Skip to main content


Showing posts from September 9, 2012


I finally read James Meek's article in the LRB . The article has a terrible title, and begins with the least gripping lead in journalistic history- but after this worrisome tedium, it begins to rip along nicely. The account he gives of Free Market capitalism in the power market, set loose by Thatcher's ideologues who wanted to strip away the power of the state (at one point he quotes the mastermind behind privatizing the production and selling of electricity in England saying, about another government monopoly: what the post office needs is an imaginative asset stripper) and ended up with a national grid owned almost entirely by foreign companies, among which figures France's ... state owned energy monopoly, EDF. Meek, smartly, looks beyond the image of privatisation to see how the British version became such a disaster for the customer. It turns out that the Thatcherites were disgusted with the American way of privatizing energy. In the U.S., the regulatio

Character in French classic drama

…characters are of three types: superior, middling and inferior.” Although this hierarchy is generally true, mixed types are also possible: “Maid servants and the liker are characters of a mixed nature. A hermaphrodite is also a mixed character, but of an inferior kind. O the best of Brahmins, the Skaara, and the Vita and others [like them] in a drama are also known as characters of mixed nature.” - Natya Shastra The world here is not unlike the world of French classical drama, as interpreted by Eric Auerbach in Mimesis. In Auerbach’s chapter, Le faux devot, the focus moves from Moliere’s “character types” to Racine’s personages, a movement that is part of the ambition that fills the entire book: the principle of realism in literature, properly understood, reverses Coleridge’s famous dictum about the suspension of disbelief necessary to fiction by taking realism as a changing cast of thought, a set of beliefs about the real that is not coincident with an unchanging   co