Geoffrey Fox

Reflections & Inquiries

Speaking in tongues


My improbable readers may have been surprised to see my post on Houellebecq in French, on a blog where almost everything is in either Spanish or English, the languages I handle best.  In case you’re curious but don’t read French easily, here’s the gist:  I got a big kick out of Michel Houellebecq’s 2015 book … read more »

Une satire cruelle et délicieuse


Soumission by Michel Houellebecq My rating: 4 of 5 stars C’est une satire cruelle et délicieuse. Comment réagiraient les intellectuels, les politiciens, les journalistes et les institutions telles que les grandes universités et les partis politiques, si un mouvement islamiste venait au pouvoir en France? Eh bien, comme l’imagine Houellebecq, la plupart s’adapteraient, certains avec … read more »

How to save Europe

2018.04.07 - Tags:

Chronicles: On Our Troubled Times by Thomas Piketty My rating: 4 of 5 stars This is a translation of monthly articles written between 2008 and 2015 for Libération, devoted almost entirely to the crises before the European Union and Piketty’s proposals of how to confront them. Though written before Trump, Brexit or the Catalonian secession … read more »

Lives, loves and ambitions in the Paris Commune


Comme une rivière bleue by Michèle Audin My rating: 4 of 5 stars “Comme une rivière bleue” was journalist Jules Vallès’s description of the collective excitement of many, probably most, Parisians on the day their long-dreamed of commune was made a reality, 28 March 1871. For Michèle Audin, the flow of the “blue river” is … read more »

Rhetorical surprise, multilayered memories


Nabokov’s Dozen: A Collection of Thirteen Stories‏ by Vladimir Nabokov My rating: 4 of 5 stars Most of these stories are simple, more or less obvious tales of slight emotional impact, but constructed artfully and with exceptionally rich vocabulary and phrasing. They merit frequent re-readings — not because they are at all difficult to understand … read more »