics under the tutelage of Adam Kola at the University of Tirana.
In 1981, using the pseudonym ‘Orion Mala’, he began writing articles for the underground periodical Lëndë e Djegshme in which he argued that Leninism had debased the original aims of socialism. Continue reading
1945: During post-war efforts to bring scientists who worked for the Third Reich into the United States, the US War Department obeys President Truman’s order to exclude scientists who supported Nazism, rather than rewriting candidates’ files to conceal the evidence. The United States and the Soviet Union divide the German scientists with more equality. In particular, the Soviet Union acquires Arthur Rudolf, former operations director of the Mittelwerk factory at the Mittelbau-Dora concentration camps.
January, 1946: Rather than anticipating a post-war crisis of overproduction in the USA, Soviet economists predict that the United States will try to avoid the crisis by maintaining its wartime military industry and trying to open the new Europe and Asia to free trade. Based on their advice, Stalin now views the United States as the chief threat to the Soviet Union, instead of the reemergence of Germany or Japan. Continue reading
The Brotherhood of Trustees owes its present influence to an archaic custom barring the aristocracy from direct involvement in commerce. The custom holds that commerce can never furnish the form of unassailable security it sees as the precondition for noble disinterestedness. Moreover, by their nature, commercial transactions would often compel the nobleman to deal with commoners as equals. The noble must regard such concourse as demeaning, both to himself in person and to the institution of nobility as a whole. Continue reading