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world’s shortest books - larvatus prodeo
March 27th, 2008
12:18 am

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world’s shortest books

  1. Let Us Honor Great Italian War Heroes;

  2. Two Millennia of German Humanism;

  3. A Manual of French Hygiene;

  4. Recognizing British Heterosexuality;

  5. A Field Guide to Great American Lovers;

  6. Mastering Russian Table Manners;

  7. A Treasury of Polish Wit and Wisdom;

  8. The Secrets of Iranian Diplomacy;

  9. Iron Rules of Chinese Business Ethics;

  10. Side-Splitting Japanese Jokes;

  11. Loving Your Neighbors the Greek Way;

  12. Jewish Ways of Happiness; and

  13. Negroes I Have Met While Yachting.

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(19 comments | Leave a comment)

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From:adja
Date:March 27th, 2008 07:46 am (UTC)
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The Secrets of Iranian Diplomacy = Jewish Ways of Happiness :)
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From:larvatus
Date:March 27th, 2008 01:48 pm (UTC)
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Iranian diplomacy makes me happy every time.
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From:sensanome
Date:March 27th, 2008 09:24 am (UTC)
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Funny, except I dislike the word Negroes.
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From:larvatus
Date:March 27th, 2008 01:41 pm (UTC)
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Goes with Yachting.
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From:zapiens
Date:March 27th, 2008 07:44 pm (UTC)

Cannot speak for some on the list...

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... but have to disagree on Germans (Heine, Kant, and, yes, Nietsche), Italians (from condotieri to Garibaldi to Teseo Tesei), Poles (Mickiewicz, Milocz).

Maybe add to the list of shortest books, Jokes that I (zapiens) Understand?
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From:larvatus
Date:March 28th, 2008 04:41 am (UTC)

Re: Cannot speak for some on the list...

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Heine died in Paris 77 years before his erstwhile compatriots denounced him as an Untermensch and burned his books in Berlin’s Opernplatz. Kant was not far from them in spirit:
The Palestinians living among us have, for the most part, earned a not unfounded reputation for being cheaters, because of their spirit of usury since their exile. Certainly, it seems strange to conceive of a nation of cheaters; but it is just as odd to think of a nation of merchants, the great majority of whom, bound by an ancient superstition that is recognized by the State they live in, seek no civil dignity and try to make up for this loss by the advantage of duping the people among whom they find refuge, and even one another. The situation could not be otherwise, given a whole nation of merchants, as non-productive members of society (for example, the Jews in Poland). So their constitution, which is sanctioned by ancient precepts and even by the people among whom they live (since we have certain sacred writings in common with them), cannot consistently be abolished — even though the supreme principle of their morality in trading with us is “Let the buyer beware.” I shall not engage in the futile undertaking of lecturing to these people, in terms of morality, about cheating and honesty. Instead, I shall present my conjectures about the origin of this peculiar constitution (the constitution, namely, of a nation of merchants).
—Immanuel Kant, Anthropology from a Pragmatic Point of View, translated by Mary J. Gregor, The Hague: Martinus Nijhoff, 1974, p. 77
Nietzsche may have been many things, but scarcely a humanist. For Italian war heroes, I’ll give you Garibaldi and Teseo Tesei, and Fabrizio Quattrocchi in recent memory; also Kotarbiński and Lesniewski for Polish wisdom. I would add Kołakowski and Miłosz, but as expatriates they get us back to square one. But even the shortest books must have some pages in them.
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From:malkhos
Date:June 18th, 2008 01:21 am (UTC)

Re: Cannot speak for some on the list...

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As far as German Humanism is concerned... I was thinking more along the lines of Reuchlin, Goethe, Momsen, Williamowitz-Moellendorf...
From:robblin
Date:April 15th, 2008 04:58 am (UTC)

Wonderful

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Hiya smiley!
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From:larvatus
Date:April 15th, 2008 10:38 pm (UTC)

Re: Wonderful

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Not to forget: Korean Vegetarian Treats.
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From:aregjan
Date:April 30th, 2008 05:29 am (UTC)
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Let Us Honor Great Italian War Heroes;
********
Didn't Italians rule most of Europe, Middle East and Northern Africa for, like, 300 years?
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From:larvatus
Date:April 30th, 2008 06:06 am (UTC)
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Herewith the last man to make this argument:

It didn’t work too well for him. Why should it work any better for us?
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From:aregjan
Date:April 30th, 2008 03:38 pm (UTC)
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Actually, my Soviet-issued book of antique history did a similar argument, and so did my American-issued books...well after this man.
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From:larvatus
Date:May 1st, 2008 03:21 am (UTC)
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That was the last man to infer modern Italian heroism from the glory that was Rome.
It didn’t go so well.
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From:aregjan
Date:May 1st, 2008 04:31 am (UTC)
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Just because an evil person derived an idea (that Italian heroism is linked to roman glory), it doesn't automatically mean that the idea is evil. I am sure Mussolini would agree that the sky is blue, for example...

Now, what caused it not to go so well is that he used the idea as an excuse to commit crimes. Which doesn't mean that the idea is criminal itself.
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From:larvatus
Date:May 1st, 2008 02:14 pm (UTC)
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Just because an evil person derived an idea (that Italian heroism is linked to roman glory), it doesn't automatically mean that the idea is evil.

No shit, Sherlock. However, a political idea that fails on worldwide scale is a strong candidate for qualifying as stupid.

Now, what caused it not to go so well is that he used the idea as an excuse to commit crimes.

Genocide is a crime that goes well realizes the malice of its perpetrators on a worldwide scale. So much for your idea of criminal causality.
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From:aregjan
Date:May 1st, 2008 03:12 pm (UTC)
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However, a political idea that fails on worldwide scale is a strong candidate for qualifying as stupid.
*********
The idea that Italian heritage (including "military heroism") derives from antique roman history has failed on worldwide scale? Care to substantiate?
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From:larvatus
Date:May 1st, 2008 03:46 pm (UTC)
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Have men or nations ever won a fight by boasting about the deeds of their ancestors?
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From:aregjan
Date:May 1st, 2008 04:14 pm (UTC)
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That's totally irrelevant to the original question: that is,
the supposed absence of any Italian war heroes.
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From:larvatus
Date:May 1st, 2008 04:37 pm (UTC)
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absence

shortage
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