Day: March 3, 2010

Bach Performance Notes

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Cello / Music

This week it seems that my life has become again bound up with that of J.S. Bach, that protean (and Lutheran) master of the Baroque.  Musicologists frequently cite the dualistic character in the life and work of Robert Schumann, but Bach, although he fails to name his muse (apart from a trinitarian vision of Christian savior, that is) is also dualistic in his effect.  His style is both cosmopolitan and national, cerebral and visceral, full […]

March 1 Commemorations in the DPRK

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My Publications / North Korea / North Korean border region

Given the documented backlash against their disastrous currency revaluation of November 30, 2009, one would imagine that the Korean Workers’ Party leadership in Pyongyang would want to avoid open mention, much less endorsement, of loosely organized mobs of citizens demanding freedom from tyranny. Yet occasionally, the calendar imposes its own sort of tyranny, forcing the Party into contortions which, in the end, are better than damning silence: March First Popular Uprising Pyongyang, March 1 (KCNA) […]

French Stories

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Art / China

In addition to these grabs from the Le Figaro photo blog (and one more of some beautiful monkeys in snowy Nagano), I’d like to recommend the work of Pierre Haski, former China correspondent for Liberation and presently the author of the “Chinatown” blog on Rue 89.  Why read this guy’s work?  Who else is writing such thoughtful analysis? Looking at the Sino-North Korean relationship in this post, he compares Chinese aid to the DPRK to […]