I am currently reading the travel narration “Les eaux glacées du Belomarkanal” written by Anne Brunswic about her voyage along the shores of the “Belomarkanal”. Reading that book, I thought that Russian literature historically blossomed under authoritarian rule – so as we can “witness” more or less in real-time Russia’s way into another authoritarian age – perhaps we will also witness a rebirth of Russian literature and poetry. Perhaps Lyudmila Ulitskaya will be awarded this year’s Nobel Price in Literature. One never knows!
In fact I don’t have any ideas to whom will be awarded this year’s Nobel Prize in literature – but it would be certainly a positive sign for the rebirth of Russian literature if Lyudmila Ulitskaya (or another Russian /Russophone writer/novelist/poet) would be awarded the prize! Tomorrow Thursday 07.10.2021 at 13.00 we will know more!
Brunswic, Anne (2009): Les eaux glacées du Belomorkanal. Arles, Actes Sud. ISBN 978-2-7427-8214-7
Christophe Neff, Grünstadt 06.10.2021
P.S.:. (07.10.2021 13:05): Finally Abdulrazak Gurnah was awarded with the Nobel Prize in Literature 2021.
 As I know the book was never translated into another language. So indeed “les eaux glacées du Belomorkanal (the frozen waters of the Belomorkanal)” would merit a translation into English to get a wider audience.
Concernant le Monde, je ne cache pas que, que les déceptions n’ont malheureusement pas cessé après l’abandon des blogs abonnées, – le Monde vient de supprimer la version pdf du quotidien papier pour ses abonnées durant le printemps 2021 ! Encore une énième déception avec le journal le Monde – qui prétend être le journal de référence français et francophone, – j’ai d’ailleurs récemment consacré un billet « Encore une déception avec le Monde – La suppression du format PDF du journal numérique du Monde » à ce triste évènement !
Vue l’importance des lecteurs allemands (et anglophones) – suivent ici en dessous les traductions allemandes (et anglaises)!
Was Le Monde betrifft, ist es leider so, dass die Enttäuschungen auch nach der Einstellung der „Abonnentenblogs“ nicht aufgehört haben, – Le Monde hat gerade im Frühjahr 2021 die pdf-Version der Papierausgabe der Tageszeitung für seine Abonnenten abgeschafft! Eine weitere Enttäuschung mit der Tageszeitung le Monde – die für sich in Anspruch nimmt, die französische und frankophone Referenzzeitung zu sein, – diesem traurigen Ereignis habe ich kürzlich diesen Beitrag „Encore une déception avec le Monde – La suppression du format PDF du journal numérique du Monde “ gewidmet!
États-Unis d’Amérique/ USA
Corée du Sud/South-Corea/Südkorea
Tableau 2 : Liste des origines géographiques des lecteurs de paysages du 16 juin 2019 au 16 juin 2021
Concerning Le Monde, I don’t hide the fact that, unfortunately, the disappointments didn’t stop after the abandonment of the subscribed blogs, – Le Monde has just removed the pdf version of the daily paper for its subscribers during spring 2021! Yet another disappointment with the newspaper le Monde – which claims to be the French and francophone reference newspaper, – I have recently dedicated a post „Encore une déception avec le Monde – La suppression du format PDF du journal numérique du Monde“ to this sad event!
“Currently we are witnessing a fascist coup d’état attempt in Washington” were the words I published on my Facebook wall while observing the storming the United States Capitol on Wednesday the 6 January 2021 on CNN. Epiphany is a holyday in Baden – Württemberg, and as I work in Karlsruhe at the KIT, this was also a holyday for me, even if a live in Grünstadt in Rhineland-Palatinate where Epiphany is not a holyday. In former days when my children were younger I used this holyday, or the days after this holyday to drive to France to buy some “galettes des rois” for them. But now they are older, and they are not more interested in “galettes des rois”, this old French tradition of choosing the King or Queen of a day on Epiphany. I used the holyday to write my traditional blog retrospective “Rétrospective sur le blog paysages en 2021” but then I received a breakings news mail from the NYT on about 20:45 German-Time “ The New York Times – BREAKING NEWS : Vice President Mike Pence was rushed from the Senate chamber and the vote certification was halted as pro-Trump protesters stormed Capitol Hill” – and then I began to witness this historical moment on CNN – and didn’t finished my blog retrospective post, post which still waits to be finished.
But concerning the inability of the security authorities, the police, not to have prevented the storming of the Capitol, have nevertheless more than shocked me. If the French Police during the Yellow vests movement in France in Winter 2018/19 would have reacted in this amateurish way as the security forces during the Capitol Storm, France would now be governed by a national-bolschevist people’s committee or a national-bolschevist dictator or something similar.
In my Facebook post on my timeline I used the Book cover of Madeleine Albright “Fascism – a warning”. I read the Book in summer 2018 and I found this book was a very comprehensive description of the rise of the fascism in Europe. Seeing the “trumpist Mob storming the Capitol” recalls me the chapters were Albright descriped the March on Rome of Benito Mussolini and his Black Shirts! For me the Book was also something like a wakeup call concerning the Trump presidency!
“Some may view this Book and its Title as Alarmist. Good. We should be awake to assault on democratic values that has gathered strength in many countries abroad that is dividing America at home. The temptation is powerful to close our eyes and wait for the worst to pass, but history tells us that for freedom to survive, it must be defended, and if lies are to stop, they must be exposed (Albright (2018:252)”. At least not so many people have been so impressed by these word, which I read in 2018, – but after all what read, and of course I am reader – heard and see from the Trump presidency – I was convinced that this man would be capable of the worst.
That’s the way I witnessed the “Storm on the Capitol” on Wednesday the 6 January, the day of the Epiphany. Not so astonished, but shocked by the unpreparedness and amateurism of the security forces of the Capitol. The event recalled me a part of the books I have read during my life time concerning fascism and dictatorial power took over, and more recently the book “Fascism – a warning” written and published by Madeleine Albright in 2018.
Writing down this word some days after these dramatic events, I hope that this nightmare is over on January the 20 2021. Seen from Grünstadt, the town where I live, this seems to be the most dramatic political crisis for the United States of America since the Amercian Civil War.
Books and other sources:
Albright, Madeleine; Woodward, Bill (2018): Fascism a warning (with Bill Woodward). London, 2018. ISBN 978-0-00-828227-1
Applebaum, Anne (2020) : Twilight of Democracy. The Seductive Lure of Authoritarianism. New York. ISBN 978-0-385-54580-8
Guilluy, Christophe (2010) : Fractures françaises. Paris, ( François Bourin Editeur), ISBN 978-2-84941-201-5
 I read so many booktitles concerning this topic that’s quasi impossible to name them all. Currently Anne Applebaum‘s “ Twilight of Democracy “ is on my reading desk. A book which a the first glance has nothing to do with the US is “ la France peripherique” (see also “Blognotice 5.5.2012 : – la géographie le grand gagnant du scrutin des présidentielles 2012 “) written by the French geographer Christophe Guilluy, – a similar book as Guilluy wrote it for “peripherical France” focusing on “middle class decline” in rural and periphical America would perhaps also light up why so many Americans have still given their vote to Donald Trump in the last presidential election.
Hier matin, en finissant ma revue de presse personnelle virtuelle internationale, comme presque chaque matin, – après avoir lu l’article du Guardian sur le verdict du procès de la journaliste Zhang Zhan, – quatre ans de prison ferme pour avoir osé d’apporter un peu de lumière sur les évènements de Wuhan, le lock down, le confinement de Wuhan au tout début de la pandémie de la COVID-19. Je partage l’article du Guardian avec les mots « Never forget Zhang Zhan ! That’s real live in China! Freedome and Liberty are unknown words in contemporary China! (N’oubliez jamais Zhang Zhan ! C’est la vraie vie en Chine ! Libération et liberté sont des mots inconnus dans la Chine contemporaine) ».
Quelques heures après avoir lu l’article du Guardian sur Zhang Zhan je découvre dans le Monde l’article sur le verdict du procès de la militante saoudienne des droits de la femme Loujaïne Al-Hathloul , 5 ans de prison ferme ! Je partage l’article sur mon mur Facebook avec les mots « Espérons que le Monde libre n’oublie pas Loujaïne Al-Hathloul ! Let’s hope that the Free World does not forget Loujaïne Al-Hathloul! » . En partageant l’article sur la condamnation de Loujaïne Al-Hathloul sur mon mur Facebook je pense aussi à Nasrin Sotoudeh avocate iranienne, spécialiste des droits de l’homme, qui croupit quelque part dans une prison iranienne, qui peut être ne reverra jamais plus la liberté. Nasrin qui peut être ne pourra jamais revoir le lever du soleil sur la mer, l’air fraîche de l’aube sur une plage, comme homme libre, comme femme libre !
Trois noms, trois femmes – n’oubliez jamais Zhang Zhan, Loujaïne Al-Hathloul , Nasrin Sotoudeh! J’espère qu’elles pourront sortir vivant de leur prisons, et j’espère aussi que la France et les pays du monde libre, proposent l’asile politique à ces trois femmes et leurs proches. Asile et sécurité pour ces trois courageuses combattantes pour la liberté et les droits de l’homme ! Et que les pays occidentaux, nos dirigeants, nos gouvernements ouvrent enfin les yeux sur la réalité des droits de l’homme en Chine, en Arabie saoudite et en Iran. Personnellement je considère les gouvernements de ces trois pays comme étant certainement un des plus répressives du monde actuel concernant les droits de l’homme. Triste palmarès !
Il me reste que de finir avec les mots :
N’oubliez jamais Zhang Zhan, Loujaïne Al-Hathloul , Nasrin Sotoudeh !
Liberté pour Zhang Zhan, Loujaïne Al-Hathloul , Nasrin Sotoudeh !
Yesterday morning, while finishing my personal virtual international press review, as I do almost every morning, – after reading the Guardian article on the verdict of the trial of the journalist Zhang Zhan , – four years in prison for having tried to shed some light on the events of Wuhan, the lock down, the confinement of Wuhan at the very beginning of the COVID-19 pandemic. I shared the Guardian article with the words “Never forget Zhang Zhan ! That’s real live in China! Freedome and Liberty are unknown words in contemporary China!”.
A few hours after reading the Guardian’s article on Zhang Zhan I discovered in Le Monde the article on the verdict of the trial of the Saudi women’s rights activist Loujaïne Al-Hathloul, 5 years in prison! I share the article on my Facebook wall with the words “Espérons que le Monde libre n’oublie pas Loujaïne Al-Hathloul ! Let’s hope that the Free World does not forget Loujaïne Al-Hathloul! “ . As I share the article on the conviction of Loujaïne Al-Hathloul on my Facebook wall I also think of Nasrin Sotoudeh, an Iranian lawyer and human rights specialist, who is languishing somewhere in an Iranian prison, who may never see freedom again. Nasrin who may be will never be able to see the sunrise over the sea, the fresh air of dawn on a beach, as a free human, as a free woman!
Three names, three women – never forget Zhang Zhan, Loujaïne Al-Hathloul, Nasrin Sotoudeh! I hope that they will be able to leave their prisons alive, and I also hope that France and the countries of the free world offer political asylum to these three women and their relatives. Asylum and security for these three courageous fighters for freedom and human rights! And that Western countries, our leaders, our governments finally open their eyes to the reality of human rights in China, Saudi Arabia and Iran. Personally, I consider the governments of these three countries to be certainly one of the most repressive in the world today regarding human rights. Sad record!
All that remains for me to do is to finish with the words:
Never forget Zhang Zhan, Loujaïne Al-Hathloul , Nasrin Sotoudeh !
Freedom for Zhang Zhan, Loujaïne Al-Hathloul , Nasrin Sotoudeh !
Screenshots from my Facebook timeline/Capture d’écran de mon mure Facebook.
I decided to publish here in paysages, the original of a Facebook post written and published during the COVID-19 lockdown in Germany on the fifth of April 2020 on Facebook.
Why open this previously private Facebook post to a wider audience?
Seen what happened since this springtime, how this pandemic diseases affected the whole world, this text written in April 2020 could also be seen as a contemporary history document. Since April 2020 many things happened concerning the spread of COVID-19, – but in my opinion – and after having read again my own text – two important things have to be noted. The management of the COVID-19 Crisis by the Trump administration in the United State was (and is still) a complete disaster. The other point, and this seems to get much lower international media attention than the chaotic management of the COVID-19 by Trump administration, China used the attention gap provided by the worldwide COVID-19 crisis to enforce the “Hong Kong national security law”.
The original text of the April Facebook text is written in italic. I have also added a screenshot of the original Facebook post.
You might wonder why I share so much “COVID-19” articles, posts etc. I am very interested in the way this virus spreads around the world. And that has some biographical reasons. More than 20 years ago I was young Post-Doc, I founded a family, had just bought a house, and really didn’t know how to earn money in the future. The German science system was perhaps not as competitive in the beginning of 2000 as it is today, – currently 1-5% of the post-docs have the chance to get a professorship or senior lecture/readership – in the beginning of the 2000 this ratio was about 10-15%, but I really didn’t know what to do to “feed the hungry mouths” of my children. I thought about many alternatives, – building special railway models (some word about it can be find here in my blog (in German) https://cneffpaysages.blog/2018/07/08/erinnerungen-an-die-marklinmoderne/ ), importing vines from Portugal and France, emigrating to Quebec (or other fireprone regions) where they needed “forest fires specialists” and so many ideas more. In this time I had the feeling that the only way to earn my money with research was to apply to the INSERM. During this period the INSERM searched “Geographers” who were able to model impact scenarios of viral disease all around the world, with special focus on France. Perhaps you remember that the SARS epidemic appears to have started in Guangdong Province in China, in November 2002. Modelling fire and vegetation dynamics, or the progression of invasive plants, – is more or less the same as modelling the impact of virus outbreak in a given geographical region. In reality I didn’t apply, because I was lucky in applying for researcher/seniorscientist post at the former University of Karlsruhe, now called KIT. My job here was to do applied ecological research in francophone Africa, – and I really started my Tunisian years from Karlsruhe …..but then things changed. Now I am doing more academic management and teaching than scientific research in my current job. But I still do some research.
But I am still interested in the “geographical pattern of biological invasion” – and in some way this virus outbreak (Outbreak was a movie of the 1995 with Dustin Hoffmann, perhaps some of you remember it) is also a kind of “biological invasion” even if viruses are considered to be organisms at the edge of life.
So now perhaps you might understand why I share so many things (press articles, scientific papers & reviews) about the COVID 19.
For finishing my personal view on the current situation; – we lost precious time because most of our governments, the western democracies didn’t understand very well (and most of their medical experts) what was really happening in Wuhan. They more or less woke up when they observed the desperate situation in Italy; – with one notable exception the Trump administration was not able to learn anything from the dramatic situation in Italy. They needed the total breakdown of New York City to understand that the US will also be dramatically concerned by COVID 19. I don’t trust any affirmation of the Chinese administration, but I think we should have a look to South Korea and Taiwan to see how a free society can face the virus outbreak. We will all face some hard time, were COVID 19 will show us all the weaknesses of our health care systems. Hope that when this COVID19 crisis will be overcome our societies will be able to learn how to make the health care systems more “stress resilient” and also reduce their economic dependency from the China.
As I wrote it in my last post in paysages (in French), I had the chance to participate in virtual conference concerning the geography of COVID-19 and during the preparation of my own presentation I discovered a very interesting paper „Ecological and epidemiological models are both useful for SARS-CoV-2“ which also treats the similarities (and differences) of ecological and epidemiological models, – which in some way reveals to what I wrote in the Facebook text and what I did more the 25 years ago modelling vegetation dynamics and wildfire dynamics in Mediterranean ecosystems. Furthermore in preparation of these conference and my own I also read a very interesting book concerning the consequence of COVID-19 lockdown in France “En immersion : enquête sur une société confine” written by Jérome Forquet et al. I don’t know if this book will be translated into English, but for all reading French, this books provides a very comprehensive approach of the French society during the COVID -19 lockdown in springtime 2020, – combining sociological, geographical and geo-medical analysis.
Next Thursday, 10 October, at 13:00 CET the Swedish Academy will announce the winner of the Nobel Prize in Literature 2018 and 2019. In the years as blogger on le Monde.fr I tried to make a forecast for the annual Nobel Prize in Literature, the last in 2017 – under the titel “Paysages forecast for Nobel Prize in Literature 2017”. Since them a long time has passed, – the paysagesblog on le Monde.fr disappeared, because in April 2019 le Monde decided to stop his subscribers blogs, blogs which were called “les blogs abonnées du Monde.fr” in French. In Juin 2019 “paysages” was relaunched with the post “Nouveau départ pour le blog paysages” on wordpress.com. So I relaunch here my “Nobel Prize Forecast in Literature” on paysage, in continuation of what I wrote on paysages when it was hosted and edited on “les Blogs le Monde.fr”.
But frankly spoken I have no clear idea, – my personal favorite is the Portuguese novelist António Lobo Antunes. Just reading “Até Que as Pedras Se Tornem Mais Leves Que a Água” in the French translation «Jusqu’à ce que les pierres deviennent plus douces que l’eau » of Dominique Nédellec published by Christian Bourgois Éditeur in Paris, I think that Antunes would largely merit to get a Nobel prize in Literature. The book was also recently translated into English by Jeffe Love under the titel “Until Stones Become Lighter Than Water” in the serie “The Margellos World Republic of Letters” published by Yale University Press.