LRB Cover
Volume 40 Number 8
26 April 2018

LRB blog 18 April 2018

Anne Orford
Trump v. the Law

16 April 2018

Stephen Buranyi
On the March for Science

13 April 2018

Hugh Pennington
Novichok and Other Toxins

MOST READ

22 September 2005

Jenny Diski
Bush’s women

22 February 2018

Pankaj Mishra
Ta-Nehisi Coates

4 February 1999

Sukhdev Sandhu
Memories of Michael X

In the next issue, which will be dated 10 May, David Runciman on whether Brexit can be stopped.

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Colin Burrow

The End of the Epithet

The Odyssey is much harder to translate than The Iliad. One person’s interpolation or historical curiosity will be another person’s moment of deep psychological insight. That problem is compounded by the subject matter and social world of the poem. It is full of travellers and strangers who might be gods, or con men, or, like much enduring godly Odysseus of the many wiles himself, a little bit of both. So no one ever quite knows what’s going on. A swineherd might turn out to be an abducted prince. A Cyclops might greet a stranger who addresses it politely by bashing the brains out of one of his companions as if he were a puppy. A good king might politely offer a wary welcome and food, listen to a stranger’s story, and then after a tactful delay ask who he is and where he is from. And then the guest might lie. More


Adewale Maja-Pearce

After Boko Haram

The scene was set for the rise of an extreme sectarian movement. There would be no shortage of foot soldiers: Comolli points out that with a population approaching 200 million, Nigeria has ‘the highest number of non-attending schoolchildren in the world’: 10.5 million in 2010, the last year for which figures are available. Most are concentrated in the north, where ‘70 per cent of the population is illiterate.’ All that was needed was an eloquent figure who could applaud the governors’ embrace of sharia while pointing out that they fell far short of the code of conduct they favoured. More

Isabel Hull

When can you start a war?

Oona Hathaway and Scott Shapiro’s point is that ‘for all its problems, the New World Order is better than the Old.’ Theirs is a valuable reminder that law matters and that international co-operation is not a utopia, but a functioning reality. Recently, it has been hard to hear that truth above the din produced by bad actors, like Putin and Trump, and by criticism of the neoliberal order from the left and the populist right, which obscures the positive effects of internationalism. What’s more, we take for granted a world in which the assumption is that countries will not engage in war. More

At the Movies
Michael Wood

Short Cuts
Helen Thompson

At the Pompidou
Jeremy Harding


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