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‘You have to hang on’

Eugen Weber: Mihail Sebastian

15 November 2001
Journal 1935-44 
by Mihail Sebastian, translated by Patrick Camiller.
Heinemann, 641 pp., £20, September 2001, 0 434 88577 0
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... In June 1934, a young Romanian Jew published a book about being a Jew in Romania. Mihail Sebastian’s De Doua mii de ani (‘For 2000 Years’) was not an autobiography or a novel or a diary, although a bit of each. The hero, who is never named, lives the tragicomedy of assimilation in a land and a culture that both invite and repel. A rich country full of ragged people, Romania uneasily combined a 19th-century rural and suburban servitude with the sophistication of 20th-century Paris fashions and very mod mod cons ...

The End

Malcolm Bull

11 March 1993
Posthistoire: Has History Come to an End? 
by Lutz Niethammer, translated by Patrick Camiller.
Verso, 176 pp., £19.95, January 1993, 0 86091 395 3
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When Time Shall Be No More: Prophecy Belief in Modern American Culture 
by Paul Boyer.
Harvard, 488 pp., £23.95, September 1992, 9780674951280
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... Four angels held back the winds of destruction. Until the redeemed had received the seal of the living God, nothing could be harmed. But now the servants of God are sealed, and the seventh seal has been opened. Six trumpets have sounded. A third of the trees have burned, a third of the sea has turned to blood, a third of the heavens has been darkened, and a third of mankind has been killed ...

Capital’s Capital

Christopher Prendergast: Baron Haussmann’s Paris

3 October 2002
Haussmann: His Life and Times, and the Making of Modern Paris 
by Michel Carmona, translated by Patrick Camiller.
Ivan Dee, 480 pp., £25, June 2002, 9781566634274
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... In September 1848, Louis-Napoleon returned from his long exile in London armed with a startling blueprint for what he was later to call his ‘plan for the embellishment of Paris’. It consisted of a colour-coded roll of parchment representing the soon-to-be Emperor’s provisional thoughts on the renovation of the capital’s thoroughfares. This was the Urtext of the drastic transformations to the material and social fabric of Paris that were to take place during most of the Second Empire (the term ‘transformation’ was used for the first time in connection with city-planning during this period ...

Anti-Magician

Geoffrey Hawthorn: Max Weber

27 August 2009
Max Weber: A Biography 
by Joachim Radkau, translated by Patrick Camiller.
Polity, 683 pp., £25, January 2009, 978 0 7456 4147 8
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... More than most, Max Weber’s reputation reflects the aspirations of others. His wife, Marianne, did much to establish it in Germany, rapidly turning his articles and drafts into books and writing a biography. Liberal émigrés were what one of his American editors, Günther Roth, describes as its shock troops in the English-speaking world. Marianne’s biography appeared in German in 1926, in English in 1975, and has been regarded as the most authoritative ...

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