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Pulp Friction- If Barnes & Noble goes out of business, it’ll be a disaster for book lovers. By Alex Shephard

Even by the standards of the ailing book publishing industry, the past year has been a bad one for Barnes & Noble. After the company spun off its profitable college textbook division, its stock plunged nearly 40 percent. Its long-term debt tripled, to $192 million, and its cash reserves dwindled. Leonard Riggio, who turned the company into a behemoth, has announced he will step down this summer after more than 40 years as chairman. At the rate it’s going, Barnes & Noble won’t be known as a bookseller at all—either because most of its floor space will be given over to games and gadgets, or, more ominously, because it won’t even exist.

There’s more than a little irony to the impending collapse of Barnes & Noble. The mega-retailer that drove many small, independent booksellers out of business is now being done in by the rise of Amazon. But while many book lovers may be tempted to gloat, the death of Barnes & Noble would be catastrophic—not just for publishing houses and the writers they publish, but for American culture as a whole.

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‘Masterpieces’ Without Masters By

The word “masterpiece” ought by all rights to be under assault, since it is, in the current parlance of political correctness, gender-specific. Yet it continues to be used widely, albeit in ways that would puzzle art lovers of the past. I recently Googled “masterpiece,” curious to see how it had been used in the preceding month. It was, not surprisingly, employed to describe such various works as Haydn’s Creation, Sylvia Plath’s “Ariel,” and Peter Shaffer’s Amadeus. But it was also applied to dozens of pop-music albums, among them the Beach Boys’ Pet Sounds, Beyoncé’s Lemonade, and Radiohead’s Kid A, and movies as dissimilar as Captain America: Civil War and Charlie Chaplin’s City Lights, as well as the Audi 8 automobile, Disneyland, Nintendo Game Boy, a 1959 hairdryer designed by Richard Sapper, and a four-hitter pitched by Chris Sale of the Chicago White Sox.


Frâiele de aur nu fac mai bun calul

Nu îmi dau seama ce urmăreşte PNL  ? Ce mai speră să rezolve la toamnă într-un Parlament anesteziat.

Alina Gorghiu, prima declarație despre fuziunea PNL-UNPR

Alina Gorghiu nu a negat informația că PNL va fuziona prin absorție cu UNPR, însă a subliniat că decizia va fi transmisă săptămânaviitoare, atunci când va avea loc BPN al PNL și când se vor lua deciziile finale.

„Nu pot să vă declar nimic altceva decât ceea ce se va decide în BPN al PNL. Am primit mandat să discutăm cu toate partidele politice parlamentare”, a răspuns Alina Gorghiu.


Michael Sandel: “The energy of the Brexiteers and Trump is born of the failure of elites” by Jason Cowley

Jason Cowley: Shall we begin with Brexit? It’s very close here at the moment: the Remain side had big leads in the polls but it’s narrowed considerably since the conversation moved on to immigration, porous borders and freedom of movement of migrant workers within the EU. What forces are driving the desire for Brexit?

Michael Sandel: As an outside observer, I don’t feel it’s for me to offer a personal view about how Britain should vote. I think there are really two questions. One is whether Brexit would be good for Europe and the other is the question of whether it would be good for Britain. It seems to me that for Britain to remain in the EU would be a good thing for Europe, but whether it’s a good thing for Britain is something that’s for British voters to decide.

A big part of the debate has been about economics – jobs and trade and prosperity – but my hunch is that voters will decide less on economics than on culture and ­questions of identity and belonging.