The Nation, 31 March 2008

Alex Cockburn’s column treats the NY Governor prostitution scandal, characterizing Spitzer’s behavior as “various rendezvous with consenting adults.”  I suppose I should familiarize myself with scholarship like that of somebody’s mother, but it strikes me that this phrase doesn’t capture what goes on with prostitution- mutual consent means that both parties consent to the same thing.  When men like Spitzer consent to a sex act, women like “Kristen” consent to sleeping indoors, having enough to eat, and not being so badly beaten by their pimps that they need reconstructive surgery to breathe.   

An editorial points out that it used to be routine in the USA for botched elections to be redone.  Several articles document the economic cost of the Iraq war, both in terms of lost wealth and of increased income inequality.  Christopher Cerf and Victor Navasky collect statements powerful Washington types made in 2002-2004 predicting that the Iraq War would pay for itself. 

 Three reviews treat the work of Chilean writer Roberto Bolano.  Carmen Bullosa analyzes the assemblage of pseudo-biographical vignettes known as Nazi Literature in the Americas; Marcela Valdes surveys Bolano’s life and work; and Forrest Gander tries to decide which of Bolano’s works is best.  Catching my attention, Valdes quotes Nicanor Parra’s remark:

The four great poets of Chile

Are three

Alonso de Ercilla and Ruben Dario.

While Gander mentions that “Bolano considered Tres (Three), a book of poems published in 2000, to be ‘one of my two best works.'”  So the two best works of Bolano/ Are one/ Three.

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