Sunday, November 27, 2011

Books on my nightstand this week

1. Jukka Kemppinen: Informaatio-oikeuden alkeet [A legal handbook of the information age.  There is no English counterpart for the keyword "informaatio-oikeus" in the book's title] (2011). A comprehensive introduction to many of the most difficult legal problems of the information society written in an understandable language, yet without simplifying genuinely complex cases where there is often a right against another right, an aspect of justice against another aspect of justice.

2. Peter Englund: Menneisyyden maisema (Förflutenhetens landskap. Historiska essäer, 1991) [The Landscape of Times Past] (in Finnish, 2011). Historical essays in which for instance the myth of the military leader is debunked. From a historical perspective things at the battlefield start to seem much clearer than in the chaotic actuality itself. Military leaders often had to make their decisions in situations in which there was even literally hardly any visibility.

3. Jean Lassus: Varhaiskristillinen ja Bysantin taide (Landmarks of the World's Art: The Early Christian and Byzantine World, 1967) (in Finnish, 1968). The thousand years in the history of art after the Classical Age and before the Renaissance. What a downturn. There were even over a hundred years of iconoclasm during which art heritage was systematically destroyed.

4. Arsenal (Berlin), programme booklet, Dezember 2011 with an Andrzej Wajda retrospective (which includes a favourite of mine, the rarely seen Invitation to the Inside, 1978); Magical History Tour: Filmmusik und Musikfilm; Living Archive introducing Mary Ellen Bute; Ulrike Ottinger.

5. Cahiers du Cinéma, Novembre 2011. The cover title is "Adieu 35, la révolution numérique est terminée". Too bad that an intellectual journal adopts the marketing jargon of information technology. Yet information technology engineers are the first to warn that although digital can be great for distribution, the digital world is in constant turbulence. 35 mm film is robust for preservation even for a thousand years. Fortunately the articles in the digital dossier offer more profound reflections of the digital transition.

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