Geoffrey Fox

Reflections & Inquiries

The “week of blood” in gruesome detail

2021.04.29 - Tags:

La Semaine sanglante: Mai 1871, légendes et comptes by Michèle Audin My rating: 5 of 5 stars Michèle Audin has done meticulous research to penetrate the many myths and distortions around “the week of blood”, May 21 to May 28, 1871, the massacre that destroyed the Paris Commune. How many were killed during that week? … read more »

The color of language

2021.04.08 - Tags:

[An old review, re-posted because some of us were talking again about languages.] Through the Language Glass: Why the World Looks Different in Other Languages by Guy Deutscher My rating: 3 of 5 stars This digressive examination of whether and, if so, how a speaker’s language structures his/her thoughts contains two interesting arguments bundled with … read more »


2021.03.02 - Tags:

Confabulations by John Berger My rating: 5 of 5 stars John Berger (1926-2017) has always been a joy to read. Here, near the end of his life, he has shared his random thoughts and sketches from a notebook, each little essay and drawing stimulating some new thought (or perhaps, for him, reminding him of some … read more »

Blood, sex and (a little) politics: the Paris Commune

2021.03.01 - Tags:

Now that my novel about the Paris Commune is scheduled for publication (August 2021), I’m republishing some of my notes of other works about the Commune. This one is from October 2013. Le Cri du peuple by Jean Vautrin My rating: 3 of 5 stars This is an immensely agitated, minutely detailed, ridiculously plotted police … read more »

Go tell it in Harlem


Go Tell It on the Mountain by James Baldwin My rating: 5 of 5 stars John Grimes’ 14th birthday starts out with a disappointment — it seems the family has forgotten it — but ends ecstatically, when all the tensions in his and his family’s lives explode in his possession by the Spirit, in the … read more »