Getting ready to teach course on terrorism and torture in June. Cheery summer reading/viewing:

Hany Abu-Hassad, Paradise Now
Albert Camus, The Just Assassins
J.M. Coetzee, Waiting for the Barbarians
Joseph Conrad, The Secret Agent: A Simple Tale
Don DeLillo, Falling Man
Ariel Dorfman, Death and the Maiden
Paul Haggis, In the Valley of Elah
Franz Kafka, In the Penal Colony
Gillo Pontecorvo, The Battle of Algiers
Susan Sontag, Regarding the Pain of Others

Here’s hoping my students have strong stomachs.


  1. I didn’t have room in this short course for many novels, and The Trial, while seminal, is also of course a repetitive unfinished mess; I didn’t think it would be the best use of our time. I did indeed think about it, though. Your idea to have them read Before the Law is great; I think that parable does in 250 words pretty much what The Trial does in as many pages.

    In other news, God, I’d forgotten what a turgid stylist Conrad is. “Having infused by persistent importunities some sort of heat into the chilly interest of several licensed victuallers (the acquaintances one upon a time of her late unlucky husband), Mrs. Verloc’s mother had at last secured her admission to certain almshouses founded by a wealthy innkeeper for the destitute widows of the trade.” Ugh!

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