Geoffrey Fox

Reflections & Inquiries

A sardonic view of a bitter struggle


La vie parisienne pendant le Siège et sous la Commune by Henri D’Almeras My rating: 3 of 5 stars Hostile to the Paris Commune of 1871, which he considers “une tyrannie aussi stupide qu’odieuse”, Alméras is nevertheless respectful and even admiring of those few communards who not only remained sober (the alcoholism of some of … read more »

A Perfect Day


We just saw this movie at home last night, and were blown away. The picture of those dogged aid workers in the midst of the civil massacres in Bosnia, covering their revulsion at horrible atrocities and their deep anger and fear and their desperate need for solidarity with one another by joking and repression awoke … read more »

Silly season


Not just in New Hampshire, but here in Spain too we’re living through carnival—gross exaggerations, outrageous gestures, obscenities and raucous foolishness. In Spain this happens not just at election time but every year during Lent, and has been happening ever since the middle ages, when dances and parodies and all manner of offensive behaviors from … read more »

Where I’m going and why: progress report


Here is an update since my New Year’s “Shazam!” lightning bolt. My proximate aims are to complete my novel on the Paris Commune of 1871 and to produce more essays on the multiple crises of our time. In fact these are all parts of the same project, because my novel is intended to help me, … read more »

Always on the brink


In his column Germany on the Brink, Ross Douthat gives a convincing description of the social destabilization sure to come from the refugee influx. So many young men so suddenly will not be absorbed peaceably. But what will be the consequences of closing German borders, as he proposes? Not just for Germany, but for all of Europe? … read more »