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Note from the Editors

Swans indulged in a rare hiatus from publishing this August, taking a sojourn of sorts that is normally enjoyed by, well, all of Europe. There were many highs and lows during those two fortnights, from a memorable London Olympics with its myriad records and firsts, to the unfortunate penetration of "legitimate rape" into the American vernacular. Some notable passings occurred -- Peter Byrne provides a unique perspective on the life of cultural icon Gore Vidal, while Gilles d'Aymery takes indifferent exception to a popular muckraker and his true political leanings. As for the unfortunate vernacular, Karen Moller is one of many women who are livid over (mostly male) politicians legislating their bodies and dragging the country into Third-World fundamentalism. Equally troubling are so-called feminists such as Vandana Shiva who promote notions of "culturally-perceived" poverty as a means of defending capitalism and leaving the poor to their own devices -- Michael Barker explains with the help of Shiva critic Professor Regina Cochrane.

On the Arts & Culture front, Charles Marowitz reports on Jan Kott's poignant autobiographical essay -- one of those rare works that permeates his very being, while Paul Buhle wishes for a bit more from Michael Staudenmaier's Truth and Revolution: a History of the Sojourner Truth Organization, 1969-1986. In the world of music, Isidor Saslav visits the deep, dramatic, and beautiful compositions of Kurt Weill, and turning from metaphysical to corporeal trips, we accompany Raju Peddada and his sons on Part I of their summer car excursion through the Great Plains, while Harvey Whitney, Jr. shares his exploration of Salt Lake City and its striking contrasts to east coast cities. We close with John Marshall's poetic remembrance of Elizabeth Grey Fussell, Guido Monte and Silvia Dello Russo's multilingual mysteries, your letters on our Special Summer Issue, and an appeal for your generous help with our summer fundraising drive.

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US Elections & Democracy

Manuel García, Jr.:  Why The Republican Convention Was All Fluff

Republican convention speeches are fluff masking their unspoken core issue, inheritance insurance.   More...


Harvey E. Whitney, Jr.:  Conservative Antinomies For The Ages

A sketch of antinomies in which conservative Republicans do not apply their principles universally.   More...


Tidbits Flying Across the Martian Desk

Gilles d'Aymery:  Blips #128

A few selected issues that landed on the Editor's desk, from the art of governing France when the wealthy are fleeing; the art of emotionalism and the Ann Romney/Michelle Obama mythic convention oratory; to the art of nothingness and more on Alexander Cockburn.   More...


Patterns Which Connect

Michael Barker:  Postmodern Gandhians And Hindu Nationalism - Part I

A summary of Meera Nanda's book Prophets Facing Backward: Postmodernism, Science, and Hindu Nationalism.   More...


Jonah Raskin:  The Sunset Of Empire: Memories Of Manchester, England

The author recalls his time in England in the 1960s, a world long gone but still under his skin.   More...


America: Myths & Realities

Glenn Reed:  Big Foot And Benedict Arnold Crossing Paths In Whitehall, New York

History, myth, and indifferent politicians often leave small towns like Whitehall, New York, with painful realities.   More...


Hungry Man, Reach For The Book

Peter Byrne:  Big City Blues

A review of John Lanchester's novel Capital, set in a fictional wealthy London district in the year that Lehman Brothers crashed.   More...


In Memoriam

Raju Peddada:  Florence Shay, 1922-2012

Raju Peddada remembers Florence Shay, the last of the great book purveyors and a joyous and generous soul.   More...


The World of Music

Isidor Saslav:  Summer Operas -- From Lully To Chabrier

The 2012 Glimmerglass Opera festival featured a real and wonderful performance of Jean Baptiste Lully's opera Armide.   More...



Raju Peddada:  Our River Toys With The Missouri Part II

Part II of the author's summer road trip with his two sons, this time along the Missouri River.   More...



John M. Marshall:  The Vision Of Delphica

A poem inspired by research of the sybils.   More...


Multilingual Poetry

Guido Monte:  don't forget (mi moratseq)

Guido Monte reminds us not to forget the horror of the Armenian genocide.   More...


Letters to the Editor


The French return from les vacances to find the same old economic mess; concurrence on Gilles d'Aymery's take on Alex Cockburn; and condolences for Florence Shay, whose passing left the world a smaller place.   More...


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SWANS - ISSN: 1554-4915
Created: September 10, 2012