- From Club Cultura
It has been ten years since Roberto Bolaño died while waiting for a liver transplant that never came; he would have been 61 years old this month and would doubtless have added to the body of work that includes such monumental novels as The Savage Detectives and 2666, though we might wonder how the latter would have been different had its writer not been in a ferocious race against death to complete it. Here, a translation of Bolaño's final interview, conducted by the Mexican writer Monica Maristain just before he died.
In the ill-defined panorama of Spanish-language literature
- From Blog Mes Deux Cennes
An unprecedented electoral disaster for Quebec's pro-independence Parti Quebecois this week. The governing party of the Canadian province had called early elections in hopes of getting a stronger majority, on the strength of a new anti-immigrant program. In this letter to his fellow 'sovereignists,' independence activist Simon DeLorme writes that the party's abrupt tack to the right was a perhaps irreversible mistake, that by trampling on the francophone immigrants who are its future, the party may have written its own death sentence.
The worst popular-vote outcome since 1970.
- From Seminar
If Hindu nationalist politician Narendra Modi wins power in India's vast parliamentary elections this week, writes Siddharth Varadarajan in Seminar, it will be a victory for crony capitalism as much as it is for sectarian Hindus. A decade ago, Modi's name was synonymous with sectarian bloodshed and backwardness; how was he transformed into an avatar of 'modernization'?
Who does Narendra Modi represent and what does his rise in Indian politics signify?
- From Al Safir Al Arabi
An absurd synopsis of Iraq's dissolution under American occupation: the figure of the modern, educated doctor, forced to pay the blood-price by tribal elders for a patient who has died. A scene that is now repeated endlessly all over the country, says Baghdad writer Omar al-Jaffal.
In the space of 24 hours last July, three doctors were murdered in different parts of Baghdad, all of them shot with silenced pistols.
- From Al Maqal
Saudi Arabia's brusque official toggle-which overnight turned jihadis in Syria from heroes into terrorists- demonstrates the scope of the regime's authoritarian power, writes Muhammad al-Sadiq.
And now suddenly jihad in Syria is the number one public preoccupation of Saudi Arabia. It is as if the entire Saudi media had sunk into a collective coma when the war in Syria started three years ago, and now they are all waking up at once.
- From Tel Quel
A picturesque little village in France, where the residents vote for the far-right National Front while happily serving the king of Morocco. A reporter for Moroccan magazine Tel Quel asks the villagers-why all this love for the Commander of the Faithful?
"So, what do you think about the king of Morocco?"