Wednesday, February 06, 2008


I made a long-overdue return to the Portico Library today, had lunch and read an article in the BBC History Magazine. It was written by Michael Burleigh, the author of the just-published Blood and Rage: A Cultural History of Terrorism. (The article does not appear to be available on their dreadful website.) It included this vignette, which is like a perfectly formed short story.

Like the Russian nihilists, 19th century anarchists were admired in avant-garde circles. After an anarchist had thrown a bomb onto the floor of the Chamber of Deputies in 1893, the French poet Laurent Teilhard asked, "What do the victims matter as long as the gesture is beautiful?' He may have revised his view after he was blinded in one eye when an anarchist hurled a bomb into his favourite restaurant.

1 comment:

Riri said...

I really like this piece, thanks for reproducing it.