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49
Articles
All Topics
All Motifs
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A breast is a breast is a breast
Alide Cagidemetrio
To contemplate Pompeii is to contemplate archeology in its most extreme form, framed by the wish not only for discovery, but for resurrection.
Essay
All is not vanity
Noga Arikha

Lose, delete, restore. What to remember when everything is always, forever, in a digital now?

Essay
Animal Anti-Cities
Jannes Riemann

« A black cat sneaks across a flower bed toward a shed, past some asters, and squeezes into a gap an arm's width wide. Some worn-down club-goers lay wasted on sofas, sweat and smoke in a late-summer landscape. » On Berlin clubs and Calvino's cat flâneurs.

Animalische Anti-Städte
Jannes Riemann

« Eine schwarze Katze huscht über ein Blumenbeet in Richtung eines Holzverschlags, an einigen Astern vorbei drückt sie sich in eine armbreite Lücke. Einige Abgefeierte lümmeln auf Sofas; in Schweiß und Rauch in dieser spätsommerlichen Club-Landschaft. » Über Berliner Clubs und Calvinos Katzenflaneure.

Pearl
Ballad of a Homburg hat
Peter L'Official

On racial metonymy and the art of misidentification. (Meanwhile: has a glass of beer ever been more crisply and deliciously depicted? Has the froth of a European pilsner ever looked so delectable?)

Essay
Bee Gees FAQ
Anne Diestelkamp

Fragen, Antworten, Quintessenzen.

Pearl
Beyond thalassophobia
Walter Grünzweig

German vice-chancellor Robert Habeck has more than twenty books to his name: fiction, drama, literary criticism, and non-fiction. It is tempting to read his fiction for glimpses of Green political futures, and his literary criticism for similar clues. How experimental can a literary politician be?

Essay
Cretan Europa’s second coming
Kalypso Nicolaïdis

Citizen’s day in Fiesole, December 2021. In the EU, Christian Europe stands in quantum superposition, both here and not here. Can Cretan Europa help us imagine better futures?

Essay
Eat the dust
Patricio Pron

Søren Kierkegaard compared reading reviews of his books to « the long martyrdom of being trampled to death by geese. » What martyrdoms does today’s bookishness portend?

Essay
Europas & bulls
The Editors

A logo might start as a designer’s whim. Only then does one look for meanings to fill it with. On Europas: mythic, artistic, fictional, political, psychological, satirical, and finally unfinished.

Essay
Firsts in space
Artemy M. Kalinovsky

A friend of mine likes to say that the moon landing was real, but dumb. On astronautical tokenism.

Pearl
How to write; or, how to insult
Claire Weeda

Shoulders were slapped, fingers pointed, hearts fired up. Perhaps a little scuffle broke out after class, a boisterous wrestling over insults exchanged. Nothing to be concerned about. Acquiring knowledge was, after all, a combative affair.

Pearl
Into the muck
Noam Maggor

Time? For? Socialism? What happened when Thomas Piketty descended from the elegant mathematical Olympus of economic theory into the muck of political and economic crises, public debates, social confrontations, and competing visions of progress?

Review
It wasn’t the beer
Ingo Niermann

How could it be that despite decades of rigorous European unification, of open borders and largely adjusted standards of living, a virus was able to kill up to 40 times more people in one country than in another, only a few hundred kilometers away?

Es war nicht das Bier
Ingo Niermann

Wie konnte es sein, dass trotz jahrzehntelanger rigoroser europäischer Einigung, offener Grenzen und weitgehend angeglichener Lebensstandards ein Virus in einem Land bis zu 40 Mal mehr Menschen töten konnte als in einem anderen, nur wenige hundert Kilometer entfernt?

Pearl
Welcome to the ERB

A greeting from the editors. We hope you like what we’ve made.

From the editors
Metaphrasis
Menachem Kaiser

A short story about fiction, from the author of Plunder.

Story
On learning to write again
Adania Shibli

Ramallah, downtown, fifth floor. The phone rings and the caller’s number appears on the screen. It’s an unknown number. And yet a call that comes at this hour must be answered.

تعلُّم الكتابة من جديد
Adania Shibli

رام الله، وسط البلد، الطابق الخامس. يرن الهاتف ويظهر رقم المتّصل على الشاشة. إنه ليس لأحد معارفنا، فالرقم غير معروف. مع ذلك، يتطلّبُ اتصال هاتفي في ساعة مبكِّرةٍ كهذه الردَّ عليه.

Essay
On paths not taken
Uğur Ümit Üngör

As an academic field, « Genocide Studies » is a house with many rooms. It accommodates and even encourages a broadening of its central concept. And like all academic fields, it presumes its object of study will always be there.

Pearl
Optimize this headline for Google*
Alexander Fanta

Google’s rise to dominance can seem inevitable, and its power over publishers monolithic. Yet Google’s wanton disruption of publishing resembles evolution more than intelligent design. Journalists, publishers, regulators, and scholars are left grappling with our new, random god.

Optimiere diese Schlagzeile für Google*
Alexander Fanta

Googles Dominanz erscheint heute unausweichlich. Googles mutwillige Störung des Verlagswesens ähnelt eher der Evolution als intelligentem Design. Journalisten, Verleger, Regulierungsbehörden und Wissenschaftler müssen mit ihrer neuen, chaotischen Gottheit zu Recht kommen.

Essay
Place, non-place, place
Yamandu Roos

« What happened was that we were driving on the highway from Izola towards Koper when we saw a drummer on the side of the road. So I immediately drove to the side of the road and reversed my car and asked if I could take some pictures. »

Pearl
¿Quién hablará Européen? Un puzle
Arman Basurto

La capital de Europa es, en ese sentido, un espejo cóncavo que devuelve un reflejo concentrado (y algo deforme) de la imagen que proyecta el continente.

Who will speak European? A puzzle
Arman Basurto

Brussels is a concave mirror that returns a concentrated (and somewhat distorted) reflection of the projection of its continent.

Pearl
설탕생쥐
Kim Hyesoon / 김혜순

A poem, plus a note on tongue-like mice and the translation of mice-like tongues.

Sugar Mouse
Kim Hyesoon / 김혜순

A poem, plus a note on tongue-like mice and the translation of mice-like tongues

Pearl
The prodigal half-rooster
Linda Kinstler

When they were first released, Maggie Nelson’s On Freedom and Lea Ypi’s Free spoke past one another from half a world away. But both ask whether the many freedoms we enjoy mean anything if they are not practiced in public, and if they are not passed on—and whether the word « freedom » means anything at all.

Review
The void that fills the void
Irina Dumitrescu

Relics, and the places devoted to their worship, dotted the map of Europe and the Middle East. Saints, like today’s celebrities, were both omnipresent and faraway, once-vulnerable people who became something more than human.

Pearl
To see a city
Alexander Wells

« What if all fictional characters from novels continue to dwell somewhere, just like the dead? » Daniela Hodrová’s City of Torment (Trýznivé město) is a magical-realist trilogy set in Prague. Her fragmented narratives, sewn together, make something deeply European.

Review
Україна вчора і завтра
Oksana Forostyna

Україна не стала епіцентром світової історії раптово. Україна стала епіцентром світової історії знову.

Ukraine yesterday & tomorrow
Oksana Forostyna
Ukraine didn’t become an epicenter of world history all of a sudden; it became an epicenter again.
Review
Unclaimed, claimed, unclaimable
Floor Koomen

On unrecognized states, micronations and curious border zones.

Pearl
VOID FILL
B-PLOT

On multinational packaging systems, « inflated fictions of transparency », desire and fulfillment.

Pearl
What is a pillar?
Rem Koolhaas

In 2010, OMA was invited to take part in a competition for the Damascus National Museum. It was part of a concerted effort to establish connections with Bashar al-Assad, toward a political « rapprochement ». Three months later, the entire effort was cancelled. Civil war was about to break out.

Essay
« When I was silent… »
— Interview with Sulaiman Addonia
Sander Pleij

Stop! I am doing what they all do: presenting writer Sulaiman Addonia as one-who-has-suffered, because he grew up as a refugee. The problem is, in part, a problem of genre. Suffering has become an interviewer’s crutch.

Interview
Why we write
Ali Smith

A letter to George Orwell. « All narrative is hypnotic. Some narratives are more hypnotic than others. Because of you, we can be conscious of the kinds and the workings of the narratives that set out to deaden us, lessen us, make us lie, make us part of the lie. »

Essay
Женщина—это и есть пространство
Caroline Tracey

Пространство—это ключевое слово в понимании литературной и философической истории России. Оксана Васякина переделывает русское пространство—и русский роман—для женских миров.

Woman is space
Caroline Tracey

« Space », or prostranstvo, is a key word for understanding the literary and philosophical history of Russia. Oksana Vasyakina’s Rana (Wound), a Siberian road novel, remakes the Russian landscape and the Russian novel for women’s worlds. It renders prostranstvo unruly, polysemous, queer.

Review
€ 0
George Blaustein
No one would have understood both the sentiment and the absurdity more keenly than Marx himself—whose face has adorned real currencies in more countries than anyone else’s, with the possible exception of Elizabeth II.
Pearl
A rather disproportionate intervention
Ijoma Mangold

An excerpt from Ijoma Mangold’s memoir, Das Deutsche Krokodil (The German Crocodile), available in English translation from the DAS Editions imprint of Digitalback Books

Eine ziemlich nachhaltige Einmischung
Ijoma Mangold

An excerpt from Ijoma Mangold’s memoir, Das Deutsche Krokodil (The German Crocodile), available in English translation from the DAS Editions imprint of Digitalback Books

Story
A messy optical process
Iris Cuppen

On orthodoxies & heresies of typography. To serif, or sans-serif?

Essay
The myth of 1922
Benjamin Moser

What does modern mean? Technically, etymologically, it means something happening now. But in Brazil, it often meant an embrace of newness as the possibility of reinvention. In Modernity in Black and White: Art and Image, Race and Identity in Brazil, 1890-1945, Rafael Cardoso unravels the myth of 1922.

Review
The pinnacle of cartography is the pinnacle of uselessness
The Editors

« Europe », drawn from memory or intuition. Thick and thin strokes of charcoal: a nod to the coal and steel on which the polity of modern Europe is founded. But more mystical, too. These drawings represent, says the ERB’s print designer Patrick Doan, « the conviction that simple tools can grant us the power to face the god of paper. »

From the editors
By misadventure
David Mitchell

A short story about vertigo from the author of Utopia Avenue, Cloud Atlas and Black Swan Green. « Possibly a dare, or a rite of passage, hung in the air. Remember their age: most late teenagers are immortal. »

Story
Football is not football
Simon Kuper

How do literary movements arise? About thirty years ago, I watched one emerge out of nothing: the subgenre of “literary” football books and magazines. Not exactly the birth of modernism, but it still taught me something about how cultural transmission works within Europe.

Essay
A kayak in Zierikzee
George Blaustein

Was a Dutch town founded by Inuits in the 9th century? On American discoveries of Europe.

Essay
Stupid illnesses called « childhood »
Marina Jarre

An excerpt from I padri lontani / Distant Fathers (1987), the rediscovered memoir of Marina Jarre, available in English translation from New Vessel Press.

Story
The final frontier
Ali Smith

New short fiction from the author of Autumn, Winter, Spring, and Summer. A story about what’s ours and what’s not ours.

Story
The ordinary jacket of today
The Editors

One reason we believe so much in the ERB is that it doesn’t stand in competition with magazines we love; it joins them, and does so in admiration. This project has, in fact, made us encounter literary magazines we hadn’t read before, look anew at magazines we’d put aside, discover beautiful magazines in languages we wish we could read. We’re starting the ERB because of the new solidarities such a magazine can create.

From the editors
On the anti-poetry of “crowdfunding campaign”
The Editors

The dominant crowdfunding platform is called Kickstarter; kickstarting was something you did to an engine. To “kickstart” the European Review of Books makes it feel like we’re riding a motorcycle in World War I. But we only want peace!

From the editors
Infrequently Asked Questions
George Blaustein

Who, what, and why? Imagine something called, say, the Zemblan Review of Books, or the Esperanto Review of Political Theory, or the Klingon Review of Horticulture, or the Utopian Review of Bicycles.

From the editors
Only stupidity is hereditary
Werner Sollors

There sits a donkey before an open book, held between his forehooves in such a way that we can clearly see the pages. It is a family tree of sorts, with eight rows of seventeen standing donkeys.

Pearl
Do we need a European Review of Books?
The Editors

« If I were to do it again from scratch, » Jean Monnet, a founder of the European Union, supposedly said in the ’70s, « I would start with culture. » Well, who wouldn’t?

From the editors
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