Had all things been normal, I would have been on a panel this Sunday morning, at the AAS in Boston. Instead, I could only hope from a distance that Countervailing Connections: Islamicate Mobilities in Imperial Moments proved to be the barn-rouser that I had imagined. So, today’s late – very late – list of readings goes out to my peeps in Boston who must now have time on their hand. And maybe one of them can tell us how it all went. Or maybe Jonathan Dresner attended and he can give us all a summary as only he can.
- Listen up, NYT, before you go telling us that a translation of the Qur’an is finally causing some re-examination into the very soul of Islam, please ascertain that 1. this amazing translation is ACTUALLY published and, hence, someone has read or reviewed it, and 2. that the translation passes some normative standards like, oh say, the translator KNOWS Arabic. Man, I hated that article. So, go read it and enjoy my misery.
- Dictators and the Courts – this time Hosni Mubarak is treating Egyptian Constitution as his personal doodle pad. You must pay homage to the American commitment to spreading God-given Freedom around the world.
- I asked this question a while ago and finally, the Boston Globe is also wondering why biography is shunned by the academy? I don’t know but there promises to be an excellent work on Raj Kumar by our friend at Land of Lime.
- Mahmood Mamdani, in the LRB has an absolute must-read on Darfur, Kristof and the politics of higher moral grounds.
- Mahomet and his Heaven: A Review in the TLS. Putting aside the Danish cartoon thing, I wonder how one would go about putting this in production? I mean, even if no Muslim protests, how do you contextualize this play in a performance?
- Two goodies in the NYRB: George Soros is not afraid of the Jewish Lobby, while Pankaj Mishra – member of the Brown Lobby – calls to your attention two well-deserved books.
- Besides Soros, Zbigniew Brzezinski is also a cranky old man who hates the War on Terror. We have always been at War with Terror. Doesn’t he know?
- Finally. In a recent bout with insomnia I began composing the opening paragraph of my own 10-15,000 word essay on Wasim Akram for the New Yorker. My opening was going to be about the fearless Srikkanth getting hit in the head by an Akram bouncer during the first inning of the 1989 test series and simply crumbling away for the rest of the series. Since NYer has not called me to write this piece [seriously David Remnick. Even you ain't got shit on me when it comes to profile pieces. Call.], I suggest everyone read about Adam Greenberg and what happens when you get hit in the head with a fast ball.