person:pankaj mishra

  • L’Âge de la colère - El Correo

    Parfois, après une longue attente, apparaît un livre qui écorche l’esprit du temps, brillant comme un diamant fou. « Age of Anger », de Pankaj Mishra, auteur aussi du livre fondateur « From the Ruins of Empire », pourrait bien en être le dernier avatar.
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    Pensez à ce livre comme à une ultime arme – conceptuelle – mortelle, fichée dans les cœurs et les esprits d’une population dévastée d’adolescents cosmopolites déracinés [1] qui s’efforcent de trouver leur véritable vocation, au fur et à mesure que nous traversons péniblement la plus longue période – le Pentagone dirait infinie – de guerres mondiales ; une guerre civile mondiale – que dans mon livre « 2007 Globalistan » j’ai appelée « Liquid War » : Guerre nomade).

    L’article d’origine sur :

  • Lendemains d’empires

    L’Asie n’est plus sous la domination de l’Europe. Mais que reste-t-il des projets anti-impérialistes de ceux qui, à la fin du XIXe siècle, espéraient inventer une voie alternative vers la modernité ? Pour Pankaj Mishra, le développement de l’Asie n’a fait que perpétuer un modèle autrefois dénoncé.

    Livres & études

    / #Asie, #empire, #impérialisme


  • The Need for Roots brought home the modern era’s disconnection with the past and the loss of community | #Pankaj_Mishra | Comment is free | The Guardian

    Having recently moved to a Himalayan village after a peripatetic life in the plains, I had begun to feel rooted for the first time, connected to a stable community which, living off the land, neither poor nor rich, and low rather than upper caste, was marked above all by dignity – remarkable in a country where villages had become synonymous with destitution. And when #Weil asserted that the central event of the modern era was uprootedness – the disconnection from the past and the loss of community – she seemed to speak directly to my experience.

  • Turks Are Fighting Over the Future, Not Religion - Bloomberg


    The presence of Turkish neo-nationalists at the demonstrations even prompted the liberal-left Guardian to go soft on Kemalism. “At issue,” the newspaper claimed, “is whether Turkey should be the progressive, secular European nation-state that Ataturk originally envisaged and shaped from the ruins of the Ottoman Empire, or a more explicitly religious country.”

    Never mind that secularism in Turkey was brutally imposed, and that many Islamic practices were violently eradicated by Ataturk. That Istanbul’s long-standing, cosmopolitan communities of Jews and Greek Catholics were chased out during the heyday of secular nationalism. Or that the long-persecuted Turkish Kurds suspect — rightly — that they might get a better hearing from Turkish Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan than from fans of Ataturk.

    Simple ideological oppositions also obscure a more revealing irony: the Islamist Erdogan expediting, with the help of crony capitalists, the touristification of Istanbul. This highly lucrative beautification campaign requires the destruction of familiar landmarks, such as Gezi Park.

    Cultural Inferno

    But it should not be forgotten that Ataturk, beloved of modernizing despots from the Shah of Iran to Pervez Musharraf, presided over a cultural inferno more extensive than Erdogan could ever dream of — one that turned Turkey’s greatest writers, from Ahmet Hamdi Tanpinar to Orhan Pamuk, into melancholy private archivists of an officially scorned Ottoman culture.

    Those conditioned to see Erdogan’s cultural vandalism as a fall from a golden age or as evidence of his latent Talibanism, should recall Turkey’s long history as a country with plenty of rich and powerful secularists but no democracy and human rights. Like Meiji Japan, Kemalist Turkey wanted to achieve civilization and enlightenment on terms defined by the West, yet only managed to violate the values of both.


    Commenting in 1997 on Turkey’s prolonged and weird isolation, Pamuk held out a bleak prospect: “Since people have lost their memories and their relationships with their cultural neighbours” he wrote, “the entire country has acquired the crudeness, inflexibility and slovenliness which often occur in those who live alone.”

    Both Erdogan and his neo-nationalist opponents manifest many of these tendencies. The difference is that in the age of global capital flows and rapid communications, Turkey no longer lives alone. In many ways — and this may be their enduring significance — the recent protests have rancorously shattered Turkey’s almost century-long solitude.

  • Boston Review — Wajahat Ali: Against the Brahmins (#Pankaj_Mishra)

    Wajahat Ali : Reflecting on recent events, could an argument be made that the disastrous Iraq War and the 2008 financial crisis have shifted the axis of power from the United States to rising Asia?

    Pankaj Mishra : I don’t think Asians and South Asians have much cause for celebration if power is indeed shifting to the East due to the disastrous blunders of the United States. One still has to ask, whose power? And to whom is it shifting and who in Asia will it eventually benefit? We Asians have shown ourselves very capable of making the same kind of mistakes. I write from Japan, which has its own history of militarism and imperialism, and where the ghost of nationalism is yet to be exorcised. And we know about South Asia’s inability to defuse its toxic nationalisms or provide a degree of social and economic justice to its billion-plus populations.

    • WA: The Economist has labeled you the “heir to Edward Said.” How do you respond to the comparison?

      PM: These kinds of intellectual genealogies are very superficial—sound bites, essentially. I think that the important work of Edward Said—the examination and overcoming of degraded and degrading representations of the non-West—is being carried on by many writers, and it is far from finished. Indeed, it has suffered serious setbacks in the post-9/11 era, which has seen an exponential rise in violence and bigotry, so we need many more people with his intellectual capacity and moral courage to challenge mainstream and conventional ideas and prejudices. I would be very suspicious if anyone was described as his heir by the mainstream press. The description pigeonholes cheaply—even caricatures—and conveniently shifts the responsibility of saying unpopular truths onto a single individual. Now that the quota of non-conformism has been taken care of, the token gestures to dissent made, everyone can return to spouting conventional wisdom.

  • L’inévitable retrait des Etats Unis du Moyen Orient

    Par Pankaj Mishra, New York Times (USA) 23 septembre 2012 traduit de l’anglais par Djazaïri

    Le drame du déclin de la puissance américaine est en phase de se répéter au Moyen Orient et en Asie du Sud après deux guerres futiles et l’affaiblissement ou l’effondrement de régimes pro-américains.

    En Afghanistan, des soldats et des policiers autochtones ont tué leurs formateurs Occidentaux, et des manifestations ont éclaté là-bas et au Pakistan contre les frappes d’avions sans pilote américains et des informations sur des profanations du Coran. Fait étonnant, ce regain d’hostilité et de méfiance envers les puissants envahisseurs occidentaux ont une fois de plus provoqué un choc chez beaucoup de décideurs et de commentateurs politiques aux Etats Unis qui se sont promptement retranchés derrière un discours paresseux du genre « ils détestent nos libertés. »

    C’est comme si les Etats Unis, bercés par les échecs idéologiques comme ceux du nazisme et du communisme dans une idée exaltée de leur force morale et de leur mission, avaient raté l’évènement central du 20ème siècle : l’éveil politique inexorable, et souvent violent, de peuples qui ont été soumis pendant des dizaines d’années à la brutalité des puissances occidentales. Cette étrange omission explique pourquoi les décideurs politiques Américains ratent les occasions qui se présentent à eux pour des règlements post-impériaux pacifiques en Asie.