Friday, October 31, 2014

I'm struggling at the moment with a work called "Against World Literature" by Emily Apter (Verso, 2013). Struggling because it is in great part written in academic language of theoretical discussion, far above my head. Let me cite an example -

"The emergent paradigm of a prophetic, discontinuous chronotope capable of releasing the now-time while projecting a narrative hologram of divine program, can be seen as nothing short of an attempt to reconcile worldly 'reality' (Weltwirklichkeit) with messianic eschatology."

Yet there is so much of interest in this book for me. Its theme is translation, translatability and untranslatability, a subject that does exercise my mind from time to time. There are essays here that I want to read, and will, perhaps without taking as much from them as one dedicated to the study of language and translation. I'm sure it was not intended for the lay person.
I didn't know that Eleanor Marx Aveling, daughter of Big Karl, translated Flaubert's Madame Bovary into English.
I was interested that the author discusses Wu Ming and the Novel "Manituana"; and I was pleasantly surprised that Umberto Eco is nowhere mentioned.
But most intriguing for me is a chapter entitled "Paranoid Globalism which covers the fiction of writers such as Don DeLillo and Thomas Pynchon, and apprises me of an American artist named Mark Lombardi, until now unknown.

"Anti-market cyber communism emerges as the tain of capitalism's paranoid mirror; both are world-systems that are everywhere and nowhere reliant on their formal invisibility to mobilize paranoid projection as a social imagery. It is a credit to the acuity of the artist Mark Lombardi that he devised ways of making visible this highly elusive relationality of the virtual world, mapping unseen economies that contour the globe. In a series of diagrams (assembled in his 2003 'Global Networks' retrospective at the Drawing Center in New York), based on information and statistics mined from public databases, Lombardi transforms corporate and political scandals into cartographies of conspiracy. He charts capital flow using a system of delicate skeins, arrows, and hubs that indicate the paths of illicit money transfers, laundering operations, and offshore accounting. The Bank of Credit and Commerce International is thus revealed in a compromising web of connectedness to the Saudi Bank of Paris, Osama Bin Laden, the Houston Main Bank, and George H. W. Bush. Whether it is Meyer Lansky's financial network circa 1960-78, Oliver North's Iran-Contra operation of 1984-86, the Keating savings and loan debacle of 1978-90, or the Harken Energy scam of 1979-90, Lombardi's maps of corporate kleptocracy clearly illustrate how all the dots are connected in ways that were always suspected but rarely worked out in such detail. Little surprise, then, that FBI representatives appeared at the opening of his posthumous retrospective and expressed their incredulity that an artist with access only to information in the public domain, and working without a computerized database, could have plotted the scandals with such accuracy. Rumors also flew that the artist's apparent suicide was actually a murder motivated by any number of possible parties whose illicit finances he had exposed."

More on Mark Lombardi here.

Thursday, October 30, 2014

On the 28th February last year I published a photograph of a gang attacking a Palestinian woman under my "Zionist Heroes" label.
It turns out that three of the women assailants in the photograph are now suing the photographer for defamation. It seems that they are upset that the world has witnessed their thuggery.

Wednesday, October 29, 2014

"By all appearances, Google’s bosses genuinely believe in the civilizing power of enlightened multinational corporations, and they see this mission as continuous with the shaping of the world according to the better judgment of the “benevolent superpower.” They will tell you that open-mindedness is a virtue, but all perspectives that challenge the exceptionalist drive at the heart of American foreign policy will remain invisible to them. This is the impenetrable banality of “don’t be evil.” They believe that they are doing good. And that is a problem."

Wednesday, October 22, 2014

... and on, and on ...

Sunday, October 12, 2014

Those poor settlers, struggling against olive-picking female terrorists. Olives contain stones, you know, and stones are the Palestinians terrorists' weapon of choice. Why do the US media ignore such stories of heroism?

Monday, October 06, 2014

Back in April of 2012 I posted a piece about Roman East Yorkshire and the civitas of Petuaria near Hull.
I stated that the forerunner of Hull, Wyke came into existence in late medieval times, and inferred that there was no settlement in the Hull area in Roman times.
I was wrong. Though the evidence for a settlement in the area is archaeological and no written record has turned up to date.
I quote here from a recent publication, "The Parisi: Britons and Romans in East Yorkshire" (The History Press, Stroud, 2013), the work of Dr. Peter Halkon of Hull University.*

"For many years ... it was supposed that much of the lower Hull Valley around the City of Kingston upon Hull itself was devoid of Roman activity because it was under water and the few Roman finds handed in to Hull Museums were attributed to servicemen returning from overseas losing the ancient souvenirs picked up during their foreign postings in the First and Second World Wars ... In the series of excavations undertaken in the Old Town, the discovery of Roman pottery showed that buried Roman land surfaces may exist (Bartlett, 1971), but it was not until 1984 that this suspicion was confirmed when the owner of a new house at Greylees Avenue, on the outskirts of the city just off Beverley High Road, not far from the West Bank of the River Hull, recognised samian and other Roman pottery as he prepared his new garden. The occupant informed Hull Museums and the subsequent excavation yielded 4,000 Roman finds from the later first to fourth centuries AD, including building remains and ditches suggestive of land management."
(Halkon p.156)

"Excavation in the 1990s in the Sutton Fields Industrial Estate at Malmo Road, to the east of the River Hull, revealed drip-gullies from rectilinear buildings, postholes, pits and ditches and a 60m cobbled trackway ... Further investigation was undertaken here in 2005 ... with finds including ceramic building material, animal bone and pottery from the second and third centuries AD. The ceramic building material included tiling from both roofs and central heating systems and a fragment from a stamped tile of the VI Legion. These find are intriguing: is this a demonstration that people local to the area here had fully absorbed Roman lifestyles. or was the site in some way connected along the river system to the legionary fortress at York?"
(ibid., p.157)

The reference to Bartlett, 1971, is to a report on excavations in Hull's old town in the Kingston upon Hull Museums Bulletin, nos.3 and 4, 1971, by John Bartlett, and entitled "The Medieval Walls of Hull".
I quote -
"In the museum there are a number of complete Roman pots from Hull i.e. from Thoresby Street and from National Avenue, and extensive collections of sherds from the neighbourhood of Haworth Hall, from the Barmston Drain near Endike Lane and from Saltend. It is therefore not true, as has sometimes been suggested, that before the foundation of medieval Wyke the site that was to become Hull had always been uninhabited. How important Romano-British settlement was around the lower reaches of the River Hull cannot yet be estimated. It seems likely that a Romano-British land surface exists below the town at considerable depth sealed by sterile layers of river alluvium laid down in Saxon times. It is only very exceptionally that there has been any penetration in modern times down to these depths."
(loc cit., p 26)

I feel the need for some names, locative or personal, to place these artefacts in a human context.

*In my earlier post I referred to this local population (tribe?) as the Parisii, because that was the spelling I first encountered. I know also that I've seen Roman Brough called "Petuaria Parisiorum", only later did I see the spellings Parisi and Parisorum. I have not emended my earlier post.
Halkon does discuss a connection between the the Parisi of Britannia and the Parisii of Gaul, and cites favourable evidence while remaining neutral on the topic.