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Eduardo Galeano: Not So Elementary, My Dear Watson

Eduardo Galeano tomdispatch.com
The Life and Death of Words, People, and Even Nature: From Walking Libraries and a God Named “Word” to What Sherlock Holmes Never Said. Passages excerpted from Eduardo Galeano’s new book, Children of the Days: A Calendar of Human History (Nation Books).

How Philip K. Dick Redefined What it Means to Be (In)Human

James Burton The Conversation
No being – whether mammal, robot, computer, bird, slug, stone, or star – that is excluded from the category of humanity on the basis of its physical nature. Conversely, each and any being may qualify as human by demonstrating empathy for other beings.

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Philip K. Dick and the Fake Humans

Henry Farrell Boston Review
We’re not living in the dystopias of George Orwell or Aldous Huxley, the author insists, but in the shifty algorithmic universe of Philip K. Dick, where the world that the Internet and social media shape is less a system than an ecology, a proliferation of unexpected niches, and entities created and adapted to exploit them in deceptive ways. In this view, it’s a world in which technology is developing in ways that fudge the difference between the human and the artificial.

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We Know About Bad Books, But Are There Bad Readers, Too?

Merve Emre Boston Review
The author queries the existence of bad readers, linking causes not to illiteracy or injuries of class or the diffusion of mass culture, but to a Cold War literary trend sporting "an abundance of paraliterary works," such as memoirs, diaries, biographies, diplomatic studies, and feature reports as primers for engaging with literary texts as seemingly historically accurate yet stressing outcomes and expectations consonant with systemic social ends.

Eduardo Galeano, Monster Wanted

Eduardo Galeano Tom Dispatch
The most dramatic and beautiful of writers who caught history -- the history of continents and of half-forgotten figures who struggled for what truly mattered -- in a unique fashion, in passages of hardly a page or more.

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With Kafka, The Ending is at the Beginning

John Banville New York Review of Books
Kafka's life was itself Kafkaesque, and if you want to know its span and its ending better- the book's author contends and the reviewer agrees - readers need to start at the beginning. The book under review is the third of a three-volume biography that critics widely call definitive.

Remembering the Great Essayist and Activist Clancy Sigal -- Clancy Sigal Has Gone Away

Peter Dreier Huffington Post
Clancy Sigal died Monday night at 90. He wrote "Going Away" in the midst of the McCarthy period. It is a soul-searching memoir filled with fascinating characters. He chronicles the battles over racism at a time when the modern civil rights movement was just getting started. The novel became something of a cult favorite among the baby-boom generation of radicals in the 1960s and 1970s, and has remained in print and popular among subsequent generations.

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A Not So Distant Mirror: Jack London's Political Writings

Howard Tharsing The ThreePenny Review
Returning to two of socialist Jack London's classics, The Iron Heel and The People of the Abyss--both available free at Project Gutenberg--the reviewer finds stark similarities between the deprivation of the early 20th century and the modern world of neoliberal capitalism, with its gig economy and the emergence of a precariat, valorizing London's injunction that class supremacy can rest only on class degradation.
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