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Mouse Mouth Mitt

Eliot Weinberger, 13 September 2012

... als Weltparasit (‘The Jew as World Parasite’). These things tend to stick. Click here to read Eliot Weinberger's previous piece on Mitt Romney, 'A Hologram for ...

The Wall

Eliot Weinberger, 5 July 2012

... I. At 8.46 p.m. at Rudower Höhe, the sentry sneezed and a West Berlin customs officer shouted back: ‘Gesundheit!’ At 11.40 a.m. at the Kiesberg sentry post, three West Berlin youths shouted: ‘Hey, guys, still smoking rags? Want an HB cigarette? Come over and get one.’ At 9.25 a.m. at the Buckersberg sentry post, two men, aged thirty-five to forty, asked: ‘Did you see two children yesterday afternoon, riding their bicycles along the canal?’ At 5 ...

The Cloud Bookcase

Eliot Weinberger, 28 July 2011

... Absorption of Solar and Lunar Essences by Anonymous (4th century) Alchemy of the Purple Coil by Anonymous (12th century) A treatise on sexuality. The female sexual organ is referred to as the ‘furnace of the reclining moon’. A later commentator notes that ‘it has never been known that one can obtain immortality by mounting women.’ Arcane Essay on the Supreme Cultivation of True Nature by Anonymous (14th century) Recommends the avoidance of sleep ...

Not Recommended Reading

Eliot Weinberger, 7 September 2017

... The Whirling Eye (1920) by Thomas W. Benson and Charles S. Wolfe    A psychiatrist, visiting an insane asylum, discovers his old friend Professor Mehlman, who declares that he has been unjustly incarcerated merely because he is in love with a Venusian. Mehlman had constructed a giant telescope in the Andes to observe life on Venus. In the course of his studies, he had become smitten by the sight of a beautiful Venusian female, whom he kept watching ...

A Hologram for President

Eliot Weinberger, 30 August 2012

... Poor Mitt. He became the Republican candidate for president by default, as the least worst choice from a pack of bizarre characters seemingly drawn from reality TV shows or Thomas Pynchon novels, but he’s not finding much love, even at his own coronation. Only 27 per cent of Americans think that he’s a ‘likeable’ guy. (Obama gets 61 per cent ...


Eliot Weinberger: A poetry festival in Chengdu, 22 September 2005

... I had vowed never to go to China until my friend, the exiled poet Bei Dao, was able to travel freely there, but when I received a sudden invitation to the Century City First International Poetry Festival in Chengdu, he urged me on: ‘If you wait for me, you’ll be too old to enjoy it.’ The international dimension of the festival was to be limited to two Americans ...

Poet at the Automat

Eliot Weinberger: Charles Reznikoff, 22 January 2015

... said, of something he had seen in a magazine: ‘When I read a poem like this, I turn the page.’ Eliot Weinberger’s essay is adapted from his introduction to a forthcoming reissue of Charles Reznikoff’s ...

That Impostor Known as the Buddha

Eliot Weinberger: Incarnations of the Buddha, 11 September 2014

From Stone to Flesh: A Short History of the Buddha 
by Donald S. Lopez Jr.
Chicago, 289 pp., £18, April 2013, 978 0 226 49320 6
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In Search of the Christian Buddha: How an Asian Sage Became a Medieval Saint 
by Donald S. Lopez Jr and Peggy McCracken.
Norton, 262 pp., £17.99, May 2014, 978 0 393 08915 8
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... In 125 CE​ , Aristides, defending Christianity before the Emperor Hadrian at the celebration of the Eleusinian Mysteries, divided the world into four: Greeks (which included Egyptians and Chaldeans), Jews, Christians and barbarians. In the Christian West the coming of Islam revised this list into a taxonomy that would remain in place for a millennium: Jews, Christians, ‘Mahometans’ and ‘idolaters ...

‘Damn right,’ I said

Eliot Weinberger: Bush Meets Foucault, 6 January 2011

Decision Points 
by George W. Bush.
Virgin, 497 pp., £25, November 2010, 978 0 7535 3966 8
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... In the late 1960s, George Bush Jr was at Yale, branding the asses of pledges to the Delta Kappa Epsilon fraternity with a hot coathanger. Michel Foucault was at the Societé française de philosophie, considering the question, ‘What is an author?’ The two, needless to say, never met. Foucault may have visited Texas on one of his lecture tours, but Junior, as far as it is known, never took his S&M revelry beyond the Ivy League – novelists will have to invent a chance encounter in a basement club in Austin ...


Eliot Weinberger: Next stop, Forbidden City, 23 June 2005

... The poet,’ Gu Cheng wrote in 1987, ‘is just like the fabled hunter who naps beside a tree, waiting for hares to break their skulls by running headlong into the tree trunk. After waiting for a long time, the poet discovers that he is the hare.’ These words turned out to be prophetic; six years later, his terrible and sordid crash against the tree would nearly obliterate what had come before ...

Praise Yah

Eliot Weinberger: The Psalms, 24 January 2008

The Book of Psalms: A Translation with Commentary 
by Robert Alter.
Norton, 518 pp., £22, October 2007, 978 0 393 06226 7
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... Out of the mouths of babes; apple of the eye; fire and brimstone; out of joint; sleep the sleep of death; sweeter than honey and the honeycomb; whiter than snow; oh that I had wings like a dove for then would I fly away; the meek shall inherit the earth; tender mercies; clean hands and a pure heart; I have been young and now am old; my cup runneth over; many a time; clean gone; the days of old; I am a worm and no man; his heart’s desire; the heavens declare the glory of god; go down to the sea in ships; at their wits’ end; the valley of the shadow of death; make a joyful noise; go from strength to strength ...

Who Won’t Be Voting for Trump

Eliot Weinberger: Anyone for Trump?, 20 October 2016

... African Americans Trump is currently polling at 0-1 per cent among African Americans. (In some districts, they couldn’t find a single supporter.) However, Trump has stated that when he runs for his second term as president, ‘I guarantee you that I will get over 95 per cent of the African American vote. I promise you. Because I will produce.’Women Trump: ‘There’s nothing I love more than women, but they’re really a lot different than portrayed ...

Obama v. Clinton: A Retrospective

Eliot Weinberger: A Tale of Two Candidates, 3 July 2008

... On the final night of the relentless presidential primary campaign, Jesse Jackson compared Barack Obama’s victory to the signing of the Declaration of Independence. Erica Jong compared Hillary Clinton’s defeat to watching Joan of Arc burning at the stake. Obama was in St Paul, Minnesota, pointedly in the very arena where the Republicans will hold their convention in September, at times barely audible over the nearly continual cheering of 17,000 fans (with another 15,000 listening outside ...

They could have picked...

Eliot Weinberger, 28 July 2016

... Last January​ , the unpronounceable Reince Priebus, chairman of the Republican National Committee, surveying his party’s throng of presidential aspirants, tweeted: ‘It’s clear we’ve got the most well-qualified and diverse field of candidates from any party in history.’ Why, the world wonders, did they end up with Donald Trump as their nominee? The primary voters could have picked Rick Santorum, the former senator from Pennsylvania, once the third-ranking Republican in the Senate, and, with four million votes, the runner-up to Mitt Romney in the 2012 primaries ...

‘It was everything’

Eliot Weinberger: The Republican Convention, 11 August 2016

... Donald Trump​ vowed that the ‘convention in Cleveland will be amazing!’ It will probably be the only campaign promise he ever fulfils, but indeed, as watched on television, it was amazing, unlike any other, if not quite, as he later summed it up, ‘one of the most peaceful, one of the most beautiful, one of the most love-filled conventions in the history of conventions ...

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