Paris Fringe has barely started and it's already a huge success. Pitch perfect opening press night. Talent, enthusiasm and risk taking galore. How did the volunteer-run cultural festival come into being and what are its goals? Artistic Co-Director Reka Polonyi took time out of an insanely busy schedule to talk with Paris Writers News!
A peek at the new geek micro-genre of Excel Pop parody songs on Youtube - from Excel songmaster (and teaching award winner) Clint Tuttle. It's not every day you get to sign along with clever, pro-Excel lyrics.
"Pivots Functions! Got to slice the data up good!"
"Pivot tables halaluya!"
(I'm told this is Justin Bieber.)
For more youtube videos from singer, songwriter, teacher, Excel geek Clint Tuttle, see
Sarah Tullamore's one-woman musical show premieres at the Paris Fringe May 24 and 29.
One globetrotting gal bares all about her life as she ponders whether to say goodbye to Paris in a brand new one-woman musical show “London – Paris – Roam !” that combines comedy, existential musings with the audience and original songs. Taking center stage is Sarah Tullamore, who’s lived all over the world…and now France. But is it time, she wonders out loud, for her to pack her bags again and say Au Revoir to Paris for something new?
The European Union is struggling with the gravest crisis since its founding. Opinions differ not only about what to do but on the scope and nature of the challenge. Where to get information? PWN looks at data sources for analyzing - or at least trying to understand - the European refugee crisis. Number 1: EUROSTAT
What is EUROSTAT? It's the EU's official statistical office. It's mission? "to be the leading provider of high quality statistics on Europe."
Countries collect and verify the data before sending it to Eurostat which consolidates it using normalized methodology.
Eurostat publishes data on many subjects: demographics, economics, industry, trade and much more (see list here). Among its publications are detailed data on asylum applicants to EU countries. The data is presented and graphed. Some of it can be downloaded directly into Excel files. Anyone who wants to report on the refugee/asylum/migrant/immigration question can only improve the accuracy of their reporting by consulting the data of Eurostat.
With Eurostat data, a curious journalist (or citizen) can see not only the global stats, but specifically what is happening in each of the individual countries (spoiler alert: the structure of immigration/asylum in Italy is completely different from that in Germany).
The Eurostat reports on Asylum requests are updated quarterly. This means it's possible to get up-to-date stats as the situation evolves. Compare this to oft-cited census information which is ten years old and pretty much useless in describing the current situation. (How many times have I read articles in the "best publications" that rely on data collected from long before this crisis began!)
Katy Matsuga's The Origin of Vermilion has just been released! It is available from Amazon, as well as from the publisher and locally in Paris from Shakespeare and Co. ("thought-provoking, moving and delightful. An unexpected, nomadic voyage."—Jennifer K. Dick, author ofCircuitsand Fluorescence; founding curator, Ivy Writers Paris; poetry editor, Versal)
Jeffrey Greene has just published his third nature books, this time a fun journey into the cult of wild edibles. In Pursuit of Wild Ediblesis not a field guide, but more of an exploration of memory, taste, place, and imagination through a memoir style.
Hazel Manuel'sThe Geranium Woman (published by Cinnamon Press): Company CEO turned award-winning author Hazel Manuel, offers a rare and timely glimpse into the world of boardroom politics and tells a tale of corporate ambition as seen through female eyes.
We're about to release two new translations of classic texts, which I hope you will be interested in reviewing. Stefan Zweig's A Game of Chess and Other Stories contains much of the Austrian master's best short fiction, including the title story, a fascinating psychological tale which offers an oblique perspective on the rise of fascism in Europe. Hungarian writer Antal Szerb's Journey by Moonlight is an acutely observed portrayal of a marriage struggling to life which has been heralded as a rediscovered classic.
Zweig's A Game of Chess and Other Stories is translated by Peter James Bowman, an academic who has translated extensively from German to English, particularly the work of Theodor Fontane, whilst Szerb translator Peter Czipott is a physicist with a sideline in literary translation; he has translated authors such as György Faludy, Miklós Radnóti, Bálint Balassi, and Sándor Márai. Let me know if you are interested in reviewing either of these (or both) and I will send over review copies, thanks!
note to authors and publishers: I love to post news of your books but I do not like to open attached files. Please put your (short) announcement in the body of an email with a link to site with more information. Thanks! (no PDF press releases please!).
The residents of the aptly named Sun City commandeer the main road for better uses, one day in 1963. Could sun-seeking Arizona seniors have provided the inspiration for Paris Plages? (photo: The Arizona Republic)
(Thank you to Stephen Curry, professor of structural biology at Imperial College, for providing the core of this ToREAD booklist - and to The Guardian for publishing it!)
1. All Art Is Propoganda, Critical Essays, George Orwell
Ok - this is a cheat. I've already read Orwell's essays and am now rereading them. But in a dangerous time when hypocrisy and humbug are the height of literary fashion, Orwell's fearless and direct analysis is a refreshing reminder of what writing in general and journalism in particular can be (when not engaged in apologizing for totalitarianism or tiptoeing around taboos). For a bracing French essay in this great tradition, I highly recommend Caroline Fourest's new book,In Praise of Blasphemy: Why Charlie Hebdo Is Not Islamophic, so far available in English translation only as an ebook.
2. The Sense of Style, Steven Pinker
A diehard Pinker fan, I will eagerly follow him wherever he goes, so if he moves from the brain to grammar, so will I. Pinker is one of those rare scientists who write with exceptional clarity about things I know nothing about. Always a pleasure.
3. The Only Woman in the Room, Eileen Pollack
Having witnessed an appalling case of sexism in the classroom this year, I'm curious to read Pollack's account of her own struggles. And maybe get some guidance on what to do today. After watching a science teacher blatantly discriminate against girls in his class, I'm ready to slap anyone who asks "Why aren't there more women in science?" as if it were a mystery.
4. Herding Hemingway’s Cats, Kat Arney
I'm a little afraid of a book on DNA but Dr Curry assures us that "Arney’s chirpy tour through the mysteries of modern genetics is engrossing and fun", so I'll give it a try. Anything to get a handle on the Build-A-Human start-ups that are bound to go public soon. Also, there's Hemingway in the title, so that's good.
This book comes with a warning from Dr Curry: "Don’t pick up Being Mortal if you aren’t prepared to hold your gaze on the face of death." Having been unable to prevent my mother from suffering a horribly long and painful death, I am very interested in anything that might spare others this experience. Or offer some kind of understanding.
7. The Vital Question, Nick Lane
Dr Curry calls this a "rip-roaring tale of the most fundamental problem in biology". Who can resist? Though, ahem, it's "not for fair-weather readers". But then, vital questions shouldn't be, should they?
8. Life’s Greatest Secret, Matthew Cobb Is it the advancing years that draw me to yet another book on DNA, this time from cybernetics and molecular biology angles? Dr Curry says this is "one of the year’s greatest science books". Definitely worth a try.
9. Serving the Reich, Philip Ball One of the great mysteries of the rise of Nazis was just how many scientists (and other intellectuals), when faced with a terrible dilemma, made the wrong moral choice. An ever topical subject.
10. You’ve Been Publicly Shamed, Jon Ronson
As a practitioner of social media (ok - addict) I'm curious to discover the case histories of "shaming". Looking forward to some refreshing facts. And maybe some tips?
11. The Long Goodbye, Raymond Chandler This may look like a weird choice on a scientist's booklist but it's one I delight in. Is there anything more fun than Chandler? Philip Marlowe is "every bit as cynical, embittered and humane as Le Carré’s Leamas, but he is a sharper and more loquacious observer of human life. Wickedly joyous." :)
In November 2013, French terrorism expert Marc Trévidic, head examining magistrate in charge of France's anti-terrorism unit and author of numerous books about Islamists in France, spoke with Dominique Godrèche about the evolution of Islamist terrorism in France and the world, which he examines in his book Terrorists: The Seven Pillars of Unreason . The original interview was published in French. In light of the attacks on Paris this Friday, we republish excerpts from the Trévidic-Godrèche interview here in English.
Marc Trévidic, French terrorism expert, interview by Dominique Godreche
for Paris Writers News
Marc Trévidic is a French "juge d’instruction" or examining magistrate at the anti-terrorist unit of the Paris "Tribunal de Grande Instance". His book, "Terroristes, les 7 piliers de la déraison" (Terrorists: the seven pillars of unreason") describes the psychological profiles of Islamist terrorists. Blending essay, document, and novel, Trévidic draws a portrait of a disoriented youth, in search of a “righter ” ideology, drawn into a deadly system, and he decodes the mental processes underlying the terrorist’s path towards violence. After the publication of “Au Coeur de l’antiterrorisme” (In the Heart of Anti-terrorism) in 2010, Trévidic continues his description of “geo societal” complexities, and the consequences of the identity crisis, while analyzing the violence and the dangers of its propagation, in the Internet era.