A Cross-cultural Book Review: Touching by Adania Shibli and Kneller's Happy Summer Camp by Etgar Keret
- Created on 09 February 2013
- Published on 09 February 2013
- Written by Lucie Demondion, Mikaël Doulson-Alberca, Maxime Zaoui
Our objective here is to comparatively review two books: Kneller's happy summer camp, by Etgar Keret, 1998, and Touching, by Adania Shibli, 2002. Our main reason for operating a comparative analysis on these two works of fiction is linked to the Israeli-Palestinian conflict: the books both provide examples of the new literary scene in the two countries concerned. Indeed, there is a departure from the classical form of writing, which consists in not taking the conflict into account, or at least, in not making it the main focus of their story. Moreover, this comparative analysis aims to highlight the emergence of what we believe may be a new literary movement.
- Created on 22 January 2013
- Published on 22 January 2013
- Written by Eve Boissonnat, Simon Suret
Christos Chryssopoulos, La destruction du Parthénon, Actes Sud, 2012.
In 1944, surrealist poet and secretary of the ASAS (the Society of Aesthetic Saboteurs of Antiques), Yorgos Makris wrote a manifesto entitled “Let’s blow up the Acropolis!” On Friday the17th of this month, in The destruction of the Parthenon, Ch. K., the anti-hero of the novel actually blew up the Parthenon. A part of the Acropolis was obliterated to be replaced by the immensity of an empty sky. The astonished Athenians watched and commented on the scene, asking themselves plenty of questions: Who could have done such a thing? Who could have damaged their symbol? Why? Was it real, or were they just dreaming? This doubt persists throughout the novel: it becomes hard for the reader to tell reality from fiction. Christos Chryssopoulos constructs his work, The destruction of the Parthenon, on these questions. Several voices mingle in an attempt to understand the incomprehensible. The Parthenon has been profaned, someone has to be punished. Ch. K., who will be arrested, will have to pay for “the destruction of the symbol” (p. 57).
- Created on 12 November 2012
- Published on 12 November 2012
- Written by Michel Terestchenko
Il n'est peut-être pas de nation qui puisse subsister sans la distinction de l'ami et de l'ennemi, du citoyen et de l'étranger, sans la délimitation de frontières et d'un espace clos sur lequel s'exerce la souveraineté de l'Etat.
A quoi s'ajoute la fabrication d'un récit, plus ou moins fictif, qui vise à souder les citoyens dans le sentiment d'une identité partagée et d'une histoire commune. Mais qu'advient-il à une telle société si les ressorts de l'unité nationale et du patriotisme se nourrissent, chez un nombre croissant de citoyens, de l'imaginaire d'une menace qui conduit à stigmatiser une catégorie d'individus en raison de leur appartenance à une religion particulière ? Est-ce là un facteur de vitalité ou au contraire le symptôme d'une pathologie sociale ?
On l'aura compris, c'est la seconde hypothèse qui a toutes les chances d'être la plus exacte. Encore convient-il de prouver qu'il s'agit bien là d'un fantasme se développant au sein d'une société en proie à une profonde crise identitaire. Tel est le diagnostic que porte le sociologue Raphaël Liogier dans son dernier ouvrage, Le mythe de l'islamisation. Essai sur une obsession collective (Paris, Le Seuil, 2012).
- Created on 30 October 2012
- Published on 30 October 2012
- Written by Delphine Grimaldi et Hélène Jouvet
In his novel, Nedim Gürsel relates his childhood. After the death of his father and the departure of his mother, he is raised by his grandparents. The grandfather is a Muslim landowner and a jurist. He is a disabled war veteran who tries to instill Islamic principles into his grandson. As for his grandmother, she used to tell him stories from the Koran and traditional Turkish legends. Building on this education, the child created his own imagination, haunted by questionings about good and evil and Mahomet’s life. On reching adulthood, among his grandfather’s documents, Nedim Gürsel discovers a diary in which his the latter had written about his war experience in Arabia during World War I. He explains how he fought against the Arabs, who were allied with the British, in order to defend Medina. Nedim Gürsel also tells us about his friend Ismaîl, murdered by his own father, the baker Ibrahim. This autobiographical part of the novel is blended with another form of narrative. Nedim Gürsel has the pre-Islmaic idols Manat, Uzza and Lat speak about the emergence of Islam and Muslim faith. These three idols were considered to be Allah’s daughters, intercessors between Allah and mankind.
- Created on 24 October 2012
- Published on 24 October 2012
- Written by Patrick Hutchinson
Quelques questions et réflexions intempestives pour accompagner le débat autour de ‘Souci de Soi, Conscience du Monde' de Raphaël Liogier.
Pour Raphaël Liogier, le fond de l'air de notre époque n'est ni rouge, ni brun, ni même vert (sauf peut-être au sens écologique), ni pourpre, ni encore safran, mais d'un bleu profond, amniotique, planétaire, qui contiendrait en même temps la chatoyante multitude des nuances individuelles de l'arc-en-ciel. En tout cas, dans son nouveau livre, il nous annonce brillamment deux ou trois bonnes nouvelles (sans majuscules). La première, très bonne déjà pour les sociologues et autres spécialistes du religieux (croyants ou non, bien sûr), c'est que la Religion (ou du moins la Religiosité.. ?), malgré une mort annoncée de longue date et préparée de longue main, n'est ni moribonde, ni entrain de dépérir d'une lente phtisie laïque et moderniste.
- Created on 16 October 2012
- Published on 16 October 2012
- Written by Gülener Kirnali and Guillaume Silhol
The article "God and Caesar in America: Why mixing religion and politics is bad for both" (Foreign Affairs - March/April 2012) was written by two important political scientists; Robert David Putnam and David E. Campbell. The material in the article comes from the authors' highly informative book American Grace: How religion divides and unites us (published in 2010 by Simon&Schuster). The book is based on many surveys, but central to its analysis is the Faith Matters Survey that was conducted in 2006 on behalf of Harvard University, the second survey of 2007 with 3100 Americans. On the other hand; the article contains some statistical data from a 2011 survey and certain data from Gallup survey.
Religion, Civil Society and Peace in Northern Ireland, John D. Brewer, Gareth I. Higgins and Francis Teeney
- Created on 05 October 2012
- Published on 05 October 2012
- Written by Gülener Kirnali and Guillaume Silhol
The three authors of the sociological essay Religion, Civil Society and Peace in Northern Ireland are scholars who graduated from and/or taught at Queen's University Belfast and with a direct experience of the Northern Irish peace process. John D. Brewer has written extensively in the sociology of religion in Northern Ireland (The Mote and the Beam: Anti-Catholicism in Northern Ireland, with Gareth I. Higgins, 1998...) and on comparative peace processes (Peace processes: A Sociological Approach, 2010). Gareth I. Higgins is a Belfast-born sociologist and currently the manager of the American independent arts Wild Goose Festival. Francis Teeney is a social psychologist and teaches currently at Aberdeen University. This book was conceived by John D. Brewer as the third instalment of a trilogy on violence, peace and religion, after C. Wright Mills and the Ending of Violence and Peace Processes.
- Created on 07 February 2012
- Published on 07 February 2012
- Written by Coline Jacquelin, Matthias Waller
(UNE REVOLUTION SOUS NOS YEUX : COMMENT L’ISLAM VA TRANSFORMER LA FRANCE ET L’EUROPE, 2011)
By Christopher Caldwell
We are going to present you our review of “Reflections on the revolution in Europe: Immigration, Islam and the West” written by Christopher Caldwell in 2009, a book which was recently translated in October 2011 into French by Johan Frederik Hel Guedj under the title “Une révolution sous nos yeux, Comment l’Islam va transformer la France et l’Europe”. Moreover, the French version of the book was prefaced by Mrs Michèle Tribalat, a famous French demographer working for the French National Institute of Demographic Studies. But contrary to what happened in Great Britain and in the USA in 2009, there has been almost no publicity about this book when it first appeared on the shelves of French bookshops last year, because the questions of Islam and immigration have become very sensitive issues in our country.
- Created on 24 November 2011
- Published on 24 November 2011
- Written by Jean-Loup Hubert, David Martorana
Jean Boulègue was a historian and former scholar at the University of Panthéon Sorbonne. He specialized in the History of Africa, especially in the medieval and modern history of the great western African empires. He recently died, in March 2011. “Blasphemy on trial” (Le blasphème en procès) was published a year before , in January 2010.
His book studies the recent history of a discrete, but constant and powerful action, led by religions against freedom of speech in religious matter. As a matter of fact, from 1984 to 2009, 20 lawsuits were filed in different courts of secular France, against speeches, written documents or images considered as insulting and defamatory toward a religion. In 18 cases Catholicism was in question, in the other two it was Islam. The first offensive was launched in 1984 by catholic right-wing extremists, when a suit was brought under the aegis of Mgr. Lefebvre against a film poster. Then fundamentalist associations were supported by the episcopate. Muslim associations followed the movement and tried to influence the debate, and the culmination was reached with the open claim to the President of the Republic made by the French Council of the Muslim Faith to modify the French legislation to reestablish the offence of blasphemy.