Jayde Will (1978) is a literary translator. He has an MA in Fenno-Ugric Linguistics from Tartu University. His translations of Latvian, Lithuanian, and Estonian authors have been published in numerous journals, including Poetry Review, Trafika, and Mantis, as well as anthologies such as the Dedalus Book of Lithuanian Literature and several Best European Fiction anthologies. He has also translated subtitles for numerous films, including the Lithuanian classic The Devil’s Bride and the award-winning Vanishing Waves.
Jon Stone’s School of Forgery opens with the line: ‘Where I come from, it’s the other way round.’ Evocative enough in the context of the opening poem, Near Extremes 1, but when read in the context of the whole collection takes on a more deceptive meaning. It is the first instance of forgery that will go on to characterise the book. In this case, a failed attempt to experience the Christmas season delivered by someone who does not understand the essential element of the experience. Near Extremes 1 continues: ‘we plunk cinder knucklebones into our soda / stand hunched over momentary snowflakes / willing our fags to catch cold, so we can / scorch our lips with frost-feathered plumes.’
It has perhaps - until now - been one of the advantages of living in an advanced, functioning liberal democracy that the British have very rarely had to ask about the political legitimacy of their governments. Perhaps somewhat foolishly, we have seen our political system as less corrupt than others on continental or across the Atlantic. Not now. On Tuesday, an Electoral Commission probe found that Vote Leave, the official anti-EU campaign group who refused to cooperate with the inquiry, had exceeded its £7m spending limit by funnelling £675,315 through pro-Brexit youth group BeLeave. In other words, they cheated. Two officials have already been fined for the false declaration of campaign spending, the Commission has referred them to the Metropolitan Police, and handed over files "in relation to whether any persons have committed related offences" that fall outside the watchdog's remit.
Who holds the power in international politics? Most people would probably say it’s the largest states in the global system. The current landscape of international relations seems to affirm this intuition: new Russian geopolitics, “America First” and Chinese state-led global expansion, among others, seem to put state power back in charge after decades of globalisation. Yet multinationals like Apple and Starbucks still wield phenomenal power. They oversee huge supply chains, sell products all over the world, and help mould international politics to their interests. In some respects, multinationals have governments at their beck and call – witness their consistent success at dodging tax payments. So when it comes to international politics, are states really calling the shots?
When I was nine years old, someone told me that in the 1980s, “Russia” had invaded and occupied Afghanistan. I couldn’t believe it! Really?! As soon as I could I went upstairs to my room and located my blow up globe, one of my most prized possessions. Tracing my finger around Eurasia I hit upon Central Siberia and made my way down through the dusty Steppes to Afghanistan. My suspicion was confirmed: such a thing was crazy! The logistics seemed impossible to me, and so therefore, on the spot, and with no further investigation or deduction, I concluded that the said person had been lying to me as some sort of sick joke.
Given that almost 27 million Brits — well, Englanders — watched their team’s losing World Cup semi-final against Croatia, there must be some lessons to be learned. Thanks to the gods of political coincidence, the main learning came swift and fast. In the aftermath of their victory it emerged that Croatian captain Luka Modric had accused English journalists and pundits of showing a lack of respect to Croatia’s players and revealed that his teammates had used that criticism to motivate them to their 2-1 victory against England in their World Cup semi-final. As one Brussels-based British EU insider put it, it is not just in football that this complacency, this exceptionalism, this disrespect for one’s opponents that lets Britain down and motivates the other team. “If Croatian footballers can read UK newspapers then, guess what, so can the EU’s Brexit negotiators.”
Donald Trump on Monday night chose Brett Kavanaugh, a judge on the DC Circuit Court of Appeals, to replace Anthony Kennedy on the Supreme Court. His views on executive power may continue to worry liberals as the Robert Mueller investigation unfolds. In a 1998 Georgetown Law Journal article titled, “The President and the Independent Counsel,” written shortly after his service to Starr, Kavanaugh wrote that the independent counsel should be appointed by the president and approved by Congress, not by a panel of judges, to shore up the position’s constitutionality. This would have somewhat weakened the position’s independence relative to the executive; the independent counsel statute has since lapsed and the position no longer exists.
After spending her twenties helping create other people's dreams in the film industry and her thirties working full-time for the NHS, Ruth Steadman's forties are all about following her own heart, balancing her work as a private CBT therapist with my writing and other passions. She is endlessly inspired by human narratives, emotional authenticity, and courageous and creative full engagement with living. In her free time you will most frequently find her in Italy (the inspiration for my blog Vivere Ad Alta Voce), learning contemporary dance, and dabbling in interior design.
There are certain locations around the globe that come to us through tourists, visitors to the lands – Tokyo, India, Thailand, Hawaii – whose identities, though vividly their own, are delivered back to Britain, the US, to Europe, transmuted by romanticism, prejudice, ideas of grandeur. For those of us born beyond their borders, these are places stitched together from the experiences of foreigners. In the case of Cuba, and its infamous capital, perhaps it was Greene who established it as it stands today in our culture, or perhaps it was America, embedding their neighbours in a narrative of despised Communism, and South American hedonism.