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Preview: Arnon Grunberg - Blog

Arnon Grunberg - Blog

The day-to-day life of Arnon Grunberg



Thu, 17 Aug 2017 06:33:45 +0200



Over dinner my friend said: "The President will apply for asylum in Russia or Saudia Arabia. This is how it will end."
"Probably," I answered. "Or he goes down and he takes us with him."



Wed, 16 Aug 2017 06:34:41 +0200


At least

Tonight Louis Malle's "Elevator to the gallows" with Jeanne Moreau.

Crime pays. At least it gets you attractive women.

Furthermore: the elevator as an alibi.

And the whole story rests on one person's imprudence.

This is realistic. We all exist because of other people's imprudence.



Tue, 15 Aug 2017 01:36:38 +0200



Shortly after lunch, consisting of one of the strangest pastas I've encountered in my life and a fairly tasty vongole, my friend said: "Within ten years Knausgård will win the Nobel Prize."
"No," I answered, "never."
So we bet. 2027 is the deadline.



Mon, 14 Aug 2017 06:19:19 +0200



Today I interviewed a male model. See also here.

I got naked myself. People wanted to know: "Was it different from your experiences with female models?'

"Only slightly," I answered. "It all depends on the person."



Sun, 13 Aug 2017 06:20:19 +0200



And now something about cowardice.
A cabbie dropped me off at 77th and Madison. He asked: "Can we go to the next corner? I don't want to take these guys."
I saw a group of young, black men. I mumbled something. The cabbie drove me to the next corner, I paid the cabbie, he was from somewhere in Asia I presume, and then I left.



Sat, 12 Aug 2017 09:27:17 +0200



Samuel Moyn and David Priestland on Trump, communism and hysteria:

'A little more than six months into the Trump presidency, though, it now seems clear that the most frightening threats to ordinary politics in the United States are empty or easily contained. Starting with the Trump administration’s original version of the travel ban, the president’s most outrageous policies have been successfully obstructed, leaving largely those that any Republican president would have implemented through executive order. The menace the commander in chief poses to the world, as his impulsive warning to North Korea suggested, may be another matter. But there is no real evidence that Mr. Trump wants to seize power unconstitutionally, and there is no reason to think he could succeed.

There is certainly evidence of Russian interference in the election, and the hacking of the Democratic National Committee is serious. But that hardly amounts to a long-term design on American democracy from some kind of fifth column, backed by Moscow’s “Authoritarian International” and propagated by fake news. Even if it were true that President Vladimir Putin of Russia is attempting an illiberal putsch, he is still far from achieving this goal. Paranoia alone explains why fear that the republic is in imminent danger has been the dominant response.'

Read the article here,

In other words, paranoia is the true danger.

Paranoia is the true friend of the extreme-right of course, but alas paranoia can be found everywhere.

The gentlemen added:

'A dysfunctional economy, not lurking tyranny, is what needs attention if recent electoral choices are to be explained — and voting patterns are to be changed in the future. Yet there is too little recognition of the need for new direction in either party. Senator Chuck Schumer of New York recently declared that the Democrats have merely failed to get their message across. Many Republicans are convinced that the party can correct its Trumpian aberration by reasserting the status quo ante of free markets and social conservatism. Neither side, it would seem, is ready to depart from its prior consensus.;

The need of need direction, yes, but what direction?



Fri, 11 Aug 2017 00:11:14 +0200



Another performance of the play "The Mankind", based on my book "In Praise of Mankind".
The audience appeared to be a bit surly in this city, but maybe it was me.
The most intense conversation afterwards was about how I use my rowing machine on stage.
"You don't use the machine correctly, but you are not a rower," a friendly lady said. She added: "I hope you don't mind my frankness."
"Not at all," I answered. "After all, I'm not a rower."



Wed, 09 Aug 2017 22:39:08 +0200

For example And here's another peace plan. Bradley Burston in Ha'aretz: 'But a new poll of Israelis and Palestinians by political scientists and public opinion analysts Dr. Khalil Shikaki and Dr. Dahlia Scheindlin suggests that while support  for two states is waning,  "If Israeli and Palestinian leaders were to forge an agreement, sign it and throw all of their political behind selling it to their constituents, the public on both sides would very likely come along. But not for long."How could an initiative based on EU membership possibly work? It's clear that opposition to such a plan would be robust, with a multiplicity of interests in opposition.  Consider, though, the following as an outline of a possible scenario: Israel and the PA agree to a form of confederation within the EU. Israel and Palestine are independent states. Palestine is located on most of the West Bank with Israel ceding it land in the Negev in exchange for annexation of settlement blocs adjacent to pre-1967 Israel.An agreed-upon number of West Bank Palestinians will receive permanent residency within pre-1967 Israel, but will hold Palestinian and EU – not Israeli – citizenship.Israeli settlers whose settlements fall within the newly independent Palestine will hold Israeli and EU – but not Palestinian – citizenship.Land disputes will be heard in a court in which EU, Palestinian, and Israeli judges will rule.The capital of Palestine will be based in areas of Jerusalem to which the Jerusalem municipality and Israel currently fail to provide services.  In joint projects as well as in small and large businesses, Palestinians will be encouraged to work in Israel, and Israelis in Palestine, as part of a wider effort to re-introduce two peoples whom generations of violence have estranged from one another.  School texts on both sides will be rewritten to take into account the narratives and histories of both sides. The texts will be examined closely to eliminate incitement. Conversational language and literary instruction in Hebrew and Arabic will be strongly encouraged.   The EU, Palestine and Israel will jointly deploy peacekeeping forces – similar to the Israeli-PA joint patrols which once functioned well within the West Bank – to monitor and enforce the terms of the agreements between the sides.  As the era of Benjamin Netanyahu and Mahmoud Abbas churns to an end, it's time that we in Israel and Palestine started looking outward for inspiration. Toward places like Northern Ireland, for example. Places where peace was once considered an impossibility, and bigotry and bloodshed as integral to the atmosphere as oxygen.In a once-unimaginable situation, the Northern Ireland border is now porous, but the sides feel safe, their prejudices fading, a fledgling sense of reconciliation taking hold.Israelis often think they have too much to lose by trying something new. Maybe it's time they began to think about what they stand to gain. Like an actual peace, for example. Like their children actually wanting to live in this country. And, if nothing else – for the many whose healthy obsession is travel – an EU passport.' Read the article here. Very reasonable, indeed. There's only one thing. Too many voters in the EU don't want Muslims, Arabs of Jews for that matter in their club. To be fair, some of them would like to dismantle their exclusive club, but even those will object to membership for Israel and the PA. Rather war in the Middle East than the other at home. [...]


Wed, 09 Aug 2017 00:57:48 +0200



Martin Schulz in Der Spiegel:

"It was clear to me that the White House's solemn atmosphere would not civilize Trump. But the merciless nepotism with which he conducts politics, in which he places himself and his family above the law, I wouldn't have considered that possible. And on top of that there is this reduction of complex political decisions to 140 characters. When it comes to a U.S. president, I consider the reduction of politics to a tweet to be truly dangerous. Trump is a risk to his country and the entire world."

Read the article here.

Some people in the US and the right-wingers in Europe are applauding the man who is a risk to the entire world. They cannot wait for the Apocalypse to come, probably because they don't know what the Apocalypse is.

(Some of them know, and they are still betting on it, but among the nationalists and the extreme right the hardcore Christians are a minority.)



Tue, 08 Aug 2017 00:16:51 +0200



And now for something completely different:

I'm looking on behalf of an acquaintance of mine for an apartment in Amsterdam not far from the Muziektheater. The lease should start next summer or a bit earlier and it's for a period of five years. Monthly rent: between 2000 and 3000 euros.
A quiet apartment needless to say.