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What I bought – 9 December 2015

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“For the enemy to be recognized and feared, he has to be in your home or on your doorstep. Hence the Jews. Divine providence has given them to us, and so, by God, let us use them, and pray there’s always some Jew to fear and to hate. We need an enemy to give the people hope. Someone said that patriotism is the last refuge of cowards; those without moral principles usually wrap a flag around themselves, and the bastards always talk about the purity of the race. National identity is the last bastion of the dispossessed. But the meaning of identity is now based on hatred, on hatred for those who are not the same. Hatred has to be cultivated as a civic passion. The enemy is the friend of the people. You always want someone to hate in order to feel justified in your own misery. Hatred is the true primordial passion. It is love that’s abnormal. That is why Christ was killed: he spoke against nature. You don’t love someone for your whole life – that impossible hope is the source of adultery, matricide, betrayal of friends … But you can hate someone for your whole life, provided he’s always there to keep your hatred alive. Hatred warms the heart.” (Umberto Eco, from The Prague Cemetery)
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What I bought – 19 August 2015

EPSON MFP image

“I knew it,” Landsman says. “The minute I walked into the room and saw Lasker lying there, I said to myself, Landsman, this whole case is going to turn on a question of pie.” (Michael Chabon, from The Yiddish Policemen’s Union)
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What I bought – May 2014 selections

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“The novel I would most like to read at this moment,” Ludmilla explains, “should have as its driving force only the desire to narrate, to pile stories upon stories, without trying to impose a philosophy of life on you, simply allowing you to observe its own growth, like a tree, an entangling, as if of branches and leaves …” (Italo Calvino, from If on a winter’s night a traveler)
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