Many thanks to Nicole Montalette for her generous contribution in support of our coin français.


Note from the Editors

While the world debates the veracity of Tiger Woods's mea culpa, we have a few more compelling matters on our minds, from political analyses to literary debuts. American myths and realities made their respective appearances in the 2007-redesigned US passport. Upon recently renewing hers, Jan Baughman discovered that what was once a discreet entrée for travel is now an embarrassing propagandist pamphlet filled with quaint freedoms and the stark reality of God's standing in this country -- enough to make the American revolutionaries turn in their graves. (Speaking of revolutionaries, Peter Byrne conducts a fantasy visit to a very real "Comrade" Cort Greene, who took exception, to put it mildly, to Swans no multi-posting policy. Despite Peter's best arguments, logic did not prevail...) Haiti's history has been rewritten too, but Femi Akomolafe corrects the record in an excellent review of how French and American imperialism transformed this once prosperous land into one of the poorest nations. The world opened its pocketbook when the earthquake decimated this already decimated country, but was it all in the name of altruism? Michael Barker's latest exposé examines the hidden source of business power disguised as Corporate Social Responsibility. And if you're feeling bullish about the recent economic news, before you head to the mall to empty your pocketbook read Gilles d'Aymery's political-economic elucidation of the myths and realities behind the GDP canard and other statistical lies, among other insightful tidbits about the price of Haiti compared to Louisiana -- a truly shocking comparison.

Now for the moment we've all been waiting for! Charles Marowitz recently discovered a hidden treasure in the form of a never-before-published interview he conducted with T.S. Eliot in London circa 1957-58. A jeune Marowitz explores Eliot's perspective on poetry and drama, playwrights and writers. Many thanks to Charles for finding and sharing this gem with the world. In another wonderful literary exchange, Isidor Saslav recounts his 40-year admiration of, and ultimate meeting with, Louis Auchincloss -- a lifelong book collector's ambition fulfilled.

Another gem to debut on Swans is an intriguing and realistic short story set in Lithuania, The Sundial, by French author Christine Spadaccini. Which leads us to le coin français, where Marie Rennard, Jean-Claude Seine, and Simone Alié-Daram share their views on the current debate on l'identité française, or the French National Identity -- a calculated political machination engineered by President Sarkozy to divert the polity from the worsening economic situation and rally the reactionary right-wing electorate by stigmatizing the Muslim community. Finally, Guido Monte takes us on an existential journey in poetry, and we close with your letters, on Femi Akomolafe's rare and valuable reporting on Africa, Steve Shay's vivid imagination, and a few extra words from Art Shay, ESQ.

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America: Myths & Realities

Jan Baughman:  Passport Propaganda

A look at the 2007-redesigned US passport, complete with propaganda to remind Americans of the values on which the country was founded, in case they've forgotten due to all they've surrendered in the name of capitalism and security.   More...


Peter Byrne:  Up The Revolutionary's

Peter Byrne conducts a fantasy visit to the self-defined revolutionary Cort Greene, who took to task Swans no multi-posting policy in the name of something Byrne just can't put his finger on.   More...


Patterns Which Connect

Femi Akomolafe:  Crocodile Tears For Haiti

An excellent overview of Haitian history, the slave revolution, and how French and American imperialism transformed this once prosperous French colonial possession in the Western hemisphere into one of the poorest.   More...


Michael Barker:  Corporate Social Responsibility As A Political Resource

An examination of how strategic philanthopy overshadows the importance of PAC and soft money contributions in US election cycles.   More...


Tidbits Flying Across the Martian Desk

Gilles d'Aymery:  Blips #96

A few selected issues that landed on the Editor's desk, from the wisdom of Frantz Fanon and Disraeli's three kinds of lies; to the feel-good economic statistics and the Sword of Damocles behind the GDP, unemployment, consumption, home construction, banking, and debt and insolvency; to Haiti's curse, the cost of its freedom, the Louisiana Purchase, and more.   More...


Hungry Man, Reach For The Book

Charles Marowitz:  T.S. Eliot: Un Objet Trouvé

Charles Marowitz discovers his previously unpublished interview with T.S. Eliot at the Faber and Faber publishing house, London, circa 1957.   More...


Isidor Saslav:  Lunch With Louis Auchincloss

Following the deaths of three great historians/fictionalists -- Louis Auchincloss, J.D. Salinger, and Howard Zinn -- the author recounts his 40-year admiration of and ultimate meeting with Auchincloss -- a lifelong book collector's ambition fulfilled.   More...


Short Story

Christine Spadaccini:  The Sundial

A poignant short story set in Lithuania with a backdrop of childhood illness, the Babushka left behind by her sons in search of a better life, and the healing power of sun.   More...


Le coin français

Marie Rennard:  Identité Nationale, Vox Populi : Causons-zen !

Le débat sur identité nationale suit son cours au Café de la Gare.   More...


Jean-Claude Seine:  Idiotitité Nationale

De Jehan Rictus à Serge Gainsbourg, l'identité nationale à travers quelque uns de nos plus célèbres artistes.   More...


Simone Alié-Daram:  France Edito

Ah, oui, cette identité nationale... Une idiotie et une gajeure.   More...


Multilingual Poetry

Guido Monte:  stotra (song)

Monte and Saieva describe the existential journey of a man, between doubts and angst of feelings.   More...


Letters to the Editor


Peter Byrne lauds Femi Akomolafe's rare and valuable reporting on Africa; Steve Shay's imagination takes exception to his father's advice; Art Shay, ESQ. has a few words for Gilles d'Aymery and his 200-word Salinger challenge -- QED, and more.   More...


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SWANS - ISSN: 1554-4915
Created: February 22, 2010