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© Patrick O'Donovan 1986–2019

That was the week that was: reading — obligatory, controlled
3 Oct 2018

On being obliged to read Madame Bovary

That’s how they taught us to read: by beating it into us.
Alejandro Zambra in the Paris Review, translated by Megan McDowell

Learning from Lyotard

In works such as Just Gaming (1979) and especially his masterwork, The Differend (1983), Lyotard offers not an “anything goes” relativism, but rather takes up the historical fact that after the Shoah, there is no longer a belief in the progress of history, à la G. W. F. Hegel (1770–1831) (and even more so today, when polls all over the West show that many believe the next generation will be worse off than the last) while there is also what Hannah Arendt (1906–1975) called a general “loss of authority” in traditional institutions. Hence both progressive and conservative political views are found flailing in diagnosing the problems of the political, especially when facing the devaluation of all values in consumer culture.
Peter Gratton on Jean-François Lyotard, in the Stanford Encyclopedia of Philosophy


Comme je comptais l’argent de mes droits d’auteur, j’ai laissé échapper la pièce qui a roulé je ne sais où, me voilà bien.
Éric Chevillard, L’Autofictif

Coming soon: L’Autofictif et les trois mousquetaires

Out now: ‘Je n’atteins le réel que lorsqu’il s’éprouve dans et par la langue’, entretien réalisé par Raphaël Piguet et Julien Zanetta, in Critique, no. 855–856: Éric Chevillard: Angles d’attaque

Un délitement du pouvoir?


Pascal Perrineau on Macron and Collomb, Journal de 12h30 (7 min, 52 s.)

“Peer review” and the Cold War

In my recent paper for Isis, I argue that the idea that a grant or journal article has to be peer-reviewed to be scientifically respectable arose as scientists grappled with the consequences of increased public funding for their work. There were a number of observers who wanted scientists to be more accountable to legislators and members of the public because they were receiving public money.
Melinda Baldwin, interviewed in the Scholarly Kitchen

Controlled digital lending

This paper is about how libraries can legally lend digital copies of books. It explains the legal and policy rationales for the process — “controlled digital lending” — as well as a variety of risk factors and practical considerations that can guide libraries seeking to implement such lending. We write this paper in support of the Position Statement on Controlled Digital Lending, a document endorsed by many libraries, librarians, and legal experts. Our goal is to help libraries and their lawyers become more comfortable with the concept by more fully explaining the legal rationale for controlled digital lending, as well as situations in which this rationale is the strongest.
David Hansen and Kyle Courtney, ‘A White Paper on Controlled Digital Lending of Library Books’, LawArXiv Papers

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