Tag: Europe

Americans in Bulgaria

Loving Eastern Europe is a tricky business. In theory, the term “Eastern Europe” is reductive and clumsy. In reality, it often feels deeply and self-evidently true. This puts those who document the ...

Forgery Fiction

Even Michelangelo was guilty of forgery. As the story goes, the young artist buried a sleeping Cupid he carved from marble so that it would pass as a Greco-Roman antiquity. Upon learning of its true ...

Against Despair

Despair is everywhere, and for good reason. Huge numbers of refugees are fleeing warfare and violence, while unceasing terrorist attacks are feeding the right-wing populist surge all across Europe ...

How to Be a Global Historian

If the past is still required to understand the present, then approaching the past globally is an absolute necessity. But what does it mean to “think globally” today? What does a truly global history ...

Tales of the Interwar

Today, the once-provocative suggestion that we live in an age of interminable warfare has become a truism. The claim often takes the form of an observation about the post-9/11 syndrome that drives an ...

Caravaggio’s Hair

Human hair, as Álvaro Enrigue points out in Sudden Death, is the only part of the human body that does not rot. It accordingly plays a starring role in the novel, which is as interested in the ...

Retrofitting Totalitarianism

No sooner did the Western media learn to think of Vladimir Putin as an authoritarian ruler than the Russian regime changed again. Since Putin returned to the office of president in March 2012, Russia has experienced ...

Illegals

At the height of the refugee crisis in Germany, the following slogans made their appearance on the Hamburg streets: Wir sind alle illegal (We are all illegal) paired with Kein mensch ist illegal (No ...

A Muslim Future to Come?

The devastating attacks of November 13 on Paris’s 10th and 11th arrondissements viciously targeted the “progressive” heart of the city. When I am there, that is where I live. Like many other ...

Streetwise in Weimar

Scholars of Weimar Germany have long wrestled with the fact that this period of unparalleled innovation in intellectual and cultural life was a time of economic and social crisis, brought to a close ...

Lotte Eisner Needs to Fly

Early in Werner Herzog’s 2006 film Rescue Dawn, German-born American fighter pilot Dieter Dengler (played by Christian Bale), shot down and held captive by the Vietcong, is given the choice to put ...

Gallantry, Ishiguro-Style

Quaintness is history defanged, a past we render harmless by declaring it naive. It’s a form of retrospection somewhere between a sneer in the rearview mirror and longing’s backward glance, one ...