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Claire Berlinski
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Paris-based journalist, essayist, novelist, historian, and biographer
Paris-based journalist, essayist, novelist, historian, and biographer

236 followers
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The first draft is by far the hardest part. Or it is for me, anyway. I’ve heard some writers love the blank page, but I don’t. The first draft is a nightmare of confusion, false starts, and self-doubt. But once I’ve got something to work with — as I now do — I can begin the part I like: refining the argument, fixing deficiencies of logic, supporting the argument with examples, re-writing every sentence, over and over, and getting rid of the boring stuff. From here on, it’s work I enjoy.

I could not have written any of this, and could not continue to write this, without your financial support. You — entirely — made this possible. From dawn to dusk, literally, I feel grateful to everyone of you who contributed, and every single contribution has helped. Some of you sent me sweet notes when you contributed, apologizing for “only” chipping in five or ten dollars. Believe me, ten dollars is not “only” ten dollars when that’s exactly the amount you’re short on the electricity bill. You’ve kept me afloat, and you’ve given me the chance to do something I simply could not have done otherwise.
A First Draft Is Born
A First Draft Is Born
braveoldworld2016.blogspot.be

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Why would we mock the British in the wake of a terrorist attack that killed seven innocent people on their soil? We know what it means to be the victims of terrorism. Why would we spit on our friends? What do we get out of it?

My answer: We get nothing out of it. So I suggest we not do it. It’s not in our interests to harm the friendship between the United States and Britain. And more importantly, it’s just not decent.

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The enthusiasm for Le Pen is a right-wing version of radical chic. The clueless celebrities who slobber over Hugo Chávez as the man who freed Venezuela from Yankee imperialism and speaks truth to neoliberal power met their opposite number in the Americans who slobbered over Le Pen as the woman who, I guess, would have freed France from Yankee imperialism and spoken truth to neoliberal power, but frankly, where this is concerned, I can no longer tell the difference between the so-called right and the so-called left.
Yes, The French Election was a Good Thing
Yes, The French Election was a Good Thing
braveoldworld2016.blogspot.be

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For those of us who feared Le Pen would do well enough to claim a moral victory, the relief was immense, and any American with his head screwed on straight should share in it. Le Pen’s most memorable line in last Wednesday’s debate may have been, “France will be led by a woman. It will be me or Mrs. Merkel,” but in truth, France under Le Pen would have been led by a man, and that man would have been Vladimir Putin. As has been widely reported, Le Pen is in hock to the Kremlin, which funded her campaign. During one of her visits to Moscow, Le Pen explained her views to Kommersant: “The economic crisis gives us the opportunity to turn our back on the United States and turn to Russia.” That many Americans found this fact irrelevant when asking themselves whether Le Pen’s victory would be in their interests reflects a new and strange species of geopolitical masochism. That members of Congress, including Steve King and Dana Rohrabacher, travelled to France to endorse Le Pen is both incomprehensible and unforgivable. ...

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My long-awaited article about France on the eve of yesterday's election is in fact eight short articles. My plan was to write each individually, as standalone pieces. But I would have needed another week to do that properly, and I would have had to rustle up seven more editors. So I knit them into one, instead:

1. Poudre de Perlimpinpin
2. Monkey Eyeballs
3. You, Madame, are no Margaret Thatcher
4. The Horseshoe
5. The Vice
6. The Champs-Elysées and the Pattons of Our Basement
7. May Day
8. The Knife

My predictions were -- slightly, happily -- off: Macron vanquished Le Pen. The pollsters underestimated Macron’s victory by about seven points. As Nate Silver noted on Twitter, this represents a bigger polling error than Brexit, and a much bigger one than Trump.

I am greatly relieved by the results (for reasons that should be evident from what I wrote). Vive la France.
Eight Postcards from Paris on Election Eve
Eight Postcards from Paris on Election Eve
braveoldworld2016.blogspot.be

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"The Fascist and Syndicalist species were characterized by the first appearance of a type of man who did not care to give reasons or even to be right, but who was simply resolved to impose his opinions. That was the novelty: the right not to be right, not to be reasonable: 'the reason of unreason.'”
Ortega y Gassett and the Wisdom of Editors
Ortega y Gassett and the Wisdom of Editors
braveoldworld2016.blogspot.be
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