Wednesday, 28 November 2012

Far from the madding crowd...

The human race of the 21st century:  are we still the same species as we were a few hundred years ago?  Could we survive on a remote island without running water, cars, television, Internet?   Marie Gabriel, who quit her career in the media in London two years ago, spent an interesting year on a tiny island in the south Pacific.  Read Marie's experience

We may like to ask some other questions from her experience:

  • How does one maintain harmonious relationships with his fellow cohabitants?  
  • Living in such ‘primeval conditions,’ are there any thoughts for ‘privacy’?
  • In a close-knit community like those on a small pacific island, could there be guaranteed survival of species without incest?

  • Could peace of mind be attainable when one is far away from it all?
  • Apart from the challenge of survival, what possibility is there in terms of inspiration for profound thoughts? 

Friday, 23 November 2012

Tchi Mbouani: Fragiles églantines

A travers une quarantaine de poèmes, le recueil dresse le tableau d’une existence citadine, et parcourt des thèmes variés tels que le rapport au temps et les émotions face aux paysages urbains. L’œuvre se penche sur les solitudes ressenties dans un monde consumériste et dépeint les rapports souvent froids que les hommes entretiennent. Sur un ton grave mais dynamique, "Fragiles églantines" saute courageusement dans le nouveau siècle avec son lot de crises, de désenchantements, mais aussi d'aspirations. Chacun peut se sentir proche des épisodes narrés au fil des vers. En cela, l’œuvre s'inscrit solidement dans l'universel.

Tchi Mbouani Ngaliae est une auteure française d'origine camerounaise, née à Lille en 1982. Elle a grandi dans le Nord de la France où elle poursuivit des études de commerce. Tchi Mbouani a toujours été animée par une passion pour la littérature. Elle signe avec 'Fragiles églantines' sa première oeuvre publiée en langue française.

Tchi Mbouani, a young francophone poet of Cameroon origin, born in Lille 30 years ago, has recently published her collection of poems Fragiles Églantines.  Her poetry shows her extraordinary sensitivity in an apathetic society.  A rare gem!

The volume is available at Fragiles eglantines

Thursday, 1 November 2012

Speaking ill of the dead: Dreyfus, Guildford Four Maguire Seven, and Jimmy Saville

Amy writes:

Some time after WWII my grand-mother said to my sister: "That Dreyfus man, really, he was guilty.  Wasn't he?" I would not say that my grand-mother was anti-Semitic or racist.  But I would say that the fact that the great-grand-son-in-law who lives in her house is Malagashi, and two of her descendants' families are half-Jewish feels like some kind of divine retribution.  My grand-father was a career officer. His wife must have thought something like this: "There is no way this little Alsatian Jew, of no consequence whatsoever, can be right and the French army wrong." 

But at least the Dreyfus Affair provoked a hurricane in France.

For a long time a dull mist hanged over the 1977 conviction of the Guildford four and Maguire seven. They were only little Irish people of no consequence and everybody needed badly to find culprits 3 years after the Guildford pub bombings.  The way their convictions were obtained and sustained does not make for pleasant reading.  They were acquitted only in 1989 in the case of the Guildford four, and 1991 in that of the Maguires.  I do not know how long it took before the Irish establishment listened to and was convinced by the evidence given by children abused by their priests.  It was more important for the bishops to protect the reputation of the Church than to protect the children and they were good at it. 

We know how long it took for the abuses of Jimmy Saville to come to light.  But it seems to me that, in every case, the greatest guilt belongs not so much to the French army, the English police, the forcibly celibate priests, the addicted Saville as to the establishment, and possibly ourselves, always prepared to give more credence to the mighty and powerful than to the little people.

Let us not renew this error.  Let us leave the police and judiciary to do their job in peace (and hope for the best!) while looking out for any sign of a witch-hunt incited by the powerful and mighty media.