TRANSLATION: Three new books on Bergson (<I>Le Monde des livres</I>)
- Written by Hank Berger
In Le Monde des livres, the Friday book review supplement to Le Monde (Paris), Roger-Pol Droit sees signs of a renaissance of interest in the work of Henri Bergson, whose key concept -- some would say discovery -- was durée. -- Bergsons The Two Sources of Morality and Religion, mentioned in this review, with its analysis of religion and the fundamental problems of war, peace, and political life, offers valuable perspectives in our own time of religious revival, war, and political upheaval....
BOOKS: Recent works on Islamic history belie 'clash of civilizations' thesis
- Written by Henry Adams
In the Nov. 4 number of the New York Review of Books, William Dalrymple reviews five recent works on Islam and its historical relation to the West. -- Of particular interest are Dalyrmple's remarks about the originator of the expression "the clash of civilizations, Bernard Lewis, and his "strange love-hate relationship with the Islamic world he has studied since 1933." -- In the light of recent scholarship, he writes, Lewis's findings "now appear somewhat dated." -- Ultimately, the falsity of the "clash of civilizations" thesis is based on a poor metaphor: the two social traditions are too intermingled and interdependent to "clash." -- "[T]hroughout history, Muslims and Christians have traded, studied, negotiated, and loved across the porous frontiers of religious differences," writes Dalrymple. "Probe relations between the two civilizations at any period of history, and you find that the neat civilizational blocks imagined by writers such as Bernard Lewis or Samuel Huntington soon dissolve." ...
BOOKS: Paul Bénichou on the spiritual predicament of modernity
- Written by Mark Jensen
Below is a translation of reviews of a new edition of Paul Bénichou's four volumes on French romanticism, by Patrice Bollon in Le Figaro (Paris) and by Anne Garreta in Libération (Paris). -- I had the privilege to know Paul Bénichou in the last fourteen years of his life, and am the translator of an American edition of the first of these volumes, Le Sacre de l'écrivain, entitled The Consecration of the Writer. -- I'm currently working on a translation of the second of these four volumes, Le Temps des prophètes ['The Time of the Prophets']....