Molto grazie to Fabio De Propris from Rome, Italy, for his financial contribution to our multilingual work.


Note from the Editors

For a change let's begin with cultural matters. Spring is in the air and the scent of lilacs enticed Jonah Raskin on a walk across the Belgian countryside, where he reflects on the identity crisis that looms as thick as the volcanic ash spewing through the skies of Europe over the backdrop of a shattered economy and the scapegoating of the other -- a scene that is mirrored in the U.S.A., substituting ash-filled air with oil-soaked water. Peter Byrne recently returned from another struggling venue, southern India, where a man-made disaster of excremental proportions has been the work of numerous books, which he read while scouring for evidence of the legendary human-turd-strewn land -- not the stuff of Fodor's Travel Guide, but nor is Peter! Since we're on the subject of books, Charles Marowitz has been rereading H.L. Mencken, who still gives him a cerebral buzz. Charles revisits the iconoclast whose stylized writing elevated his essays to a level of art unmatched by contemporary columnists. Also, Jan Baughman reviews the unmatched contemporary novel The Art of Racing in the Rain. You don't have to be a fan of dogs or car racing to appreciate the story narrated by Enzo, a lab-terrier mix, humanitarian and philosopher, and would-be man in the body of a dog.

Back to the present reality, Michael Barker offers an extension of Adrienne Pine's recent critique of the Washington Office on Latin America's actions on behalf of imperialism under the guise of human rights, which leads nicely to Michael Doliner's short but pointed allegorical lament on the havoc wreaked in the streets across the world while neighbors wash their hands of any responsibility to their fellow man. The world indeed appears to be in a heightened state of havoc -- Gilles d'Aymery, in his 100th Martian Blips, examines the disastrous environmental and economic events of the past 6 weeks alone, the response of the narcoleptic body politic, the populace's constant state of fear, blame, and like Doliner concludes, lack of responsibility, while Femi Akomolafe imagines what Nigeria could be achieving today if it had been blessed with visionary leaders.

Turning to le coin français, Christine Spadaccini bakes up a creative dig at Facebook and in so doing demonstrates the noxious undertaking of this so-called social network that is everything but free. Her message: Don't get on it and if you are, cancel your account as fast as you can. Marie Rennard recalls the delicious, obsolete literary genre known as ana, and shares memories in short polesy. For his part, Christian Cottard writes a touching tale on the importance of little things after an accident with a squirrel in a world gone mad. We close with the linguistic blending of James Joyce and Guido Monte, and your letters.

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Jonah Raskin:  Crisis Of Identity In Europe: Observations and Reflections

The author reflects from the Belgian countryside on the crisis of identity in Europe and the role of the economic crisis in Greece.   More...


Peter Byrne:  Excremental India

Back from a recent trip to India, Peter Byrne shares his observations and examines its residents' toilet habits that has been the subject of numerous shitty novels.   More...


Arts & Culture

Charles Marowitz:  Reconsidering Mencken

Charles Marowitz considers the personal allure of the iconoclastic H.L. Mencken, whose stylized writing elevated his essays to a level of art unmatched today.   More...


Hungry Man, Reach For The Book

Jan Baughman:  A Canine Perspective On Humanity

Garth Stein's amazing novel, The Art of Racing in the Rain, is creative, clever, humorous, and suspenseful, ranking among the best of contemporary novels. You don't have to be a fan of dogs or car racing to appreciate its humanitarian message.   More...


Patterns which Connect

Michael Barker:  Imperialism And The Washington Office On Latin America

An extension of Adrienne Pine's critique of WOLA.   More...


Michael Doliner:  An American Lament

An allegorical lament on the havoc wreaked in the neighborhoods of America and across the world in which the victims, and not the perpetrators, are held responsible for the clean up while their neighbors wash their hands of any responsibility to their fellow man.   More...


Tidbits Flying Across the Martian Desk

Gilles d'Aymery:  Blips #100

A few selected issues that landed for the one hundredth time on the Editor's desk, on human complex societies spinning out of control under societal and ecological collapse, from coal mines to Wall Street; oil spills and floods; Jihadist and economic terrorists; Freddie Mac, Fannie Mae, and the ever-failing banks; to the blind elite leading the blind populace over the cliff, and more.   More...



Femi Akomolafe:  Nigeria: The Curse Of Reluctant Leaders

Femi Akomolafe imagines what Nigeria would be achieving today if it had been blessed with great, visionary leaders like those that transformed Asia into the 21st century.   More...


Le coin français

Pâtebook et Face à choux
Christine Spadaccini

Facebook, une affaire qui vous roule dans la farine ?   More...


Marie Rennard

Des ana aux brèves de comptoirs, deux siècles si différents et pourtant si semblables.   More...


Christian Cottard

Le monde va mal, et l'écureuil est mort.   More...


Fugit irreparabile...
Marie Rennard

Mémoire des partis.   More...


Multilingual Poetry

Guido Monte:  Joyce

Monte and Saieva remember and reconstruct "words behind words" of James Joyce.   More...


Letters to the Editor


Short on letters but long on praise for Jonah Raskin's review of the letters of Kerouac and Ginsberg, the investigative journalism of Michael Barker on co-opted environmentalism, and a job announcement from the Pacifica Foundation.   More...


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SWANS - ISSN: 1554-4915
Created: May 17, 2010