Mat Pires

Mat Pires is a lecturer in English (and fonctionnaire) at the University of Franche-Comté in Besançon. His translation, with Carol Sanders, of Ferdinand de Saussure’s recently discovered manuscripts, Writings in General Linguistics, is published by Oxford.

Strike action in French universities began in late January. Lecturers started by withholding grades and refusing to work overtime in protest at proposed government reforms that would involve the loss of a thousand posts, along with an increase in teaching hours. On 2 February large numbers of academics, supported by most of the student body, voted to down tools altogether. There were noisy...

Alan Rudrum believes that Jesus needed an ass to get into Jerusalem not because he was suffering a pleural effusion, as Roger James has it, and not because of his innate humility, as Frank Kermode suggests, but ‘because of Zechariah 9.9’, a concordance which, he asserts, also handily demonstrates that the New Testament is ‘latent in the language of the Old’ (Letters, 22 May)....

Blood for Oil?

21 April 2005

Retort cast doubt on the idea that oil resources might be reaching their peak (LRB, 21 April). They say, correctly, that oil statistics are notoriously unreliable, but then list a number of elements which they do not evaluate – indeed, which one cannot evaluate, as things stand – to support a ‘rather different picture’: ‘vast’ resources in the West African Gulf States,...
Those who share John Sutherland’s worries about copyright ownership (LRB, 7 January) may be interested in a ruling made in a Paris court on 14 April. It concerned a two-year archive that the Figaro has set up on the Minitel, an on-line service which has existed in France since the early Eighties. The Syndicat National des Journalistes and eight Figaro writers argued that the fee they’d...

‘Kong Hamsun’

26 November 1998

Where is the evidence that Knut Hamsun was ‘Céline’s great influence’, as James Wood asserts (LRB, 26 November 1998)? Céline scholars, certainly, seem unaware of this: in three volumes of biography Gibault doesn’t mention Hamsun once; Alméras fleetingly evokes a ship in Guignol’s Band, the Kong Hamsun; while Godard concedes that the Norwegian’s...

A bas les Anglo-Saxons

12 November 1998

The slogan chanted by French football supporters after their World Cup victory should be in the order ‘black-blanc-beur’, not ‘blanc-black-beur’ as Anand Menon had it (LRB, 12 November). It is a militant response to the Front National’s co-option of the tricolour for their annual Fête du bleu-blanc-rouge. In any case, the jubilant fans didn’t chant that, they...

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