Book, Essays, EthicsComments Off on THE STATE AND OTHER ESSAYS by RANDOLPH BOURNE (eBook — £1.50)
RANDOLPH SILLIMAN BOURNE, born 1886 Bloomfield, New Jersey, died aged 32 during an influenza epidemic on 23 December 1918. A radical social critic who sympathised with the Industrial Workers of the World (IWW), his literary career lasted less than ten years yet the integrity and commitment, which shines through in his articles and essays in the dramatic period before and during World War One, sets him apart from other intellectuals of his time. He left behind a legacy of astonishingly mature and incisive writings on politics, literature, and culture, which were of enormous influence in shaping the American intellectual climate of the 1920s and 1930s. This collection includes such noted essays as “The War and the Intellectuals,” “The State,” “What is Exploitation,” “Law and Order,” “Trans-National America,” “Below the Battle,” and “Twilight of the Idols.” Bourne’s critique of militarism and advocacy of cultural pluralism are enduring contributions to social and political thought that has an equally strong impact today. In his introduction to The Radical Will: Randolph Bourne Selected Writings 1911-1918 (Urizen Books, 1977) his editor, Olaf Hansen, summed up Bourne’s legacy: ‘Bourne’s quest for a rational community had this significance. He wanted to be a citizen of the world without giving up his vision of how much better a place it might be. His contribution to the attainment of such hopes was a radical analysis of the world’s shortcomings.’
A century later Bourne’s final essay, ‘The State’, reproduced here, retains the resonance it had in 1918 — a lucid analysis of how states and governments manipulate and induce the patriotic hysteria that precedes declarations of war and ‘states of emergency’ to suit their own political and corporate ends.
Available for download (as a Mobi file) on the ChristieBooks eBookshelf for £1.50 Email if you require an ePub file. (See inside)
Book, FictionComments Off on WORDS IN THE SNOW [A FILANDÓN] by Juan Pedro Aparicio, Luis Mateo Díez, José María Merino. Translated by Simon Breden Santos. eBook £1.50
WORDS IN THE SNOW [A FILANDÓN] by Juan Pedro Aparicio, Luis Mateo Díez and José María Merino — £1.50MOBI or ePUB file (readable on your Kindle or other device) Any of our titles can be purchased directly from us for between £1.00 and £1.50 — either from our eBOOKSTORE or by payment by PAYPAL to email@example.com. You can check out all the available Christiebooks titles HERE(Kindle) or ChristieBooks on KOBO— and then order directly from us … In the lands of León, ringed by the high sierras, the snow-capped Cantabrian mountains and the Galician Massif, in the long dark nights, villagers sit around their log fires, spinning yarns — filandónes —watching the flames gutter and dance, finding pleasure in their glow, and in the reflected warmth of each others’ company.
This “Filandón is a collection of very short stories (by Juan Pedro Aparicio, Luis Mateo Díez and José María Merino) with parallel texts in Spanish and English, a format which makes learning either language so much easier than using a dictionary every few words. The filandón is a genre reborn midway through the twentieth century and currently booming in Latin America and Spain, and known, variously, as the micro-story, min-fiction or mini-tale – no one can decide on the most appropriate term, but it is a format distinguished for its brevity, dramatic intensity, experimentation, expressive concision, capacity for suggestion and formal autonomy typical of the literary Short Story.
“This brilliant collection of short stories from three contemporary Spanish writers has thrown the rulebook of realism away. The stories are very short, sometimes only a sentence long, but there is audacity and skill in the brevity. The writers use the ancient techniques of the fable to explore themes of science fiction and also to undertake some unsettling experiments with time and death. They show what can be done in a short space of time with stories honed down to the minimum so that the economy itself becomes a delight. Fate plays its part. Questions of shifting identity are raised. Philosophical conundrums present the reader with something to puzzle over The scale is big even if the narratives are small. And let us not forget humour There is dark mordant humour throughout. Surrealism is made to seem a normal state of affairs. There are echos of Borges, Calvino and even the short stories of Gogol but this does not preclude tales of everyday humanity: we have the story of the man who mourns the loss of his favourite soup when his local restaurant closes, the fireman who rescues a young woman and then becomes dissatisfied with his own wife; the traveller who returns to an unrecognisable hometown haunted by a sense of loss at the changes. Exhilarating and disturbing, there is always a refreshing sense of playfulness as well as some unexpected twists in the tales. The authors show no inhibitions about juggling with time and with physical scale so that we can be suddenly thrown into an Alice-In-Wonderland world. And best of all, in this day and age, when we rush from task to task, the stories are short enough to be read at a bus-stop, waiting at a check-out counter or even while the bath is running.” — Pauline Melville
Benjamin Tucker considered this Proudhon’s best book — “the most wonderful of all the wonderful books of Proudhon”— and he may well have been right in that judgment. Like many of the greatest works of the last century’ this “most wonderful book” comes to us from a prison cell: a fact which is probably far from insignificant. It is not without cause that the letters of Bartolomeo Vanzetti, the Pisan Cantos of Ezra Pound, “The Ballad of Reading Gaol,” Nietzsche’s Antichrist, the best poems of Antonin Artaud, Van Gogh’s two or three greatest canvases, Koestler’s Darkness at Noon, and several other of the most significant cultural products of this age, were produced by men who were at the time unwilling “guests of the State.” Nor is it idle to note that some time has been served (unproductively, alas!) by Ford Madox Ford, Nijinsky, Seymour Krim, Allen Ginsberg, William Burroughs, Jim Peck, and almost everybody else worth a damn as a serious thinker or artist. It is getting to the point where, as Eustace Mullins noted in his biography of Ezra Pound, lack of a police or psychiatric record is looked on, by avante garde, as a sign that a man has sold out.
Festival of Stiffs(Le Festival des macchabées) is the second of Héléna’s ‘Occupation’ novels in which he portrays a gharish vision of the period, exposing the close relationship between organised crime and France’s pro-Nazi collaborators. The story hits the ground running with the two unlikely ‘Resistants’, Maurice Delbart and his friend Bams, in Vichy France in the winter of 1943. Their intelligence-commissioned task is to obtain plans of German fortifications around Leucate in advance of possible Allied landings in Provençe.
In his 2011 book ‘The Pleasures of Crime: Reading Modern French Crime Fiction’ Professor David Platten, a lecturer in French literature and culture at the University of Leeds, looked at, among other French noir writers, André Héléna’s ‘Occupation’ novels from which we have taken the following extracts relating to Les Salauds ont la vie dure, which we have translated as ‘Bastards Die Hard’
“… In Héléna’s Les Salauds ont la vie dure, written shortly after the Liberation, the reader can still feel the heat of oppression and conflict as the main character literally blazes a trail across the country. Héléna’s peripatetic writing existence — he moved frequently from Narbonne to Paris to Leucate, and back again — is reflected in the adventures of Maurice Delbar, hero of Les Salaudsont la vie dure is an outlaw and miscreant with very achy feet. What we read about the Occupation in these novels is funnelled through the perspective, not of a detective, but of a young, mid-ranking gangster from Pigalle, the traditional red-light district of Paris adjoining Montmartre, which is known locally as La Butte, traditional home not only of the French chanson but also of the Parisian gangster.
IN THE 1940s AND 1950s, ten and twenty years on from the civil war, a handful of Spanish anarchist exiles waged a stubborn rearguard action against the Franco regime. With his novel The Spanish Horse, André Héléna remains the only French author to seize upon this feat in order to pay tribute to its obscure heroes.
Raised between Narbonne and Leucate, young André was 17 years old when the Spanish Civil War broke out. He was obviously affected by the ripples from the nearby conflict and later by the spectacle of the republican defeat when 500,000 refugees, a mixture of soldiers and civilians, flooded into Roussillon in February 1939 via every border crossing.
The Taste of Blood (Le Goût du Sang) was published in 1953. The action begins in occupied Perpignan a few days after the Allied landing on the Normandy coast. Stifled by his bourgeois parents, unappreciated by his contemporaries and by the opposite sex, the unprepossessing 19 year old Jacques Vallon discovers that the Occupation of his native France and the imminent arrival of the Allied armies have presented him with the opportunity to vent his spleen as the avenging hand of “resistance”. His war has little to do with patriotism or antifascism but everything to do with his cold-blooded facility with the gun and his newly discovered “taste for blood”. Both of these and his personal frustrations have hoisted him to a position where he wields power of life and death and involve him in a duel with the collaborationist Milice. A brief season of hectic (anti-) heroism before the ghastly prospect (for him) of a return to the normality and anonymity at which he chafes. What will be the ultimate cost to all as a result of his taste for blood? One of André Héléna’s best novels.
In this eBook edition (Kindle, Kobo and MOBI file) of the third volume of the Arena series ($3.00 £2.00) we gather around the proverbial camp fire where we might listen to tunes to make our toes tap and to words which might reach into our hearts and pull us into a future of wild possibilities, daring us to dream. These songs of freedom push against convention, sing of finding ways and means to move beyond the confines of staid convention and the litany of war, poverty and misery that are the direct consequence of the edifice of capitalism and those frightened elites who hide cowering behind it.
In ancient Rome, after Constantine bent his knee to Christ (or at least saw the convenient propaganda in such a coat of many colours), the music of theatre and of festival dismayed the naysayers of the ascending Christian empire that grew in his wake; the frivolity and joyousness of celebrating life became anathema to the new social order bent on obedience to the will of God and, by divine right, those masters who perpetuated his will. And so they banned it.
What dyed-in-the-wool cinephiles have always stupidly misinterpreted as amateurism, nonchalance or ineptitude on Rollin’s part (his disregard for linearity and logic, the influence of theatricality and pataphysics on his thoughts about directing, his well-meaning curiosity for erotic deviancy, his passion for the melodramatic) comes fully into its own as an aesthetic and, may we say, ideological option […] We are transported simultaneously into a Clovis Trouille painting or a Gaston Leroux novel, into a Max Ernst collage and a Grand Guignol play, into the gaudy cover of some old Fantômas and an episode from a silent serial, into The Castle of Otranto and the cavern of The Phantom in Bengal. Swimming against the tide of pyrotechnics in movies that confuse car chases and action, conventions and daring innovations, and digital trickery and mise en scène, Jean Rollin steers us back towards cinema. Genuine cinema, the sort that can make us shudder and cry, the sort that can leave us walking on air.
Jean-Pierre Bouyxou, “La Fiancée de Dracula”, foreword to Pascal Françaix’s Jean Rollin, cinéaste écrivain (Paris: Éditions Films ABC, 2002)
Book, France, World War IIComments Off on LA NUEVE — 24 August 1944. The Spanish Republicans who liberated Paris by Evelyn Mesquida. Preface by Jorge Semprún, four articles by Albert Camus and postscript by General Michel Roquejeoffre. Translated by Paul Sharkey. ISBN 978-1-873976-70-8, 264pp, 16pp photos., paperback. Publication date 8 June 2015.
LA NUEVE — 24 August 1944. The Spanish Republicans who liberated Paris by Evelyn Mesquida. Preface by Jorge Semprún, four articles by Albert Camus and postscript by General Michel Roquejeoffre. £15.00/ €25.00 / $23.00 (+ p+p — £4.00, UK; EU, €9.00; U.S., $12.00). Publication date: 8 June 2015. A limited number of advance copies are available for purchase now. Orders (inc. Paypal payments) to firstname.lastname@example.org (don’t forget the postage!)
Officers, NCOs and soldiers of the 9th Company of the 3rd March Regiment of Chad, La Nueve. First row, l-r: Martín Bernal, Antonio Gualda, Bullosa, Zubierta, Domínguez ‘el Extremeño’, José Cortés, Domínguez ‘el Valencia’, Blanco, Lt. Campos ‘el Canario’, Amado Granell, Sarasqueta, Captain Dronne, Montoya, Federico Moreno, Salvador, Antonio. Others include: Lozano, Pradas, Pedro Castillo, LLorden, Juán Molina, Delgado, Elías, Escudero, Royo, Antonio Curto, Felipe Rodríguez ‘el Feo’, Antonio Sanchez, Salinas, Anarés Carayón, Juán Fuentes, Ginés Martinez ‘el Gallego’, Valero ‘el Sevilla’, Gutiérrez, Fernando Moreno, Antonio Muela, Vazquez, Hernández, Jordi Gomis, Luís Morales, Andrés Castillo, Santi, Liébana, Antonio Navarro ‘Carapalo’, Abenza, Baños, Pablo Cañero ‘el Murciano’, Llesta, Clarasó, Floreal, Jacinto Paniagua y Fábregas. A number of the men chose not to appear in the official photograph citing their past activities and possible future involvement in clandestine anti-Francoist activities. Lt. Campos, for example, and his other anarchist comrades of ‘La Nueve’ set up arms and materiel caches for the urban and rural guerrillas of the Defence Commission of the Spanish Libertarian Movement (MLE) in exile.
They are the heroes from a hidden page of history, the soldiers of La Nueve, No 9 company of General Leclerc’s renowned 2nd Armoured Division (DB). According to the history books, the liberation of Paris began on 25 August 1944 when General Leclerc’s 2e Division Blindée (2e DB) entered the city via the Porte d’Orléans. In fact, Leclerc began the push earlier, on 24 August, when he ordered Captain Dronne, commander of No 9 Company, to enter Paris without delay. Dronne thrust towards the city centre via the Porte d’Italie at the head of two sections from No 9 Company, better known as La Nueve.
The first vehicle from La Nueve reached the Place d l’Hôtel de Ville on 24 August 1944 shortly after 8.00 p.m., “German time”. Amado Granell – Paris’s very first liberator! – climbed down from his half-track to be greeted inside the city hall by Georges Bidault, president of the National Resistance Council, Jean Moulin’s successor. Granell, like 146 out of the La Nueve’s 160 men, was a Spanish republican!
The Battle of Paris cost the 2nd Armoured Division the lives of 71 men and 225 wounded. Material losses included 35 tanks, six self-propelled guns, and 111 vehicles.
On 26 August, General De Gaulle strode down the Champs Élysées accompanied by four vehicles from La Nueve acting as his escort and protection detail. The procession was led by Amado Granell and his armoured car.
Survivors of the Spanish Revolution and the civil war against Franco, having enlisted in the Free French army, the Spaniards of La Nueve — anarchists, socialists, communists and republicans — went on to liberate Alsace and Lorraine and continued fighting relentlessly into Germany as far as the Nazi heartland in the Obersalzberg in the Bavarian Alps. Of the 146 men who landed in Normandy, only 16 survived to be the first to enter Hitler’s Berchtesgaden Eagle’s Nest.
Evelyn Mesquida has done justice to these heroes of freedom, honouring the pledge she made to the survivors. Journalist and writer Evelyn Mesquida, is honorary chair of the Foreign Press Association in Paris and vice-chair of the European Press Club. She is the author of La Mémoire entre silence et l’oubli. Les soldats oubliés de la libération de Paris (Presses de l’université de Laval, Québec, 2006) and of Sorties de guerre des hommes de ‘la Nueve’ (Presses universitaires de Rennes, 2008)