Many thanks to Jacques Elkine for his financial contribution. Merci beaucoup !


Note from the Editors

Let's begin with our Arts & Culture section for a change in order to celebrate Peter Byrne's 150th essay, one of the very best he has ever written (at least for Swans), in which he explores with much subtlety and good humor, as he often does, the disappearing London libraries of old and the vast multiculturalism of that increasingly diverse city. Simply an article you will not want to miss. Next, you'll be delighted by Jonah Raskin's piece on Hunter S. Thompson's gonzo journalism -- another vanishing phenomenon. Raskin does not cease to surprise with the number of intellectuals and creators his path has crossed. It must indicate something about him and the quality of his character, right? Investigative journalist Peter Gorman ends the section with a short item about what it means to be a reporter and file a story on time, whatever the situation on the ground, and even if it's not the story you intended.

Back to the nitty-gritty of our economic despair with Gilles d'Aymery's Blips, which survey the information about malfeasance that can be found all over the Web for those who care to look. But if you're not so inclined, you need look no further than here for an analysis of the facts, the myths, and the solutions.

In the Patterns Which Connect department, Michael Barker explores a timely issue, America's low-intensity conflicts and the ousting of dictators. As he explains, our experience with the Philippines demonstrated that removing a dictator from power does not necessarily lead to a decrease in oppression, a lesson we could apply to Libya. Femi Akomolafe tries to fathom what it's like to live in the West and watch the attacks on and exploitation of its so-called friends in Africa, most recently Qaddafi. And we have a very sensitive and thoughtful perspective about the Japanese ecological disaster from a Japanese woman, publisher and editor Kazue Daikoku, who offers a viewpoint that cannot be found in the MSM. It is ironic that while water ravaged the coastal towns of Japan, it is increasingly the lack of water that is wreaking havoc. Raju Peddada considers this vital resource whose abundance belies its scarcity.

Circling back to culture, Paul Buhle reviews Science Fiction writer Ursula Le Guin's anthropological novella The Wild Girls; le coin français presents a piece by Francesca Saieva about Claudio Magris and Guido Monte and a short poem by Simone Alié-Daram; the multicultural poetry of Claudine Giovannoni and Guido Monte relates the absurdity of human life in these days of wars; and we close with your letters (that could be more forthcoming!).

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Arts & Culture

Peter Byrne:  London Reading

With public libraries being axed across England and Wales, Peter Byrne revisited his London favorites, sharing the old memories and new observations in an eloquent and creative article.   More...


Jonah Raskin:  Nothing Is Sacred: Hunter S. Thompson, Gonzo Journalist

Once wanna-be gonzo journalist Jonah Raskin on the life and works of the only true gonzo, Hunter S. Thompson.   More...


Peter Gorman:  Getting The Story

An editor's well-taken advice to a young journalist: every foreign locale has a story, so don't come back without one.   More...


Tidbits Flying Across the Martian Desk

Gilles d'Aymery:  Blips #109

A few selected issues that landed on the Editor's desk, from the American Banana Republic that services IKEA's tax-free profits; America's economic wreaking crew and the CEOs bleeding us dry; some voices of economic sanity and the facts that exist for those who care to look; the failure of supply-side economics and the Paul Ryan budget that could destroy us all; and more economic shenanigans that face the Compromiser in Chief.   More...


Patterns Which Connect

Michael Barker:  Post-Dictatorship [Red White And] Blues Brings Low-Intensity Warfare To The Philippines

Escalation of low-intensity conflict after the ousting of a dictator in the Philippines.   More...


Femi Akomolafe:  The Attack On Libya: A Commentary

The African author tries to fathom what it's like to live in the West and watch the attacks on and exploitation of its so-called friends in Africa, most recently Libya's Qaddafi. It's time for African leaders to wake up and take care of their people.   More...


Kazue Daikoku:  Watershed: What I Thought After The Day March 11

Considering the 2011 earthquake and tsunami in Japan, the author questions the way of thinking that natural disasters are an inevitable fate.   More...


Raju Peddada:  The Drip Versus The Tsunami: Which One in Reality is Drowning us?

A drip by drop look at the world's most precious and deadly resource, water.   More...


Hungry Man, Reach For The Book

Paul Buhle:  Ursula K. Le Guin's The Wild Girls

Science Fiction writer Ursula Le Guin returns with her anthropological novella The Wild Girls, part of the PM Press's Outspoken Authors series.   More...


Le coin français

Francesca Saieva:  Voyage vers d'infinies patries dans un seul livre: Claudio Magris

Francesca Saieva describes the universal cosmopolitanism of Claudio Magris, which she can relate to the poetic experiments of Guido Monte. (In French)   More...


Simone Alié-Daram:  Voiles

Poème sur les voiles enchanteresses.   More...


Multilingual Poetry

Claudine Giovannoni & Guido Monte:  Confusione-Confusión-Verwirrung

In these days of wars, Claudine Giovannoni and Guido Monte relate the absurdity of human life.   More...


Letters to the Editor


Two different views, from America and France, on Gilles d'Aymery's Blips regarding French intellectual Stephane Hessel's calls for indignation and non-violent revolution; and correcting the record with Richard Rapaport and a recommendation for his article on FDR and Hoover.   More...


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SWANS - ISSN: 1554-4915
Created: April 25, 2011