Sword and Scales: Law and Politics

“Politics is an essential aspect of public activity and if it is unable to perform its vital task of managing basic conflicts effectively, then virtues of civility on which a stable social order rests are likely to be undermined. The liberal-legalist order, so the argument goes, will be founded on self-interested, rights-bearing, adversarial individuals and this will not be sustainable. This type of social order is likely to aggravate precisely those points of tension in society which any vibrant political process should aim at alleviating. The ultimate danger is that liberal-legalism may, paradoxically, bring about the precise end –despotism—which it is designed to avoid”.

-Martin Loughlin, Sword & Scales: Law and Politics (commenting on Gray’s concern about the replacement of politics by law); page 5.


On writing and solitude. In London.

Foto de Roberto Gargarella.
Una nueva etapa. Espacio e imaginario distinto. Una nueva ruta de disciplina para el quehacer. Al comienzo de este nuevo transcurrir, me propongo que mis lecturas de sosiego sean aquellas huellas que dejaron escritoras y escritores sobre el acto de escribir, sobre cómo organizaron su tiempo y espacio alrededor de esta actividad. ¿Qué tienen que decirnos aquellos y aquellas cuya pasión, soledad y disciplina nos regalaron las letras que tiempo después, hoy, llenan nuestras almas? Voy a su encuentro. En varias entradas en el blog estaré compartiendo algunos de los más atesorados fragmentos que iré encontrando o que me encontrarán a mí. Aquí el primero, de Marguerite Duras.

“It is in a house that one is alone. Not outside it, but inside. Outside in the garden, there are birds and cats. And also, once, a squirrel, and a ferret. One isn’t alone in a garden. But inside the house, one is so alone that one can lose one’s bearings. Only now do I realize I’ve been  here for ten years. Alone. To write books that have let me know, and others now, that I was the writer I am. How did that happen? And how can one Express it? What I can say is that the kind of solitude found in Neauphle was created by me. For me. An that only in this house am I alone. To write. To write, not as I had up until then, but to write books still unknown to me and not yet decide on by anyone.

The person who writes books must always be enveloped by a separation from others. That is the kind of solitude. It is the solitude of the author, of writing. To begin with, one must ask oneself what the silence surrounding one is –with practically every step one takes in a house, at every moment of the day, in every kind of Light from outside or from lamps lit in daytime. This real, corporeal solitude becomes the inviolable silence of writing.”

-Marguerite Duras, Writing (1993, translated by Mark Polizzotti).

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